This morning while I was in the shower, I kept thinking about my birthday weekend. You know, quite often, it sucks - but that's due to timing and money and usually I don't mind, although there have been a few times I have wondered what my life was coming to.
This past Saturday Bill and I had had plans to attend a one woman play called Shirley Valentine, which was adapted into a movie in 1989, and has been a favourite of mine since I caught it on late night TV in the early nineties. I bought in on VHS first, then later on DVD, and when I saw that the play was local and the tickets were only $12, I really wanted to go.
On Friday afternoon, there was still hope that Bill could take me, but by Friday evening he knew that he'd be lucky to make it home by Sunday night and I had to decide what I was going to do. I thought, why not go by yourself? Bill might have liked it, but you're the one that really wants to see it. So I got ready, and after I dropped Em off at her sleepover, I drove down to the venue.
This is where my birthday took a nice turn. I was hoping the venue would accept debit, but they didn't, and when the older lady asked if I had a cheque I knew I might have to leave to get some cash, but didn't really want to because I'd miss the first half hour. In the first few seconds, when I was thinking I might not be able to see this play, the lady says, you know, I have been saving a ticket for someone who hasn't arrived, and I doubt they will. You can have it. We're sitting along the back, if you don't mind...
She was so kind. I said my thanks and told her it was my birthday, and she beamed and showed me where to sit. During the intermission we chatted about the movie, and she brought me a bottle of water and some munchies. I really enjoyed the whole thing, but there is one passage in the play (and the movie) that gets to me every single time. If you've seen it, you'll know how pivotal it really is. I think of it as an unused life, and it's the scene where Shirley finally decides (after going back and forth, back and forth) that she will accept the offer of a free trip to Greece with her best mate Jane. Here's the scene:
"I have led such a little life, I have allowed myself to lead this little life when inside there is so much more. And it has all gone unused, and now it never will be. Why do we get all these feelings and dreams and hopes if we don't ever use them? That is how Shirley Valentine disappeared, she got lost in all this unused life."
It was so profound, and made me cherish this life I've led. I might have been a waitress or a retail manager, a mother, and a wife, and I might have had some hard times and spent some time just being, but I haven't allowed myself to disappear.
Anyway, when the lights finally went up, my heart was full and I followed the little older lady out into the foyer. As I shook her hand and thanked her, she wished me a good year.
So far, so good.