This week, the last two nights to be specific, my dear friend, The Actor, celebrated the run of his senior show. Because he one of his majors is theater, his capstone project was to direct a play. His choice was the play by Bert V. Royal entitled “Dog Sees God.”
The show is an evocative piece that asks the viewer to challenge the way things are and make the world a better place. Dog Sees God takes the infamous Peanuts characters of our childhood and throws them into adolescence. This time, Charlie Brown and the gang are in high school and Snoopy has just died. The characters partake in all manner of vile behavior from using drugs and alcohol and using offensive language to bullying that wrenches at the gut of the viewer.
Fair warning, this show is not for the faint of heart. It forces the audience to step into the worst experiences a young person faces, perhaps on a daily basis, perhaps on rare occasions. Some of the toughest subjects that young people deal with are thrown into the mix. The point is to show just how far from butterflies and rainbows life is for some kids. Kids are faced with really difficult situations, asked to make tough decisions, tempted and pulled in multiple directions, forsaken by adults, and still asked to come out on top. This show really makes you think about how hard that is.
The show also makes you reflect on how many times you were the person who stood idly by while someone was bullied, how many times did you make a bad decision in order to fit in. What decisions have you made, or are making, in your life that could be devastating to you or to someone else? Yeah, you may leave the theater feeling really sh*tty about yourself, but that’s the point. We cannot make a change if we do not face how bad things have become.
Dog Sees God is difficult and offensive, but it is also beautiful and meaningful. It is a show that doesn’t suggest change, it outright demands it!
This show touched me in particular, because I was someone who was bullied relentlessly in school. So much so that by the time I reached the 3rd grade my parents had pulled me out of public school to be home-schooled, because my clothes were being torn to the point of indecency on the bus and I would come home bloodied and bruised. The first few years after I went back to public school in the 8th grade were not much better and like Beethoven I attempted to take my own life. I think God every day that I survived, but in the show, Beethoven doesn’t.
This show hit so close to home that I cried for at least the last 20 minutes of the show, through the talk-back, and for part of the ride back to campus. It saddens me to the deepest depths that we live in a society where the kind of behavior that can lead to a child’s death is thought of as “character building.” It sucks that it wasn’t just me. It’s a problem so basic within our culture that this play had to be written to make us question it.
And question it we did. This play faced an outbreak of controversy almost immediately after rehearsals began. A student on campus found the show to be offensive and so exercised her right to petition the ban of the show. To an extent, her goal was achieved. The compromise was that the show would not be allowed to be performed on campus. The Actor had to find a new performance space and ended up at the Berlin Cafe in CoMo. When The Roommate told me it was a small space, I could not have prepared myself for just how small. Last night when we arrived, there were 54 chairs in the house, the stage was practically in our laps, and we were finding spaces for people as they poured in.
In the end, I think it worked in The Actor’s favor. Being physically close to the actors helped me, as a viewer, to connect and feel like I was watching real life play out before my eyes. And, in reality, the controversy that lasted for so long was free publicity. By the time posters went up last week, everyone knew what the show was. Honestly, I think there was a better turn out, despite the conditions surrounding the performance, than there would have been if it had been performed on campus as scheduled.
The space also worked really well for the talk-back. At the end of the show, The Actor opened the floor for conversation between the actors and the audience members. This was exactly the kind of thing Royal was looking for, because it was the beginning of discourse on what was wrong about what happened in the show and why exactly it was wrong.
It is wrong to abandon young adults, teenagers, to make hard decisions alone, to feel unloved and unwanted, during the most influential and fragile years of their young lives. It is wrong to bully and torment another person and to become so immune to it that you truly believe it’s just all fun and games. It is wrong to idly watch as the people around you destroy the lives of themselves and their “friends.” And it is especially wrong that a child who is different than the rest of the crowd feels so alone and so hated that he took his own life.
I applaud the playwright and I applaud the cast and crew. Most of all, I applaud my friend, The Actor. Thank you for all you do, all you have done, and all you will continue to do through this beautiful and heart-wrenching work of art. Thank you for going through with this no matter how ugly and difficult it got. Thank you for making the choice to stand up for me and for many others after me. You can’t know what it means to me that people are beginning to take notice.
The Nerdmate and I are fighting. Or, we had a fight and now there’s this weird not speaking to each other dance happening. I don’t like it. There’s a lot of internal struggling happening on both sides.
I’m probably not the kind of girl that comes off as the cut and run type, but I totally am. Commitment scares me. Rejection scares me. Getting attached and having my heart trampled on terrifies me. When the seas get rough, I take my boat in. My walls go up and I do whatever it takes to keep myself safe. That usually means a I cut and run. I take off. I leave. Not physically, but emotionally. That’s how all of my relationships have ended.
And then I do something rash and compulsive, usually to my hair. After every break-up or nasty fight, I’ve dyed and/or cut my hair. After the catastrophe of a fight with the WhiteKnight, I almost went out and got a tattoo or a piercing, some kind of body mod. I didn’t, just in case you were curious. But that was when I stripped the red from my hair, because red was HIS color. Brown was the PensylvanianLover’s color, etc.
This time it’s different. I can’t cut and run. This is the first time that I’ve gone to the same school as the guy I was with, yet alone lived in the same town. And this isn’t just the same town, The Nerdmate lives in the dorm directly above mine. Everytime he moves, everytime he has someone over, I can hear him. So even if I WAS going to run, I couldn’t. Also, I have this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that if I walk away, I’m walking away from the man that could be my soul mate.
How do you know if someone if your soul mate? How do you know if this is the person you were made for? I don’t know. And that scares me. And it ticks me off. I’ve worked past the tears. I won’t shed tears ’til I know it’s over. I can’t. But I. Am. Mad. We are supposed to be a team. We are supposed to be there for each other. We cannot aford to shut down the lines of communication if we’re going to make it through this. I love him and I know he loves me, but I don’t see that he wants to be with me. And I’m not going to waste my time following him around until he makes his decision. I’ve been there and I will never go back.
He needs space, so I’m giving him space. Honeslty, I need some space of my own. He’s going to make whatever decision he’s going to make without my influence and anyone who knows him knows that’s true. That’s how he works. So what am I doing to keep myself busy? Everything I can. I had girl time with The Roommate and Rose. It was really helpful. The Roommate and I are driving down to MMEA to watch the band perform! Yay! It’s a huge honor. And then we’ll participate in the StepSings of Sigma Alpha Iota and Phi Mu Alpha. And tomorrow night I’m having a movie/game night with my New Best Friend. Don’t worry, Bestie, you’re still my Bestie. 🙂 My New Best Friend and I have just needed each other to talk things out, our friendship is growing everyday.
I will be ok. I will survive and I hope that I come out on the other side with the Nerdmate by my side once more.
That’s how I feel. Mostly.
The events of the last few days have been… exciting. And not in a good way.
Shortly after my last post, and I mean within a few minutes, the WhiteKnight let me know that he was in the ER for what was either a flu bug that didn’t make him throw up, or appendicitis. (For those of you who don’t know, WK and are now on speaking terms again as good friends) It was the latter and they were going to take his appendix that night. When I talked to Mr. P. I asked if WK needed someone to sit with him at the hospital. I quickly amended my question to the more appropriate, “Do YOU need someone to sit with him at the hospital?” To which he firmly replied, “Yes.” So I went. And my lovely roommate went with.
Yesterday WK was released, he was up and moving(albeit slowly), and he had eaten solid food. Needless to say, after a much needed night of sleep, I woke up today feeling calm.
There’s another piece to my calm. I blogged on Wednesday about my unstable financial situation and the need to figure out the funding of this semester. Well, my wonderful friends are just that, wonderful. In the last 24 hours, I have received $155 in gifts from friends to put toward my education. It’s not a lot, no, but it’s a fantastic start and more than I could have asked for. There really are angels in my life, truly wonderful people looking out for me and helping me fulfill my calling. Thank you.
Everyone has angels in their lives, they’re people who show up in your times of need, people who help you through an icy patch on the road of life, people who love you when you feel like you’re an island in the storm.
I’ve always believed that we have hidden angels in our lives and it’s struck me lately how true that is. I’ve been blessed with so many angels, so many people who genuinely love me, friends who go out of their way to ease a discomfort, wipe a tear, heal a hurt…
My family is in a rough spot financially and that’s really hard to swallow. It’s made me question a lot of my decisions in life. It’s made me second guess my plans, my actions. It makes me feel selfish for being at school. And it makes me realize how wasteful I’ve been in my nearly 21 years on this earth. I can’t afford to be here, at school. I have no idea how I’m going to make it to graduation when I can’t even come up with the money for this semester.
I’m second guessing seminary. Maybe this is God’s way of shutting down my pride and telling me I need to work for a few years before continuing with my education. I don’t NEED to go to seminary. I don’t NEED to be ordained. I can do God’s work without those things. It’s my thirst for knowledge and the example of my mentors that led me down the road to seminary. Maybe that’s not what God wants. Maybe I don’t need to spend the extra money.
I’m scared. I got some bad news today, news that I don’t feel particularly comfortable publishing for the world yet. And in this time I’ve turned to some of the most beautiful and talented and inspiring young women I know, my SAI sisters. They have helped me so much without knowing they were doing anything. An Angel, we’ll call her Rose, manifested herself about a week ago. She bought my books for the semester. She’s stubborn and once she gets her mind on an idea, there’s no stopping that train. She’s fiery and passionate and silly and one of the best friends in my life. Tonight, I cried on the shoulders of those sisters. I told them for the first time that I was in trouble and they smiled and told me things would be ok. They hugged me and kissed me and gave me strength and courage to hold my head in confidence that, though life will throw me curve balls, they will pull out all the stops to get me the biggest damn net you’ve ever imagined to catch it.
These girls are my angels. They are my guiding stars. My companions through the thickest of evil nasty forests. And I love them with my whole big heart.
You have someone like this in your life. Let them in. God has sent them for you specifically. And when you’re able, return the favor. Then it’ll be your chance to be an angel.
*See? I’m learning something in Spanish!! 🙂
I love people. I am a people person. And I like to believe that I am pretty generous and caring when it comes to other people. I like putting others needs first, it makes me feel good. But to what extent do I neglect my own needs for the sake of another.
My room should be my sanctuary. It isn’t. I hate being in here. Would you like to know why? My roommate! I love her to death, but she has made this such a depressing and negative atmosphere that I dread walking through that door. I have been patient as she goes through this rough patch, because we all remember when I was there this time last year. I’ve tried to be a good friend, to give her comfort and love and whatever other help I could offer, but she doesn’t seem to want to make things better. She says she does, she says she’s trying, but at this point, from my end of things, it looks like she just keeps perpetuating the situation for attention.
I hate to say that. I feel like a terrible person for saying that. But I cannot stand being in this room or around her, because all I every hear is, “today I broke down because of this this and this…” or “I don’t like that, because then I have to close to people and I can’t do that because of my issues.” And when I offer advice or a solution, does she do any of it? No. Because “I just can’t.” That is not the attitude of someone who is trying. I’m sorry, it isn’t.
Moral of the story? I will not be living with her next year. I’m done. I need out for my own sanity.
Remember when you all heard me saying how I just needed to get back to school to get away from all of this kind of stuff back home? Yeah. Now I’m jumping for joy every time I have the chance to go back home, because it means I’m away from here for a few days.
-A fed up roommate
*sings* Goin’ to the chapel and their gonna get ma-a-arried!
Today is THE DAY! Dinoman and his lovely bride are to be married today and I can’t express my excitement enough! Li’l ol’ me has to go about her school day today like nothing is new while the lovebirds are out west tying the knot. My classmates have already been asking what’s got into me.
This week I’ve been a bit on the moody side. Moody isn’t exactly what’s been going on, actually. If I’m going to be honest, I’d have to tell you that I’ve been an emotional train wreck. There have been moments, even days, that all I feel like doing is crying. For no real reason. Wednesday I was in the car headed to a friend’s place in CoMo when a song came on the stereo that reminded me of my grandfather and I started crying. He’s been gone for over 10 years now. Yeah, it’s still sad, but not to the point where I should be bawling in my car.
And yesterday, yesterday I was fine until about 4pm. Then I was angry at everyone and everything. Some of the things I was upset about are legitimate concerns. My roommate and I are having some issues. Or maybe I should put it this way, I’m having some issues with my roommate. She never cleans. Anything. I have washed and folded laundry(both of ours) twice in the last week. Her folded laundry is still sitting around the room in various piles. She just moves it when she needs to get around it. Also, those dirty dishes in the sink, not mine.
When I get stressed out and emotional, I clean and organize. She laughs at me. Honestly, I think she could learn a thing or two.
ANYWAY! The point of this post(I swear) was to celebrate Dinoman’s big day, not complain about my life. I just mean to get this point across: Today I have been smiley and bubbly and singing happy songs as I cruise down the walkway. THAT is how stoked I am for you, Dinoman.
The two of you are going to have a wonderful life together. Sure, there will be some hard times, but it’s like you always tell me: The goods make the bads so very worth it. The good will out-weigh the bad in the end.
Cherish her as I’m sure she’ll cherish you. My very best for the both of you, friend.
Your kindasorta adopted sister,
As most of you know, this was initiation weekend. Thus, I’m completely exhausted right now, but it’s the first moment all weekend I’ve had to sit at my computer. There will be a post full of stories from this wonderful weekend, but now onto the current issue.
My school schedule is causing me headache AGAIN!
The times for that Concepts of Physical Science class changed and now it conflicts with Spanish, so it has been nixed. My roommate and friends and family members are going to hate me next semester. My boyfriend is REALLY going to hate me. One word: Chemistry. I’ve never taken it, but it scares the living day lights out of me. My impression of Chemistry involves a whole lot of math. Math and I don’t get along. I’m fairly good at math, but I dislike it a whole bunch. Unfortunately, Chemistry was THE ONLY science with a lab that would fit ANYWHERE in my schedule. *deep breath*
It doesn’t help matters that there is a massive storm outside. Don’t get me wrong, I love thunderstorms, but the power keeps going out. When the power goes out, the internet goes out. Enrollment opened at midnight and the power was still flickering at that point. I can’t enroll if the power is out. I can’t go to sleep until after I enroll.
Have I mentioned that I’m exhausted?!
I ended up getting enrolled just fine(other than the chemistry issue), but it just added to my suffering(yes, I’m being overly dramatic here).
Anyhow, I’d like to very quickly say hello to the two newest members of our blogging family: Cheshire and Twinings. Thanks for subscribing, guys.
Now off to Dreamland, I go!