***Really hoping this post doesn’t completely reveal my identity***
I teach at a public high school, and every so often I’m asked to help out with playing the piano. I should have said no this year, as the demands of my teaching and grading load are so great that some days I wonder how I’m managing to get out of bed in the morning. But I said yes, mostly because my friend is the pit conductor, and because I love performing, and because any chance to sharpen my piano skills is something good for me.
But I wish we were doing a different musical.
We’re doing “Once On This Island,” the tale of a girl who prays to the gods to show her what her life should be like. And when a storm causes a cute boy to crash his car right outside the young girl’s village, she takes it as a sign that she is to be his keeper, protector, and lover.
What she doesn’t realize is that love (but really, it's more like obsession--think Ariel/Eric from The Little Mermaid) doesn’t really get her all that far, as the cute boy is engaged to a suitable girl within his social class. He invites the protagonist to remain his mistress, but he cannot marry her. She cannot abide his offer, thinking that her love for him will eventually overcome the social pressures.
I’m not going to spoil it, but it doesn’t end well.
As we’ve been in tech rehearsals all week and I’ve had to play the show several times, I’m often reminded of my own struggles. I’m no closer to any solutions for my concerns. But hearing lines like “Some girls you marry, some you love” over and over is wreaking a little bit of havoc on my self-esteem, my emotional well-being, and my faith.
I’m trying to have faith, trying to believe, trying to live a good life, all the while hoping that one day I will be blessed with a spouse. But does there ever come a point where hope becomes desperation? Where hope becomes pathetic? I honestly don’t know--or is my constant hope just a manifestation of my faith that even if I have to wait until I am 60, I will meet a sweet, funny, loving man who will forgive all my faults and physical shortcomings and love me?
(Though at 60, I’m hoping the men are a little less picky about height, weight, and overall beauty.)
I don’t know what the answer is.
But I’ve learned one thing from this year’s musical: if I’m asked to play again, I’ll wait to say yes until I’ve read the show.