I had forgotten.
The plumber comes today. He needs to install the new crapper that sits oh-so-redneck on my dirty kitchen ass floor. Because the plumber is coming, I am cleaning the house. That’s what we do, yo.
My daughter Avery is now eleven weeks old, which means she smiles at any old dumb thing mom does. There is nothing better for the ego of an aged decrepit actress of yore (yes, on a bad day (good day?), I throw a towel on my head and descend the stairs doing my best Gloria Swanson. Who the hell doesn’t, I ask? Who doesn’t?). I wrote a couple of essays for Flibbertigibbet that mentioned my past life as a young ingenue. In truth, I am an actress and shall always be an actress. Acting — not writing — was my first calling, and I’m confident that one day I will return to the stage without all the silly mind blockage that ruined my raw ability in my 20s. Sure, I’m destined for all the old, crazy granny roles–but I’ll take ‘em. Heck, it would fulfill a dream to portray Madame Thénardier in Les Mis. Perhaps one day I’ll get my chance.
Plan B, I spit you in the face!
Bills, responsibilities, baby havin’ — that’s why I gave up the stage. Plus, it wreaked havoc on my personal life. Writing is most certainly a passion and calling of mine. However, acting…acting I was married to. For me, I was unable to balance my passion for the theatre with being in a relationship. I’d like to think, however, that in my old age (ahem), I’ve learned and I’ve matured, and I would be able to balance both with my eyes blind-folded. Of course, there is that need to pay the bills and raise the kids as a single mom thing. So I have a few years to go I guess. Unless I create my own type of thing, which I’ve thought about from time to time, but we’ll see. Anyway. Long winded way of saying that I was a hard core, sassy-assed, self-centered theatre geek diva — whether I deserved to be or not. And I loved every freakin’ minute of it. It defined me. And for years…well, maybe for always…I was unable to come to terms with what my identity was when I was no longer on the stage. I dunno. Maybe that’s why I still struggle. For over a third of my life, all Kristi (that’s me) was, was…actress.
That’s a long intro.
So what is it that I forgot?
That a baby makes you a rock star.
(Did I mention my rock star fantasy?) (Oh, come on, we all have it.)
As I started cleaning and sweeping for the plumber’s visit (because obviously just living here isn’t reason enough to sweep the damn floor), Pat Benetar came on the radio. I’m sorry. Pat Benetar? Like, one of my heroes. I love, love, love, love Pat Benetar. And I love all angry, bitter she-rock. Yes I do. And the performer in me…well, as I indicated above…she has not died. She’s just…muffled. But I had an audience, see. There baby Avery sat…in her bouncer on the table, watching me sweep and sing. And I broke into routine. Mind you, I was an actress…not a dancer. But I broke into routine anyway. I did the Mick Jagger chicken dance thing. I did cheerleading jumps. I did the Bangles Egyptian thing. I was a Rockette until I blew a gasket. And she laughed and smiled and loved it all.
I had forgotten!
I did the same thing for my son when he was a baby. I try it now for him, but I just get the giant eye-roll and sigh. To a ten-year-old, I’m super amazingly geeky and wrong.
But for the little one…I rocked it.
Baby Vree — she loved it. She looked at me like I was the best performer in the world. And that’s exactly the kind of attention an insecure wayward artist like me needs!!
If you ever wanted to truly feel like the most amazing rock star in the world with a captive audience…dudes, have a baby and rock your heart out when they are about three months old.
You will own it!