Posted in Inside Lane

When the Curtain Comes Down


The Listen To Your Mother Austin show was fantastic.  I’m exhausted!  Having spent two hours shellacking myself into a stage face that would last for another six hours probably has something to do with that.  I sprayed so much Elnett on my hair and face, you could have tapped on me and heard a clacking sound.  But, at least in the candid photos I’ve seen, I do have a jawline and a chin!  While they are neither pronounced, nor particularly classic looking, they are natural and nice, and do not look like a giant brown U shape colored onto a sock puppet.  So, the contouring class did the trick.

Photo by Cathy Boyd.  This may be my actual Listen To Your Mother face.
Photo by Cathy Boyd. This may be my actual Listen To Your Mother face.

A friend asked me what stood out in the day.  A few things did.  First, there were fifteen women in one room, in various stages of dress, with varying degrees of nervousness, who acted with kindness, generosity, and consideration to one another.  It’s a myth that you can’t put a group of women in a small space without competition, or a catfight breaking out.  You can’t put a group of assholes in a small space without competition, or catfights, but if you’ve got a group of decent human beings, it doesn’t matter which hormones they are wrangling, you’ll get a good result.

I was fortunate to be holed up with really good people, and we filled the air with all the best of our estrogen.  We shared tips and tools, helped, and held each others’ hands.  And took pictures of our feet.

Listen TOE Your Mother Austin 2015.  The pretty shoe parade.
Listen TOE Your Mother Austin 2015. The pretty shoe parade.  I’m the lace up, black bootie.

Of course I loved the opportunity to give my mom a real spotlight.  My mother played sports in school long before Title IX, and it was a constant source of frustration that even though she was always the best, her gender meant she could never progress beyond just what the authority figures would let her do.  She was scouted by the St. Louis Cardinals, for crying out loud, because they thought she was a boy.  She was such an amazing athlete, that a recruiter from a major league team in Missouri, headed out to tiny Columbus, Georgia to find her.

It thrills me that I got to shine that light on her.  I’m proud of her, and it delights me that I got to tell a larger audience how she took all the energy and enthusiasm she had for sports, and threw them into raising me.

I also got really tickled at how she was telling Thor why me being first in the LTYM lineup was important, using baseball batting line-up imagery.

I did cry, by the way.  I can’t talk about anything I love without crying.  I was fine until I heard my bio–which includes the phrase, “She is Joan’s daughter, Bryan’s wife, and Thor’s mother…” and I thought, “I am!” And I got so happy it messed up my voice.

Thor and his mother.
Thor and his mother and her fantastic nose contouring.

But the thing that made the biggest impact on me, had nothing to do with me.  It was all these other people!  Friends dropped what they were doing, used up entire days worth of time, spent money on travel, hotel, and food, and came out to see me.  My mother attended both shows, and sat front and center for the second one.  My boys were there.  My friends from a super secret international group of amazing women who say f-ck a lot were there.  And those who couldn’t be present rained love down electronically, all day long.

Sometimes I worry that I might have some narcissistic personality disorder (especially after I count the number of times I use the word “I” in a blog entry), but having that show of support humbled me, and made me feel so grateful that I am pretty sure I have just the normal amount of self-involvement that comes of being an only child.

Linda, me, Amy, and Francine.  Our average length of friendship here is 31 years.  If you can still be friends after having known each other in Junior High, that's saying something.  These ladies are special.
Linda, me, Amy, and Francine. Our average length of friendship here is 31 years. If you can still be friends after having known each other in Junior High, that’s saying something. These ladies are special.

So how do you top a day like LTYM day?  I don’t know.  Me?  I’m sitting here propped up on one hip, waiting for a massive glob of Preparation H to dissolve and breathing through menstrual cramps because…hey.  Nothing says Listen to Your Mother like the hemorrhoids you grew while delivering a baby, and the monthly reminder that at any moment, you too could become someone’s mother.

There are still more Listen To Your Mother shows happening all across America.  See if there is one near you, then go enjoy.  Even my 9-year-old had a good time, and asked me why I hadn’t bought him a ticket for the second show.

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Happy. That about covers it.

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