Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I was recently on the telephone with a friend relaying something that qualified as low key drama in my household. Nothing serious, and certainly nothing that needs to be elaborated on here, but it was enough for me to place a telephone call to a trusted friend who can always be counted on to give me some perspective. Between bouts of exhaustion, sinus trouble, disorganization and the dreaded "personal summers" I've been saddled with lately...I occasionally enter the realm of the irrational.

Because this friend has multiple daughters, she pretty much has the equivalent of a PhD in "drama." Plus, there's the added bonus that she can usually trump my mini-drama with whatever is going on in her world. She doesn't mind if I call and whine because she knows that she's welcome to return the favor. Besides, if I don't get comforted or reassured...I'll generally at least get entertained.

I have another friend who has a daughter three years ahead of mine. It is like having an early warning system for most everything. Occasionally, she calls and tells me of her daughter's latest escapade and reminds me to pay attention to her newest "lesson learned" so that I don't get blindsided somewhere down the highway of life. I've dodged numerous bullets that she's taken head-on because she warned me ahead of time to put on the vest, so to speak. I'm extraordinarily grateful for her role as a drama-minimizer in my life.

Drama is something that I have grown up with...well...literally. I was born into a family of performers and I have sat in the audience for a fair amount of time during my early years. While there's something a little bit cool about having a mother that is such a good actress that you forget that she's actually your mother while she's performing, it was also just a wee bit unusual and certainly made for an interesting upbringing. I suppose that's why some drama seems a little bit contrived to me. I guess I think I'm just watching another production.

Tonight's drama at my household involved the difficulty experienced in learning the first eighteen lines of "The Canterbury Tales" in middle English. There really are no words to describe this particular horror nor some of the strong objections to this exercise that I actually want to record or dwell on. But when I think that this child will be in college in less than a year, I'm laughing to myself a bit knowing that learning this junk is the least of his worries. He just doesn't know it yet. Can't wait until he gets his first "English-as-a-second-or-third-or-whatever-language" professor. Yeah, that's going to be fun (not).

Drama is one of those things that seems to follow some people for a season, and other people pretty much indefinitely. Some of my friends have the most hilarious things happen to them because they seem to just be living and breathing testimonies of the truth contained in "Murphy's Law." Oh, I know it is not funny WHILE it is happening, and I am very careful not to laugh. But afterward? Oh!...HILARIOUS. These folks are generally also gifted storytellers...which makes it even better.

I've avoided reality television (as much as Big Dave will allow me to escape it) because I honestly don't need any more drama in my life than is already present. Plus, a few years ago, I had the experience of dealing with a woman who "got all up in my business" and made me appreciate my normally mundane existence. She was a self-described "rebel" and seemed to think that I wasn't a very good mother because I was nice to her child. Believe me...being nice can easily be confused with trying to take them to raise if you are crazy enough. There are many more comments that I could make all these years later...but let's just say that I fired her a letter explaining my side of things after being mortified by a visit she made to my workplace. Yes, you read that workplace. TWICE.

Frankly, THAT was enough drama to last me awhile. Like...a long while. Possibly forever. Yeah, like THAT is going to happen. Part of being of a "certain age" is the knowledge that you can make hormonally induced mountains out of molehills. Big time.

I suppose that I believe a stable existence without all of the drama might be nice. But in my opinion, "stable" is sometimes synonymous with "boring." Not that I have any desire to conjure up any drama. It seems to find me without a GPS.

For better or worse...our moments of "drama" are part of the whole of living in this world. And, thankfully, we can sometimes be spectators on the sidelines of "drama-rama" without actually getting in the fray. If we're lucky...

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