Sometimes you see a play that makes you want to have a mid-life crisis. For me that play was Mariah MacCarthy’s Mrs. Mayfield’s Fifth-Grade Class of ’93 20-Year Reunion. To get the sense of this play, just imagine your fifth grade compadres. Then imagine them 20 years later, those inadequacies that started to bud in pre-pubescence now in full bloom on a grown-up face. Now imagine how many drinks you would have to consume to get through a night with these people, and you have an idea.
I was the first to leave as soon as the show came down, hurrying to the subway lest my hour and a half plus trip back to south Brooklyn be extended by my own delays in addition to Sunday night MTA lollygagging. I don’t quite know what my mid-life crisis would look like, but after my weekend in Queens I’m ready for one.
Saturday saw us at the home of an old friend. He has a son about the same age as our son, and other old friends with little kids were invited. We all went to high school together, and this was like a mini-reunion follow-up. I almost didn’t make it, because I was traveling solo with C (all the way to Queens, gasp), and after a double dose of skinned knees mixed with water balloons at the park that morning (I know, life is hard), I didn’t feel up for the trek. We pulled it together, along with ample subway snacks, and set off for Queens.
We had a lovely time, C and I, me with some wine and chatting and C with our hosts’ son’s train set, which he then used to whack the other kids in the head. Cue ‘worst mom of the afternoon’ award. I remember something I read a few years ago, I think it was on Kelly Oxford’s twitter or something, and the gist was: that look on the face of toddler’s parents, when they realize, with certainty and for the first time, that there are no days off. Well that was the look on my face this weekend. Don’t get me wrong, C is great, and we’ve basically been honey mooning since 2010, but this weekend I was up for some non-mom time.
So I took it, I went to a play on Sunday night. After sitting with Mrs. Mayfield’s former 5th grade class, and watching them live it out, I realized: sometimes I just want to get drunk and go crazy. It’s not that I can’t do it, there’s nothing preventing me from doing it, except I don’t want to face the aftermath, the fallout, the disappointed look in my son’s eyes when I would inevitably wake up more ready to sleep it off than to play. Mrs. Mayfield’s was about that disconnect between who you are and who you expected to be, trying not to beat yourself up with regrets, trying to take advantage of the opportunities right in front of you.
Sometimes, when you grow-up, you have to remind yourself that you’re still in there. Thanks Mrs. Mayfield’s, I’m still here.