Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Parent/Family Weekend! YAY!

So, my father and his wife have decided that they want to show up at Parent/Family weekend. At first, I nixed the idea; told them a lie, promised them Thanksgiving weekend. However, with the prospect of unpaid tuition for next semester looming over my head, I'm worried that I won't have the money that I need to pay for it. On top of that, I'm headed to California for Christmas break, and I need to pay for my third of the gas. So, when my employer from back home called me up to tell me that they wanted me for the holidaze, I told her I would check into what I could do with my employer down here. I found out that the old woman's daughter is planning on coming the two weeks after the old woman's son leaves, so I committed to going home and working for a week and a half after Christmas before school starts up again. I found out that the time frame I gave them wasn't what they were looking/hoping for from me. I basically did the unthinkable. I called my father up, told another lie to get out of my first lie, and invited him to Parent/Family weekend, hoping he would say yes and dreading it at the same time. Well, he called me up yesterday, saying yes we are coming. When I found out he's coming on the day I told him I had plans, I reminded him that I have plans set for that night. My plans consist of Opening Night of the show that is being performed at my school, the gala that follows, and the fucking awesome cast party that follows the gala. Every Opening Night is a welcome break from the hectic aspects of showbiz. Anyway, when I reminded him of my plans, he asked what they were and I, of course, told the edited version of just the Opening Night performance and the gala that follows (the UN-boozy part of the evening, since I'm sure my fake parentals don't endorse underage drinking (I use the term fake applied to my father to establish the fact that my step-dad has been more of a father to me than my biological father, but somehow my biological father seems to crave being rejected and abused in retribution for all the shit he gave me in my late elementary years and teens)). Well, after we hung up, he called back. He called back to ask if I could get him tickets to this performance. Without even knowing what the performance was. Without understanding the content. Let me back up and give you some of my history with this man, his wife, and his spawn. I designed for the show The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, and it was my first design job EVER, so I invited them for a night so they could see the work I had done. Let me just say right now that the experience was not only patronizing, but also very embarrassing. We get there and sit down, and my step-mother calls her uncle to come watch with us because 1.) it's a comedy, 2.) it's being performed by a Catholic high school (this earned major props from my father, the devout Catholic who says "God bless you," not only when someone sneezes, but also every single fucking day for a number of reasons), and 3.) J.A. (that's me) "helped with the design". Okay. MAJOR ISSUE. I pointed out that I did not "help" with the design, I did the designing. What they saw onstage was the product of ideas that came out of MY head. They were MY ideas. I did not HELP. I did the designing and someone helped me. So she corrected her speech. This is one of the many reasons that my "parents" don't get me. They don't understand why I'm a theatre major, they don't understand why I do this, or why I want to do this for a living. I want to do this for a living because I believe that I could be damn good at it. And they don't get it. Not one bit. While she was being all kinds of patronizing, my father was schmoozing on every parent in the audience that he could get his claws into, making connections, and asking about the school. The production finally started so it could shut both of them up, and they watched, but half the times that they were supposed to laugh, I felt like there should have been a flashing "Laugh" sign, like they have in the studios for sitcoms, or when a sitcom implements a laugh track to get people to understand that what people are saying are jokes. Or even a fucking claque from Shakespeare's time, the people who sat in the audience and laughed when they were supposed to, or cried when they were supposed to, or cheered when they were supposed to, ect. So, I acted as a miniature claque, laughing when the parts were funny, and they kind of blindly stumbled their laughs along behind me, all the while, not controlling their little hellions, whom we might refer to as children, who they seem to keep quiet and still in church, but can't teach proper theatre etiquette. Their spawn ran around in the back of the auditorium making all sorts of noise and drawing the attention of the other parents there. It was disastrous, and I asked them to please control their children and make them behave, but they wouldn't and kept saying that it was fine, even when I pointed out that little B.A. was sitting right in the middle of one of the actors' entrances. This whole event was very embarrassing, and needless to say, I learned a lesson about where I could and could not take my family. Theatre events fall under the "could not" section. To top it all off, the end of the Victorian era satire takes a funny turn when they find out that Jack's real name is Ernest, like he was saying all along, and now he could marry his love, Gwendolyn, who would only marry a man named Ernest, who also happened to be his cousin when all was found out about his adoption. And through all the hilarity of confusion, my stepmother, who is about as bright as a 4-watt light bulb, could only focus on the fact that Ernest, even though he was raised in a different family, was going to marry his cousin. A fail worthy of a *facepalm*.

Needless to say, when my father asked for tickets, I told him that I can't get free tickets, and that if he wants them, he's going to have to look up on the internet where to reserve them because I don't have a clue, I'm just going to rush house and stand in the back. It's outside so there's really no way of controlling who watches and who doesn't. Anyway, I then explained that he didn't even know what it was about, and then told him the basic plot that Antigone buries her dead brother against a degree that declares death to anyone who does, and is therefore prosecuted when she's caught, and sentenced to death, and then on top of all that, when she is sentenced to death, her betrothed commits suicide, and when the betrothed commits suicide, his mother commits suicide because her son was driven to commit suicide, and it all ends in the despair of the father and king of Thebes, Creon. The fact that they didn't know the plotline for either of these plays just illustrates that they aren't cultured in the slightest, and that they're ignorant. I can't even imagine what my stepmother would say about the all female cast, and the idea of females playing males, and the implications of lesbianism, even though that isn't at all the concept the director had in mind. After I explained this and he still wasn't dissuaded, I explained the real reason I didn't want them to come: they embarrass me. I blamed it on the kids, and not their ignorance, but those brats are seven and eight. They should know better. They've been to the movies. I told him that I didn't want him to come unless he could control them, because it was outside with plenty of room to run around, but that wasn't acceptable behavior for a theatre production. And not only that, but I can guarantee that those kids would end up running around because they would get bored with the long winded speeches and the non-existent movement. He asked what that meant, and I told him that the actors stood around and spoke in translated ancient Greek. He was very obviously pissed off, but I couldn't say anything but what I had already said because he wouldn't have let it go, and I need him to not fight me when it comes to the court order of him paying my tuition. So he said "we'll see" and then we wished each other good bye. But yes, he's coming, and after he comes and goes, I'm going to explain to him that I saw him recently and that I have the opportunity to make money for school over Thanksgiving. I already know it won't go over well, so I plan to be ready for the fight that will ensue, because by then, he will see straight through my two lies for dissuading them and then inviting them, just to get out of the Thanksgiving that I already promised for several reasons. The first being that I can't stand them for more than a day at a time, and if I went for Thanksgiving, I would be subjecting myself to five days of torture, as opposed to two and a half, if that. Genius plan for getting my dad to hate me that I came up with several years ago isn't working so far, so I have to keep coming up with new ideas, and I suppose this is just the latest.