I was with my kids at a family’s house down the street. It’s one of those perfect situations where we moved in close by and their little girl is my daughter’s age and their little boy is my son’s age and everyone gets along. I really like the mom, she’s super laid back. We were chatting, and she asked me what I had been up to lately. “Well,” I said deeply regretting that she had asked, “A play that I wrote is getting a staged reading this Monday so I’ve been doing prep work for that.” I knew what was coming next. What always comes next….
“You’re a writer? How cool. What’s your play about?”
That’s it. That’s the question I hate to answer. And I don’t hate this question when asked at scene nights, or talking among friends, but when other parents ask me… Especially when our children are playing within ear shot. I used to go for it, “Oh, it’s a play about a sexually charged mom who is thinking of having an affair.” Turns out this answer doesn’t lead to more play dates. And when I spoke with a friend of mine about it, she thought I was insane for ever telling anyone the truth, or the whole truth that is.
I’ve learned to kinda flub my answer. Today I said, “It’s about a mom, and what that can be like for some mom’s.”
“I guess you have to write what you know,” she answered back.
“Yes, I guess you have to,” I agreed.
Now, I realize that she’ll probably never see or read my play so it doesn’t matter what I say, but I wish I could have told her the truth. Because that’s what my play is about. A woman’s sexuality, and how it’s so often ignored or shoved away that is at times has no other venues to release itself. The world demands so much duplicity in women. Be sexual, but not too sexual. Be assertive, but remember who really wears the pants. When I write my bio for the program, I always feel the need to mention that I’m a mom. Now that I have kids, it’s the first thing that I am. It’s interesting that my husband’s bio (he gives lectures on internet things) never mentions his children or wife. Why do I feel the need to?
I’m not blaming anyone for this. I just think it’s time we acknowledge it and figure out how to fix it.
And I also think that you should come out on June 4th for the staged reading of THE FANTASY CLUB. Find out if it’s as scandalous as it sounds!