I had an interesting daydream the other day, nothing mind-bending but it was thought-provoking. Come along with me as I share my would've, should've, could've world!
What do I wish I did in my life? Had the big wedding? No, not particularly. Got a degree at The University of Toledo where I was employed? No, my few credits and our girls graduating is sufficient. Learned to swim? A small maybe. Lost at least 20 pounds? Yes, still!
I was a loved, overprotected only child, who in grade school wrote stories, poems, and took art classes at the museum. In high school I majored in art and was in the drama club, appearing in one-act plays. In our junior play, Men Are Like Streetcars, I waltzed across the stage with an imaginary partner as the curtain opened. I was hooked!
Several years later as a young mother of three girls ages 6, 5 and 3, we made our way into a local production of Gypsy as walkons, with my oldest daughter Lori getting the role of Baby June. Naturally, our daughters discovered their own niches as time passed.
Their mom dabbled in a couple local art classes for fun and one for college credit with Sherry. I took creative writing at UT and yoga classes with DC.
Ah yes, the belly dancing lessons.
After one home demonstration, my husband Denny asked me, "What was that?" My response: "It was a hip roll."
He replied with our Stanfa sarcasm, "Oh, I thought you were having a seizure."
Not long after, Sherry, my friend Barb and I took acting at the Toledo Rep from a wonderful actress/instructor. I found it more intriguing than my oil painting or writing. Our acting teacher saw potential in me, complimented what I did and said I'd be a great Auntie Mame (the famous Rosalind Russell role).
Life and perhaps a lack of confidence in remembering some lines led me away.
Several years flew by and sadly Denny passed on, yet four wonderful grandchildren entered my life. I enjoyed delightful travels and times with family and friends. I wrote several eulogies and poems, but my daughters are the writers and story-tellers now.
Eventually, Sherry and her two boys (then in grade school) and I took acting classes one summer. Wow, I was still smitten!
I've seen many singers, such as Elton, Tony, Rod, Paul, Jimmy Buffet, even Frank back in his day! But the plays and stage productions are where my heart lies. The Phantom in London, Cats in Toronto, Mama Mia in Vegas, The Producers in New York (even Gypsy for my 70th in NYC) were some of my big ones. Florida, Michigan and Ohio have also given me great productions. Our local playhouses are to be remembered as well. In fact, we just saw Denny's cousin, Martin Boyer, locally in Bye Bye Birdie.
Would've, could've, should've... I still have the acting bug in my heart. Does this one dream that stands out above the others make me feel sad after all these years?
No. I'm smiling as I write this, and I feel quite confident and content.
I see the audience through the bright lights, as I walk out slowly and dramatically, entering stage right. I clearly look it, I feel it, I own it and I don't forget one line!
I am Auntie Mame, just as I always knew I could be.
Any dreams you still ponder or wish to fulfill? Any regrets of doing or not doing so? Better yet, in line with my theatrical thoughts, who do you think could play you--or whom would you like to portray--in a stage production or movie?