Friday, July 30, 2010

Knowing Your Audience

Back in the day, when I worked three jobs six days a week, attended auditions and acting classes and survived on vials of ginseng and take-out salads purchased at the corner grocery markets...yeah...back in those days...I had a friend from Los Angeles visit me in New York City.

My friend came to Manhattan to sit in the VIP section of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade because she was one of the stars of a popular NBC television show. While she was in New York we shared my room in the one-bedroom apartment that had been divided in half for me and a roommate.

You get the picture: I was poor and struggling. She wasn't.

"Mel, come with me, seriously these coats are sooooo cheap. You'd look fabulous in a brown or black...last forever...Italian leather, really, come with me. Just try one on!"

My friend wasn't paying attention to her audience. Italian leather? I couldn't buy an Italian pizza on my three paychecks.

A few times a year I poke my nose into one of the parents' meetings at our school because these good people fund the Shakespeare Club and they deserve to know what I'm doing with their cash. Toward the end of the school year I gave a report and disclosed my thoughts on the bumps as well as the triumphs I'd encountered in 2010.

"This year was more challenging in some ways," I launched, "in part because my husband was across the country working for five months, and with our rehearsal schedule I was only able to see him for a couple of days."

Honestly, I thought this might be an "Awww, poor Mel" moment and that I might garner a smidgeon of sympathy — but I misjudged my audience.

In the middle of my speechifying, as I looked out at many moms and a good number of dads with blank faces staring back at me, I saw what they were quite possibly thinking:

Wait a second, she's been living ALONE with no spouse and no children for FIVE MONTHS? That's a spa vacation in my book. What's her gripe?

Yup, you gotta know your house.

CHILDREN'S WRITES: Journal Entries

I feel sorry for buying a cat from the book fair. I did not tell my parents anything about it. Then they found out that I brought something from the book store. It was as white as snow. It had a very pink nose. It came with a purs to carry it. The purs was very colorfull. I loved it so much that I will snuggle with it in my bed. I would give it reall cat food. When ever I went out side I will bring it.
Natalie, 4th grade

Something I regret is takeing this really pretty ring when I was 4. It had a silver band. It also had a fake diamond. It was ouvisly pretty because of the fake diamond. My mom wasn't letting me so I tuk it.
Faith, 5th grade

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