Friday, August 25, 2006

Karma Comedian

Back in the days before The Boy, The Husband and I would do the occasional show together. Theatre is something we both love, and it's what brought us together. In fact, a running joke in our household stems from one of these rehearsals. I was standing backstage watching The Husband perform the Dentist song from Little Shop of Horrors, and one of the chorus people came up to me and said, "You are so lucky to have him. You must laugh all day long!"

My first thought was: "Yes, I am. Yes, I do!"

My second thought was: "You're nuts! Nobody laughs all day long." (I didn't marry a clown, after all. I hope.)

My third - and more typically selfish - thought was: "Hey, isn't he lucky to have me, too? Aren't I funny??"

One of my many Theories is that every good marriage functions like a good comedic team. The only problem with this arrangement is that someone has to play The Straight Man. The Straight Man is defined by Wikipedia as "reasonable and serious", and the other partner is defined as "funny, unintelligent, or simply unorthodox". In our household, The Husband is the funny one, and I play the Straight Man (well, Straight Woman, technically). I am Laurel to his Hardy, Abbott to his Costello, and, yes, even Skipper to his Gilligan.

Anyone who knows anything about playing for comedy, knows that the Straight Man is the harder role. They take the pokes in the eye, the pies in the face, and every other disaster that comes along, with a calm demeanour, and sarcastic comment or two. They also usually get paid more, because it's tough to find a good comedian who is willing to be referred to as "that Other one" for the rest of their lives. And it does take a good (dare I say great?) comedian to play the Straight Man. Just because you're the Straight Man does not mean that you are not funny.

Still, it never ceases to amaze me that when I go out with friends - sans The Husband - that I am the "funny one". It's a good feeling. A natural high. It's addictive. So it begs the question - why I am willing to be the Straight Man when it comes to my spouse? I'm willing to be the Straight Man because I choose to be the Straight Man. Because it's funny. Because it works. Because I believe The Husband would do the same for me were our roles reversed. I concede that The Husband is, quite simply, better at being "the funny one" than I am. More memorable. More interesting. And I am better at being the comic foil.

I guess my greatest aspiration with regards to this situation is to achieve the kind of relationship that George Burns and Gracie Allen had. In the beginning, Burns played the funny role and Gracie the comic foil, until they noticed that the audience was laughing more at Gracie, so they switched roles. And both credited each other for their success, to the end. Because they knew that while good comedians abound, good comedic teams are truly rare. And they go down in history.

Say goodnight, Gracie.

Friday, August 18, 2006

There's gonna be some Rocking...

Ok, so I'm feeling very Lindsay Lohan as I write this (the early-days-innocent Lohan, not the promiscuous-anorexic Lohan -- get your mind out of the gutter!) when she kept an online journal and was always apologizing for the long delay between posts. It's been a long time since my first post because I was trying to improve the look of the blog. As someone who has trouble editing word documents sometimes, editing HTML is a whole other world. I wouldn't say it's 'perfect', but it will do for now. So on to my post...

The truth. When you are pregnant for the first time, nobody tells you the truth. Maybe they blocked everything else out, and only remember the sweet seven-pound-two-ounce baby who fit in the crook of your arm. Maybe they think that it's too late because you're already pregnant, and don't want to hear it. Maybe they actually liked being a first-time parent in the early baby days. Yeah, right. Maybe that bowl of Baskin Robbins Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream I just ate won't end up on my hips... Nobody likes feeling like an idiot because they don't know why the baby is crying. Nobody likes being woken up repeatedly throughout the night. Nobody likes changing diapers - and outfits - filled to brim with neon green poo (who knew that poo came in colours...that is, other than shades of brown??). And certainly, nobody likes spending every waking hour in a constant state of panic, worry, and stress. (And who knew using Italics could be so fun!). Everybody has a different first-time experience, I know, but some things are universal.

Maybe my heart is two sizes too small, Mrs Grinch, but having a new baby is HARD WORK. It's HARD. It's just plain HARD...(yes, I am still talking about babies, you sicko...yeesh!). And part of what makes having a baby such hard work is that the work is just so relentless. I thought I was a person who didn't need much sleep. I thought I was a person who was used to working away in the trenches. I thought it would be hard, but nothing that I couldn't handle. I was wrong. Wrong. Wrong. And wrong again. Obviously, I survived. I'm still here. The Boy is still here. The Husband is still here. We all survived, thank goodness. But, man, it was touch and go for a while.

The curious thing is, I don't think that I'm alone in feeling this way. But no new Mommy I talked to wanted to admit the truth that we are all afraid to say: It's not fun. There it is. I wrote it for everyone to see, and now you can pass judgment. I am a Bad Mother. Everyone I talked to about the chaos at home was like "oh, he/she is just having a hard time, but I love him/her so much that...". Well, of course you love your baby - nobody's questioning that. Don't think for a second that I don't love the Boy with every breath I take. He is my pride and joy - my beautiful, wonderful Boy. But you are allowed to say it's hard, it's stressful and it's not much fun right now.

I guess the thing that sees you through the early days is that the Good Stuff is so very, VERY good. The sweet, hazy smiles. The tiny hand that rests softly on your chest as He drinks. The peaceful sleeping face of a little person who feels that you make a very good pillow. That's Good Stuff. And worth all the chaos. And it only gets better, my friend...