Sunday, May 14, 2006

"Frozen" on Mother's Day

One has to wonder about the sort of family for whom tickets to Frozen seem like an appropriate Mother's Day present.

But somehow, for us, it worked. The Chalicemom, ChaliceDad and theCSO and I had an early dinner, with Oliver's girlfriend joining us toward the end.

Then the ChaliceMom and I took the subway downtown.

From the moment "Frozen" began, with a scene so emotional that I found myself gnawing my cheek as if to somehow soothe my discomfort, I barely took my eyes off the stage.

It was a good play, though I might have enjoyed it more if it had been less well-acted. I loved the research psychiatrist, who brought a dark comedy to the peice in places. Also, the man who played the sociopath did a really wonderful job. A few things in his performance were more familiar than I wish they had been and I found myself wishing some of the physical quirks had seemed affected. The ChaliceMom didn't say much about it, but she was riveted.

The play had some problems. The playwright is too smart to believe that the question "How would you feel if somebody did that to you?" really ever brings about any real psychological insight*. I won't say the entire play hinged on that question, but the question's impact was greater than it should have been and made what came after a little too easy. What I know about these things suggests that to put oneself into another's shoes in any real sense is a capability such people just don't have.

A play about forgiveness is a tough thing for me.

I should probably have something clever to say here about the question of neurological problems as destiny and the idea that perhaps the line between sins and symptoms is blurrier than our typical view of such things allows us to imagine. The Presbyterian and the Unitarian next to her probably had somewhat differing ideas on that one, though really it gets us both because it raises questions on both original sin and perfectability grounds.

But I'm watching Desperate Housewives and drinking a large gin gimlet.

Perhaps when I'm done, I will have another.


*What is it with people who incessantly ask this question, as if they think that other people never consider another's feelings and thus this question will lead to a revelation? The question seems to frequently occur in people who have no sense of proportion whatsoever. I had a college friend who was constantly accusing me of insensitivity because I was too busy to keep up after her emotional needs, which of course were legion.

One time when I tried to excuse myself from one more bitch session about how a professor hated her, she drew herself up and asked with great dignity,

"How would YOU FEEL if your father died and your friend was too busy working on the newspaper to take a break and listen?"

"Your father died?" I remember responding.

"Well... No. But how would you feel?"

Usually when people ask "How would YOU FEEL if someone did that to you?" over some pathetic slight, my brain wants to answer "If I were a an immature git like you, I'm sure I'd be upset. But I pride myself on keeping a sense of perspective, so I doubt I'd fuss about something so very insignificant."

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