Friday, January 1, 2010

My Mother, The Car*

Please believe me when I tell you the following account is completely true.
I have been driving my mother's Toyota Camry since her death in 2001. Not too long after that I was offered a part in a Community Theater production of Nunsense 2. Since my New Year's resolution was to say "yes" to all good things offered me I accepted the part even though
I knew it would be "another growth experience". Two months and a few performances go by. Nan Webber, the director of Theater in the Pines, has cut out the roller skating portion of my part upon seeing me at dress rehearsal wearing a habit and clinging to every piece of scenery I could reach. The first night I did have that dreaded freeze moment where you can't remember your lines and it feels like an hour has passed but it is really only a few moments. Take away the fear of killing myself. Take away my fear of not being able to recover from a mistake onstage.
Now I am loving this! And I am amazed at that.
Heading out to one of the last performances, I decide to try a self help technique I had recently read in a book entitled something like "What To Say when You Talk To Yourself". The book maintains that speaking out loud processes thoughts differently than just running them in your head. In my amazement of how much I am loving this I also realize how much I have missed by letting fear and insecurity rein me in. So from my house to the theater I let it rip in the car to my Mother how angry I am at her critical and destructive style of parenting. I mean, I really let it out! At the parking lot I turn off the car and remove the keys. The car responds with lights flashing, horn blaring and locks flipping from "open" to "lock" furiously. Nothing short of starting the car again stops the cacophony. Turning off the engine results in the same response. Sitting in the car with the engine running I think through my options. I have to be inside the theater pronto. And then I realize what is behind this: my tirade. Out loud I say, "Alright, I'm sorry">
I take out the keys. In silence I walk to the building . It never happened again.
Yesterday I am heading home from errands and notice the odometer as I pull into my driveway. Seeing that literal milestone got me thinking back and realizing how far I had come in many senses of those words.
Blog On!
* Please visit My Mother The Car to read about this weird one season TV wonder. It was like Mr Ed with a car instead of a horse.


judy said...

Happy New Year, Leslie! That is a great story.

Kathleen Dames said...

Great story, Leslie. I'll have to try the talking to myself out loud. Happy new year!

Madeleine B said...


I stumbled upon your blog while looking for information about Theatre in the PInes. Do you know if they are mounting any productions in January? Please post the information below as I am not from the Rockport area but would love to go!


Folly Cove Fiber Freaks said...

Hi Madeleine,
I am happy to tell you what is happening with Nan and Theater in the Pines.
You may reach Nan directly at 978-546-2463.
There is nothing happening to my knowledge until this spring. i am sure Nan would love to speak with you so give her a call if you have a chance.

Susan Boyes, MA, ATR-BC, LPC said...

Hi Leslie,
It's Susan here. Matt and I lived in Veronica's condo about 5 years ago and I remember you telling me this story way back then.
We're in Ann Arbor now. I thought of you today when someone mentioned this group, they are looking for a jeweler to go to India for 2 weeks to teach metalsmithing to survivors of trafficking.

I hope all is well with you! and