Monday, July 22, 2013


The year is 1991 and I've just finished my performance in the worst play ever written, which was the fall play at my high school that year. I'll let the playwright off the hook by mentioning neither his name nor the title of the piece, but it was a real, published play that was produced at my high school at least twice and presumably elsewhere, and it was terrible, and should never see the light of day again.

However, I had done my best and was back stage getting ready to change out of my costume and hang it up for the next night's performance when I felt my dad's hand clamp down on my shoulder.

"Oh, hi dad!" I said, as I turned to see my mom walk up behind him. "Just give me a minute to change and then I'll be right back to give you both a proper hug."


I was confused. This wasn't Broadway. They hadn't travelled miles to see my opening night. It was high school. I still lived at home. We had eaten dinner together before the show and were going home in the same car shortly. Or maybe out for ice cream. A few minutes to change was hardly an unreasonable request, especially since a hug might wrinkle my costume. And he still hadn't let go of my shoulder.

"Are you engaged?"

"Um. No."

"Okay. Go change. We'll talk about this later."

Earlier that night:

My parents were waiting for the play to start and they ran into a neighbor they hadn't seen in a long time.

"Congratulations," she said. "I hear Xanny got engaged!"

"No, no," my mom replied. "She got accepted to college early decision."

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