Since shortly after we were married, my husband has been taking me to live theatre performances. I am not talking the $100/seat professional performances in large cities, but the amateur plays that are put on several times each year in the high schools and theatre in town.
While crowds are often such a challenge for me, that I prefer to stay home almost exclusively, I will make exceptions for events such as these. Yes, the crowds still cause me a lot of discomfort, but for this experience, it is often worth it. It does help that most people clean themselves up a bit to attend the show (so it is unlikely someone close to me will smell bad – a real issue for me) and that they tend to move in the same direction as I am going, for the most part – so I don’t feel herded against my will.
I do still feel unsettled being close to so many people, but work hard to block them out so that I can enjoy the performance. Afterward, I am often tired – exhausted even – but thankful that I was given the opportunity of the experience.
When my husband was working at the church, he had a lot of connections, and seemed to know everything that was happening in town. In those days it seemed he had something for us to attend several times a month. Of course, those were in the days we were dating, and in the early years of our marriage, so it could have just been for that reason that he was making such an effort to find things for us to do, but it sure was a lot of fun.
I saw my first productions of performances such as Our Town, Anne of Green Gables, Les Miserables, and Man of La Mancha with my husband, and enjoyed the latter two so much that they became my all time favourite movies afterward as well.
When we had our foster children (my therapist wants me to try to separate them from thoughts of being my own children, as that was the ministry’s position at the time of removal, and she thinks it might help me to heal – though I have not been successful with that distinction in the past) we weren’t able to get out as much. It was much more difficult, and a lot more expensive, to get babysitters for the younger three, than it had been for my older boy, though he was living with undiagnosed Asperger’s at the time.
After my children were moved, I didn’t want to go anywhere for a number of years. I didn’t want to go into town. I didn’t want to be seen. I rarely enjoyed those times we did go out. Those were some dark times in my life, and my marriage was highly strained as a result.
Now, however, he has started to take me out once more, and I have been really enjoying it.
Last night we went to an audience participation dress rehearsal – meaning we got in free, as they checked for our reactions. It was a good deal for us, especially with our current financial situation.
It was a comedy – which meant that for the most part, as the audience erupted frequently into laughter, I sat silent. Many times I didn’t get the joke. At others, I just didn’t find it all that funny. There were parts of the play that were… questionable, and I didn’t like that. However, all in all, there was a really good story line, and it was interesting to see the pieces come together.
I think that although I didn’t enjoy it the same as the rest of the audience, I probably enjoyed it as much, and was very glad that my husband decided to take me to the show.