First a couple pictures Joni did, as promised. This is the one I sent to Coping Magazine.
The purple bracelet is the one my husband wears everyday - it says "Fuck Cancer." I love it.
I have had a pretty busy weekend. It's been good. Saturday morning I got up and did my Pilates exercises, and then David, Jackson and I headed to the grocery store for a massive run. Were home by noon for Jackson's nap. I then proceeded to clean up my closet, getting rid of the tons of clothes that don't fit or never wear and things just taking up space. I was able to consolidate things so I could see my shoe rack again. I had clothes hanging in front of it, so my shoes were all piled up on the floor instead of on the shelf. What I have is an old book shelf that is perfect for my shoes, but it doesn't help to have an organized place for things if the rest of the closet is so unorganized you can't get to it. So I worked most of the afternoon on that. Then I headed in to Austin to see a play.
To my horror, I was late to the play, had to sneak in after they started. I have never had to do that and as an actor, I really hate it when people do it. It is distracting. But the damned interstate was shut down in Round Rock so they could demolish a bridge. That cost me 15 minutes. Then I couldn't find parking downtown. Had to park five or six blocks away. When I finally parked, I ran, really, ran those blocks to get to the Hideout Theatre. I couldn't believe that I could do that. I ran and got a little out of breath, but not much. I am getting some stamina back and it feels great. Being late to the theatre, however, does not feel great. It feels stupid.
The show was wonderful. I saw Five Women Wearing the Same Dress - the show whose audition I missed by being in the blasted hospital. I really wanted to do that show. But I put aside any bitterness and thoroughly enjoyed the show. The ladies in the cast were great. The dresses were fittingly unattractive and the audience appreciative. It was a near-capacity crowd, which I am really happy to see for such a new theatre company. Good job, guys. Keep up the great work.
After the show I was invited to go to the Continental Club to hear some music, but I didn't feel up to find parking again. Not by myself anyway. Instead I sat with some friends in the coffee shop and had a good time discussing the primaries and everyone's predictions about them. It felt good to be out among peers and not at all as hard as it was month or two ago. As I feel physically better and spend more time among 'regular' people I am getting better about not feeling so separate and different. I had fun.
Everyone was so complimentary about my new hairs. They say I look cool with super-short hair. Made me feel good. Course those most effusive were the table of ladies I sat with after the show - all of them gay. They laughed and told me my new hair made me look hot and that it is lesbian approved. Awesome.
Very cool, since I am auditioning for a show this week in which the two main characters are women who fall in love with each other - both of whom previously dated men. It is a really great play, well-written and the dialogue is snappy. Very much written how people talk, I am excited to audition. There are only two parts in my age range, and really only one that fits me, so it may be a long-shot. But auditioning should be fun and I am looking forward to it.
Today, David and I took Jackson to Harker Heights to see his Omi and Grandpa. It was such a gorgeous day we went to the park so he could play. While we were there we saw a large group of motorcycle riders. They came and parked, their bikes all lined up and shiny, and proceeded to the picnic pavilion in the park. We didn't think much of it until we were walking nearby to get to the little pond to see the ducks. We passed by the pavilion and realized they had posted what looked like sentries all around them. Big biker dudes stood at each corner and spaced in between, probably 6 of them, facing out with their arms crossed and blank expressions. I couldn't believe my eyes, but David and Susanne confirmed - these must be guards posted to 'protect' the biker meeting or whatever it was.
Now we are talking about a suburban park, with young families and joggers and people playing pick-up basketball and flying kites. And there is a group of bikers, in bandanas and leather gathering and nobody really cares. They have as much a right to be there as anyone else. They just looked like normal, mostly middle-aged people dressed to bike in the nice weather. "Oh, they're having a rally," we thought. No biggy. But then they posted their intimidating sentries and it got ridiculous really quickly. Are they worried the suburban couples might infiltrate and spy on them? Are they worried a wiener dog might get loose from his owner's chain and hassle them? WTF? They need to totally get over themselves. Must they take themselves so seriously? I mean, no one cares if they want to meet. Go for it. Have fun. But you'd better watch out for those Frisbee-throwing hippies, they might let the rival gang of forty-something riders in on their secret handshake. Whatever.
Back to my busy weekend. I need to confess that I kept myself so busy because I was fighting the urge to go shopping. Not grocery shopping - me shopping. I don't know what it is about my cancer ordeal that has left me so wanting of things. Mostly the trappings of womanhood - make-up, jewelry, clothes, shoes. And handbags. Why do I have this terrible urge to buy an expensive, trendy handbag? Why the fuck am I calling it a handbag? I have never shopped for a handbag. A handbag is something designer that you pay way too much for and want everyone to know the brand of. A purse is what I have always carried. A purse is something you pick up at Target when the strap of your old one breaks off in your hand and tosses its contents onto the Starbucks floor for everyone to see. That is who I have always been. Never a 'status handbag' carrier; I am usually carrying a purse - or a box with a handle - that I got as a gift. Now I find myself secretly surfing eBay for Coach and Marc Jacobs. Geez, somebody shoot me! I find myself admiring other women's status bags in the grocery store. Half of which are probably knock-offs and I can't tell the difference, thank god. I am not that far gone.
Someone save me from this material need that has possessed me since I was diagnosed with cancer. Is it simply the need to feel pretty after losing my hair? The need for control over something? Or is it the realization that I may not be here long-term and dammit I want nice stuff? Sigh. I dunno, but I now have four or five different colors of eye shadow for the first time in my life - and I like it. I have always simply brushed my eyelids with whatever color of blush I was wearing - usually a mocha pinkish thing. Now I actually look at pictures in fashion magazines and study their eye shadow, determining what colors I'd like to get. So far I have managed to stifle the most disturbing of these urges, like the handbag thing. Hopefully I will either get over it and get back to my former frugal (read: cheap) ways or I will come to grips with it and feed the least expensive of my needs in a responsible way. Or maybe I will bankrupt my husband at the mall like the most cliché of wives.
Next thing you know, I'll be getting highlights in my hair and then you will know that the old Marsha is truly gone, never to be seen again.