Wednesday, January 30, 2008

And this too shall pass. . .

Why must people, even those you consider friends, be so cruel and uncaring at times? Today was going really well. I got another 'day off' with friends and lunch at Cafe Rio followed by shopping at Rustic Hutch (my fav) and 2 different Micheals (who could resist?). We laughed a lot, shared secrets and really bonded. I can't explain how great! After returning I taught 2 voice lessons and 5 piano lessons, had a dinner break and then taught a make-up lesson for one of my prize students who is leaving in the morning for her graduate program auditions in Chicago. (Harvard - here she comes!) Afterwhich I headed to rehearsal for the show I'm music directing (Singin' in the Rain) and was excited to see the show run from start to finish. It's technically called a 'crawl thru' and it's when all the blocking, choreography, props, set pieces are pulled together and we try to have everyone off-book. They have now run the show a couple nights prior and it's really coming along. There are some concerns, as in any show, but they will work themselves out with commitment from the cast and outside practice.
After the rehearsal, 3 cast members, myself, the director and our stage manager stuck around to chat. I should inform you that the director and the stage manager are partners (gay men). I truly can say I care for them and their sexual orientation is not an issue with me. I am around it all the time with theatre (yes, I've had to kiss a few on stage numerous times!) and I'm used to them talking to me about anything, having them help me with costume changes, help me with my hair or eyelashes or anything of the sort. I consider them some of my best friends and although I can't condone what they live - I can't condemn them either. I love them for who they are and they know who I am and I'm very clear about it. I've done theatre all over the southwest (yes, I was cast in Les Miserable before Geoff and I got married - the southwest tour as Fantine - but turned it down to marry my love) and as of late I've made my home at Hale theatre in Gilbert. It is LDS-owned and I love working there and having Sundays off (most local theatre has Sunday rehearsals and shows) and not worrying about being asked to do or say anything uncomfortable. Even though the director is gay and I am a married Mormon, we work great together and produce incredible shows! We have had some great discussions in which I question him about his lifestyle and beliefs and he asks every question in the book of me! We have teased and laughed. I consider myself a pretty liberal Mormon and can laugh with the best of them about the 'typical' Mormon jokes. I know we are a 'peculiar people' and. come on, admit it - some of the jokes are hilarious and TRUE! He asks me when I'm going to bring refreshments to rehearsal and if there will be green jello and red punch. Yes, he can get a little crass at times and I just try to overlook it or ignore it. And I'll be the first to say that he could definately be taken offensively if you didn't understand that he is joking but he still appreciates people for who they are.
Tonight was a different story! The conversation started to turn and get a little ugly when the politics and of course, Mitt, came into the picture. I NEVER discuss politics! Only with family and even then, carefully. Everyone has their own opinion and I really feel that it is personal. I won't bore you with details of the conversation that I witnessed but I will say it began to get ugly and being the only "adult" Mormon (the other was only 16 and looked worried to say anything), I began to get uncomfortable with the comments. I said, "Be careful." Hoping to warn them that I was beginning to feel the heat. I repeated it again. Then a VERY hurtful thing was said by the stage manager and I was close to tears. At that point, I got up and said, "with that - I'm outta here" and left. I don't think they expected me to leave. I usually just take their crap and deal it right back at them, but tonight it was unfair and just out and out MEAN. I have been preparing this week to go to ward temple night this Saturday and maybe I just was feeling the spirit a little stronger tonight, but I just broke into tears as I got in my van. I immediately received a text from a cast member who apologized and hoped it wasn't him that offended but he just wanted to clarify what he was told. I replied it wasn't him. Then I received another text from the director who asked if it was him. I replied with a "yep" and haven't heard anything since. I hope he understands how offensive he was tonight. I see him in the morning at a board meeting for a new theatre that's opening. I'm unsure what to say or if I should say anything! I don't want it to just go away - I want to tell him I wish in the future he would be more considerate, but I don't want to tense things up before we open this show.We have 2 more weeks of intense rehearsals, tech rehearsals, filming, dress rehearsals, etc. He has been a great friend, confidant, and support for almost 2 years. When we met, we clicked and he has always been respectful, even telling me once "I hope you aren't offended with all my questions, I am just wanting to know and you aren't afraid to answer". I know I can't change who he is, but I was hoping with my example that he would see something better, a closeness to the Savior, if only through me. Maybe I was too lax with the joking in the beginning. Maybe I should have told me at the start not to joke about it. But come on - the green jello? WE even joke about that one!
What would you do? Should I confront him? Should I just let it pass, hoping he understands now that he needs to play it carefully? We have had a great relationship and I'm wanting to work with him again! I guess I'm also a little shocked that he didn't reply back or try calling me to work it out. HELP!!


Lara said...

I typed out a whole huge response and blogger ate it.

First of all...I know stuff like this is hard...sorry you have to deal with it.

I'd think if you're good enough friends that you can just calmly tell him he went too far. There's a difference between green jell-o jokes and whatever it was that he said. I'd probably even relate it to all the gay jokes out there. I'm sure there are several that are innocuous and that they use themselves, but I'm also sure that there are some that go way too far.

Good luck!

Crazymamaof6 said...

wow that is a a hard one. and maybe you should ahve stayed and made them feel bad with you crying. seriously they probably had no clue they were offending you. and be careful doesn't totally express that. they could have taken it that you were worried they were offending other people. yeah you need to have a chat. and say why that is offensive. and maybe next time not let it get to the political chat.change the subject or leave when it starts. they would figure out it isn't your bag and not get into it around you. politics is a hard thing.
and yes you should discuss, because you don't want to burn any bridges,and you guys have a good thing going. so try to fix it without getting walked on. and Lara had a great idea to help him understand where you are coming from. i'm sure he can relate if you put it that way. likening it to gay jokes.
good luck that is not fun!

otherwise great day! shopping! whoohoo and lunch?! fabulous!

Laurie M. said...

Wow, tough night! After such a long relationship you'd think he'd know when to knock it off. Maybe he's embarrassed about offending you. If he doesn't approach you with an apology, you should confront him about it. Could it be that he is just that stupid? He might need you to spell it out for him.

Courtney said...

UGH! It is hard to have good friends that aren't members and who, really, don't respect that you are. Most of that nonrespect is just not understanding or misunderstanding our beliefs! You should never be ashamed or embarrassed to stand up for what you believe it right - and to stand up for what you believe is wrong! It took more guts to walk away from the situation than it would have to just ignore and stay! Good for you! Hang in there, chances are your friend is embarrassed and KNOWS what he said was wrong and uncalled for. More importantly, I'm sure he KNOWS how it hurt you, his friend. If your friendship is as important to him as his is to you...he'll come around - understanding eachother and each other's boundaries are what friendship is all about - keep your chin up!

Cam and Mele said...

I don't know you either:), but when I went onto your site, after reading your comment on mine (which I appreciate so much), I scrolled and for some reason stopped on this post and began to read. I could almost feel the awkwardness and almost betrayal! I think we've all had firneds that have crossed the line, and I agree with all that say, if he's a real friend then you should be able to tell him, and he should WANT you to tell him. If it doesn't work out, at least he will remember you forever as someone standing up for what you believe in, and in this society with everyone just jumping on whatever bandwagon, that is respectable.