Review: Come From Away

The day after my birthday in April, my parents and I celebrated by seeing the matinee of the new, immensely popular Broadway musical, Come From Away, with book, music, and lyrics by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. I’d been watching this piece come to life through a friend’s Instagram posts and I thought it looked cute, but I wasn’t really dying to see it. But once my parents heard about it and it’s popularity spiked just before their opening night, I finally stopped finding reasons to not get around to see it and I’m certainly glad I did.

A lot of the music sounds very Once-esque, which I was immediately annoyed by (despite being a big fan of Once because that is music for Once and not this, etc. etc.) but I warmed up to this folksy music as well as the rest of the score over the next 100 minutes. (Yes, it’s 100 minutes, no intermission. #best)

I’m pretty resistant to anything and everything that co-ops 9/11 which is probably responsible for some of my resistance to sit down in the Schoenfeld, but Come From Away doesn’t do that. They barely mention what happened and they never say “9/11” explicitly. It’s purely about humanity and this tiny town in Newfoundland named Gander and how it’s citizens come together to host these ~7,000 strangers who are stranded there for a week-ish) by this catastrophic event.

The cast is amazing – filled with some of my favorites from my teenage years as a Renthead, among others – Rodney Hicks, Kendra Kassebaum, Chad Kimball, Jenn Colella, etc. The cast uses very subtle costume adjustments to change characters in an instant when they flip-flop between planes (people were trapped on the plans for 28 hours!). I’m pretty sure this is no easy feat and I’d 100% screw up what character I was when if I had to do that.

My favorite subplot line was the one about the SPCA director in Gander, Bonnie Harris (played by Petrina Bromley) and how she basically forces her way into the cargo holds on the planes because she has the foresight to suspect that there are animals onboard and they need to be taken care of (#squee!). She’s right. There were 19 animals on all the planes – something like 7 cats, 9 dogs, and one pair of rare Bonobo monkeys, among others, all of whom she takes care of while they’re there. This obviously warmed my heart. She deserves a medal.

There are many other touching and tear-jerking story lines which I won’t give away, but you should get yourself to the Schoenfeld and see this heartwarming little show as soon as you can (if you can, because tickets are selling out at each performance).

Maryland Mother Arrested for Leaving 8- and 9-Year-Old Home Alone While She Picked Up Takeout

Um, what? The next generation of kids are going to be so helpless they won’t be able to wipe themselves. The cops also acted like assholes. If they really felt like she was in the wrong, give her a stern talking to – not handcuffs. 

Maybe this woman needed a break and also got a coffee. (I would need All Of The Coffee Breaks if I had an 8 and 9 year old.) Maybe the restaurant took a long time with the food. Either way: if you can’t leave your 8 and 9 year old kids home for 45 minutes without having to worry that they’re going to burn the vacation rental down, you probably shouldn’t have had them. 

But she wasn’t worried. Maybe she wasn’t a helicopter parent – obviously, I mean, she wasn’t. It was the cops who needed to mind their own business. If she’d left them along for 6 hours, or a day, I could see someone saying something. But 45 minutes? GFY. She should’ve told them there was probably a 4 year old with a shotgun somewhere near by that was maybe more concerning, but she was south of the Mason-Dixon, so they probably wouldn’t have been all that concerned.

My brother, who will be 21 in December, came into the city on Sunday to grab lunch with J and I and meet Playbill (obviously this was more important lunch). He was taking the train to Penn Station and my mother (a very proud self-proclaimed helicopter parent, sigh; it’sawonderIturnedoutsowell) wanted me to meet him at Penn Station because she was worried that he wouldn’t be able to figure out the subway. The subway route, btw, is taking one train uptown for a handful of stops and getting out on my corner. 

I wanted to tell her that if he can’t figure that out then she shouldn’t take him back to school next week because there’s no hope. But I didn’t. I just said no, that he could figure it out. 

And guess what, the almost-21-year-old figured out how to taking one fucking subway by himself to a designated stop. Golf claps. Seriously, parents of America, calm the fuck down. European parents are laughing. 

Maryland Mother Arrested for Leaving 8- and 9-Year-Old Home Alone While She Picked Up Takeout

At What Age

Speaking of not wanting kids, I went to the OBGYN for a colposcopy recently and I looked up during the extremely quick procedure and said to the doctor, “You can remove my entire cervix. I won’t need it for anything.” She replied, “Oh, I’m sure one day you might!”

I wanted to tell her that I’m 30, far from a child, and that I can make my own decisions, blah blah blah. But I did not. I just said, “Nope, no kids here” and laid back down.

Now that I’m 30, I’m wondering how many more years I have to endure people, my age and elders, as well as doctors, telling me I’ll change my mind someday. I’ve come to the place where I either smile and nod at people or tell them they’re out of their fucking minds, which usually shuts them right up.  

But I’m wondering at what age do you stop getting told that you’re silly and your uterus will turn on and you’ll want kids eventually? I mean, when does the biological clock supposedly stop ticking? 30? 35? 

As a woman, at what age is it acceptable to be like, “No, I actually don’t want kids and yes, I’m sure.” When do you finally earn the right to say you’re sure about your own feelings about something as possibly-life-ruining as bearing a child? Yes, you can change your feelings, but you can also change your feelings about who you marry and what house you buy and what color your dye your hair. But no one questions those decisions. 

I’m guessing it’s something that will eventually change from “Oh, you’ll change your mind someday” to “Oh, do you regret not having kids?” To which I will respond in the same blunt manner, “No, but do you regret having yours?”

Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family

I think the New York Times published this in an attempt to decrease the population because who honestly would be like “yay kids!” after reading it? This survey should be called, “No Shit, Sherlock” because here are their astonishing findings:

  • Women do most of the housework, but men feel like it’s equal. (Of course they do!)
  • Parents who work and have kids are stressed.
  • Being a parent in America blows because you have no help unless you’re willing to pay top dollar for it. 

And yet thousands of people sign up for this never-ending-load-of-stress every year. I’m not saying it doesn’t have it’s benefits for the right person (I mean, who better to pick out your retirement home than the person who you tried to control for the first 18 years of their life?!), but come on. People who have kids in their twenties, unless they’re rich, are just begging to die an early death. 

Life is stressful enough as is. At least establish yourself in your career and try to have some sort of a stable life and income before you go dragging down another life or two into it.

Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family

5 Things Our Kids Don’t Know About Their Pre-Mama Mamas

Brain-dump time: A friend from college posted this on Facebook today. She’s a new mom and a fantastic person and I’m forever grateful that I got to spend time with her. 

I know I can’t completely relate because I’m not, and if I have anything to say about it never will be, a mother, but I have to disagree with this article that she posted.

My parents smoked pot before I was born. Apparently they smoked a LOT of pot. I’ve heard this from various family members and guess what! It didn’t make me think less of my parents or make me want to become a stoner. They were just mid-twenties kids and why not? They will never admit that they were heavy into reefer though and that’s what’s bothersome. It’s inauthentic. It’s fake. It’s bullshit.

I don’t think parents should ever try to gloss over their past lives to their children. First of all: it glamorizes whatever “devious” activity they want to try whether it be smoking pot, or drinking a beer, or whatever. I mean, kids usually only want to do what their parents don’t want them to do. If you’re a parent and you were like, “Yeah, sure, kid, have a beer. I have a beer from time to time too.” My guess is they’d probably be like, “Oh cool, this is chill,” or “Ew, parents are okay with it – it must not be cool.”

There will always be people who become addicted, but regardless of whether they try beer for the first time in high school or in college, they will find out, and the sooner the better in my opinion. 

I could go on and on, but I think it’s a much better option to be real with your kids than to try to play it off like you were some Straight Edge Mary Fucking Sunshine when you were a child/teenager/whatever. Because if they have two brain cells to rub together, they’ll know you’re full of shit anyways.

5 Things Our Kids Don’t Know About Their Pre-Mama Mamas

The Reluctant Mother

countrymouseconfessions:

I’m just going to level with you: I’ve been struggling lately. By “lately” I mean “since I found out I’m becoming a mother.” Typically I don’t write negative things. I like to be a shiny, happy person. But this has been weighing on my mind, and it’s not really a negative thing, and I know there…

Holy shit. This lovely lady is one of my friend’s from college and she is so brave to be able to vocalize her feelings, as I’m sure many would be many pearls-clutchy women out there like, “How DARE she not be TOTALLY-THRILLED-OMFG for her daughter??

This is another huge reason why I’m not having kids. I know Mallory will be a great mom. I suspect I’d be feeling like this if my entire life was about to change and I’d have a fucking heart attack and there would be no way to turn back the clock, so that’s why I’m not starting the clock to begin with. I have enough anxiety to begin with about trivial things, so let’s throw another person’s life into it. 

Sending you good vibes, Mallory.

The Reluctant Mother

Last week I finally procured a copy of Ramshackle Glam, the new book by Jordan Reid, a favorite blogger of mine for years now. I’ve met her a few times and she’s just as awesome in person as her words would have you think.

The weird thing is: this book has absolutely no relevance in my life. At all. I felt silly reading it on the train this weekend because I was afraid people would think I was pregnant. This is not something that’s true nor is it ever something that I plan to have happen (I’ve said it before: I don’t want kids, it’s just a personal thing!).

But nevertheless, I love Jordan’s writing and her book has a tone of “do what you love, eff what anyone thinks,” and it’s great. I like the recipes and the decoration tips (I’m taking the inspiration board advice for my future apartment). I love her writing because she writes with a ton of hyperbole. Which is both amusing and emotionally evocative. 

But one could say this book was a success, because it gave me a bit of insight of what mothers go through (most likely my own mother too!) and also made me super-duper-sure that I don’t want to embark on that endeavor. The specific moment when I was all, “Nope, definitely not for me!” was the following:

The fact that my decision to shoot my very first style post was preceded by this exact thought: ‘Hmm… I wonder what I should do this afternoon’ Nowadays, that is not a question that enters my mind. Everrrr.

Call it selfish or whatever you want but I don’t want to ever be so busy and have so many things on my to do list that it wakes me up in the middle of the night. I have enough anxiety as it is; no need to add another living being to it. I’m not sure I could add a pet cat to it. 

So whether or not you want kids, Ramshackle Glam is an amusing, insightful, and thoughtful read into Reid’s life and her experience as a mother.