Friday, January 16, 2009

Second Opinion?

After ejecting a third (and nearly ten pound) baby, the Matronly uterus kicked up its heels and landed, slam dunk, on top of her bladder. Cozy!

The Matron would be fine with this coupling if not for the inability of said bladder to go for more than . . . . oh-let-her-think . . . . 90 SECONDS without sending its owner this message: Matron! Empty me now or I will let go myself, right here!

Presenting this problem to her fine family physician, the Matron was sent to an OB-GYN so young the Matron wondered if she could be legally married. Dr. Youngster sent the Matron to yet another clinic specializing in an ancient form of aerobic activity called: urodynamics.

Two charming little old ladies,a pleasant and disorienting mish-mash of Thelma & Louise combined with Lucy & Ethel, led the Matron through that delicate dance. Nothing like an hour with a cathater and company! (if she were still single and dating, the Matron thinks she quite could not make herself more attractive!)

A dutiful patient, the Matron followed up with Dr. Youngster, who must have been busy with her Leggos because she was 45 minutes late. She studied the urodynamic data with her adorable, toddler-like lips pursed to help her concentrate. The Matron nearly handed her a pencil to chew on.

Youngster: "So you have stress incontinence! We're going to take a little piece of mesh, like a hammock! And we take this little hammock and just liiiiiiiiiift one of those big pesky bladder muscles up a bit, just to keep it firmer. It's a day surgery. Zip, zip. In, out."

Matron: "Stress incontinence? But that's not my problem. I'm not leaking pee -- I just feel like have to pee every five minutes."

Puzzled, Youngster quickly returns to the troublesome peice of paper. "Okay! Oh, right! Sure. So you'll have a hysterectomy, which will totally remove the uterus. That's a bigger surgery, like an overnight! We might as well take out those old ovaries while we're in there. Just eliminate the risk of overian cancer! Get it all out, right?"

Matron: "But I don't have any history of ovarian cancer. Are you sure that a hysterecomtomy changes the whole 'get thee to a toilet' thing anyway?"

Youngster casts a hesitant and uncertain glance at the mysterious urodynamic test results. "Uh, yes. But you know, we could also just put that hammock under your bladder while we're in there. Uterus, ovaries, hammock. Boom. Or just the hysterecotomy. Maybe with the ovaries, maybe not. But I don't think we should do the hammock first. Or at all. But if we do, let's get rid of those ovaries!"

And with that wise dispatch, Youngster crossed her legs and gave the Matron a great big encouraging smile!

Youngster: "Any questions?"


Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Sedentary Type

The Matron's brain cells have been shocked into an official frost-bitten funk. The temperature? Has not risen above zero since Monday. Check your calendars, people. Tomorrow, she wakes to the second -25 below day a in a row. Now you know what "When Hell freezes over means."

She curses her ancestors who settled here? Daily.


And get an airplane?

She doesn't think so. Passive aggression has served her well for, lo, these many decades. She thinks she'll just mutter and curse.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

More Reviews

The Matron knew this would happen. A critic compared her daughter to the first local Helen and found the former, well (couched and polite, but there) better. One more important (in these parts) review appeared, in MinnPost (if you live here and aren't family -- a great resource!).

Because she's tidy, here's the earlier review. She'll put more on this post as/if they appear, so check back if you're following Stage Mother (hiss, hiss!).

Mostly, the Matron is amazed that any ten-year old psyche can stand the scrutiny.

Speaking of scrutiny, last night, the Matron was instructed to never again praise her daughter for her acting acumen. Here's how that went.

So she saw the last ten minutes of the show again, when she went to pick up her daughter. The Matron cried along with everybody else. She thought Scarlett even better than opening night.


Matron: "You were just terrific, honey. I'm so proud of you."

Scarlett: "Mom, will you please stop praising me for acting."

Matron: "Why?"

Scarlett: "Well, when I brush my teeth or comb my hair, nobody says 'great job brushing your teeeth' or 'I'm so proud that you combed your hair.' Acting is like that. It's just one of the things that I have to do. Like homework."

Matron: "You mean acting is something so ordinary for you that we should treat it as totally normal, like going to school or taking a shower?"

Scarlett: "Yes! Most shows aren't a big fuss and I don't want this one to be, either. Or Ramona."

Okay, then.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Helen Keller Didn't Suck

Last night (not Friday -- blame Blogger) was opening night of The Miracle Worker.

All afternoon, Scarlett worked on perfecting her poupourie of gifts for cast members, mostly handmade.

Because she's been busy with her own life and the feedback had been good, the Matron had not much fretted about Scarlett's actual performance. Yes, a fret here and there, but the thought was random.

Yesterday, that fear finally found her and settled into her chest for the entire day. All the Matron desired was this: "Please God don't let her be terrible. Don't have reviewers saying unkind things about her! Don't let her sunny, carefree, confident spirit suffer! Please don't let her do a bad job!"

The Matron does not even BELIEVE in God (or, well, maybe), but she sent out that mantra just the same. She didn't even care if Helen Keller was just competent or just okay. The main thing was not to suck.

At home, the Matron paced and fretted through dinner. Scarlett laid on the couch and chatted with Grandma Mary, the picture of poise. Indeed, she was more concerned with the precise packaging of those presents and the process of handing out, than the actual performance.

Still, she told the Matron that they were to leave the house at 6:07. On the nose. Because she wanted to be on the set checking props between 6:20 and 6:25. And she stood up at 6:03 and said, "Mom, aren't you ready?"

The drive to this theatre is 5 minutes. Actually, John holds the record for the best time and that is 4 minutes and 41 seconds (almost beat you today, sweetie). Payback for those trips to Wisconsin!

So the Matron fretted and paced and felt the demons in her belly. No, she even passed on that glass of wine in the lobby. She didn't want alcohol to numb her from genuinely acknowledging the suckification, should it occur. She needed to be completely in control of her senses.

And so the show opened.

The Matron held her breath as her daughter lunged, heaved, howled and crawled. She gasped during the food fight when Annie lifted Helen, time and again, and threw her onto a chair Every night, Scarlett comes home with bruises, cuts and scrapes. Yesterday? Four long ugly slivers and a new bruise. It's real, people. Scarlett's Helen is supposed to be a thinker -- happy to trick, happy to run, eager to fool--and the Matron thought that came out. She seemed smart.

As the lights went up at intermission, John beamed. Whew. But not the Matron. She is completely 100% subjective and utterly unreliable. She thought her daughter? For sure, did not suck. Good? Who knew. She was way to invested. But others?

The line in the ladies room told all. The buzz? Everybody's loving the show. But when a friend of Scarlett's runs up to the Matron and says: "Mary! Isn't Scarlett doing an incredible job!" all the ladies in line realize Stage Mother in their midst. Those dear women SHOWER the Matron with praise for her daughter.

Thus fortified (and soon, relieved, you know, that whole peeing every five minutes thing!), she had a glass of wine and thoroughly enjoyed Act 11.

The first review came in at Art Examiner. Whew!!

As the lights dimmed on the show, a few people stood up and cheered! And when Helen and Annie came running out, every single person instantly rose as one. Standing ovation.

Thank you, God-Buddha-Allah-Oprah. And she means it.