Monday, April 28, 2014

Pride and Princesses Etiquette chapter 21

Chapter 21


    After the final dates that night, we consolidated the diary, even adding Trey’s interlude with the snooty Missy. Both Mouche and I made a note that we had broken one of our vital rules regarding last minute invites, “always make sure the boy gives you advance notice of a date, otherwise he will just take you for granted. Plus, you need at least a few days to get ready, be prepared and look your best.”

   That was one rule, even if it was in the interests of spontaneity, that wouldn’t be easily broken again. 

   The next day, all the girls gathered after dress rehearsal. The run of Rocco and Julie was terrible; everything that could possibly go wrong did go wrong and I was beginning to think Thom shouldn’t even bother sending a representative from Julliard. Of course, he insisted. (Sometimes you have to let others believe in you even more than you believe in yourself or so it says in “A Girls Guide to Etiquette” - although Mouche disagrees on that one).

    “Besides, a bad dress rehearsal always means a great show,” Peter enthused.

    Backstage, during the run, Mark was mouthing the words as I said them. He’d heard them all more than once and I have to admit I was impressed with the gusto and good humor he suddenly displayed. Mark actually seemed humble in this new light.

    “Almost like Jesus when he was a carpenter,” Brooke noted.

     Even Miss Tartt was a fan (well, obviously, Miss Tartt was a fan). The scene he was lighting for the tech run went something like this:


Julie to the Priest (in confession)

I am in love with different from me. I just don’t know what to do. I have this...potion that will put me to sleep, I’m thinking of pretending to be asleep...forever. When we’ve fooled our families Rocco and I can run away together.


That could create major complications.

Paris walks in


Julie? Why are you crying? Why is my love in tears?

Paris takes Julie aside (stage whisper)

We are to be married on Thursday. Then, all of your father’s money will be mine.


I am so not in love with you.


Is that all you have to confess?


Also, that I love...someone else.

Julie starts to leave, Paris tries to stop her and she slaps him


Ah, shrewish...all that will change after Thursday. Where are you going?


To find Rocco


 Are you on drugs?


    Mark could be heard laughing from the top of the lighting cable at this oh so serious high point in Act Three as Mr Sparks looked on unimpressed. Then I started laughing too. I mean, Mr Sparks was really losing it. The entire third act was laced with lessons about life choices, teen marriage and the perils of alcoholism and drug taking.

    I’m not sure whether the school censors would be letting Mr Sparks get away with it but you had to hand it to him for trying. And, of course, there was Miss Tartt enabling him, glancing lovingly his way and cheering him on. Why is it women help males shine then end up waving on the sidelines like fans? Is that enough for them? Don’t they want to be the driving forces behind their own lives? Or is it just easier to let boys steer the way? The Good Girlfriend Guide states, “Never be jealous of other women. Anger and jealousy are wasted emotions. Find the love in everything and focus on it.

     Always strive to do what’s  right for you without being mean to others – especially other women (because by dividing to conquer, women are busy devaluing other women while men climb the career ladder and let other members of the boys” club in with them).

    If the worst happens and another woman ‘steals’ your man consider placing equal blame on both the man and the woman. Ask yourself why your instinct dictates that you should cut the woman out of your life but consider taking the man back? Is the female somehow more culpable than the male...or is she just less valuable?

    I would never consider men more valuable than women just because the world sometimes views the status quo this way.

    “Phoebe Harris, if you break out of character again I will consider asking Mr Sparks to replace you!” Miss Tartt snapped from the sidelines. She’s working as the prompt today because Jet and Mark are fulfilling other duties.

     Miss Tartt has been unduly mean to me and sometimes even Mouche (her favorite apart from Mark). It has to be said, though, that the woman works hard for Mr Spark’s. Perhaps she needs someone to set her straight. The Mrs Jones Guide wouldn’t do her any harm. I could leave it in her bag anonymously. I will highlight the parts about “not allowing men to use your smarts to make themselves look and sound smarter than they are” and the part about “not feeling so threatened by other females that you have to make life extra hard for them.” After all, helping others has to be good karma.

     When everyone was finishing rehearsals, and after I’d surreptitiously left the Guide just under the flap of Miss Tartt’s faux leather handbag and Mr Sparks had given us “the talk” about how “we have to mean what we say and feel what we mean,” and Mouche and Ethan had found some kind of equilibrium playing a delicate tune in tandem on the upright piano, much to Jet’s obvious displeasure, we all dispersed.

     I saw Miss Love and Mr Frames walking hand in hand towards their car park in the distance from the auditorium windows.

     “That’s true love,” Tory said wistfully as Miss Tartt delegated all the carrying of props to the minions to take backstage. Mouche had gone on ahead with a car stuffed with final costume adjustments. I was the last to lock up. Or so I thought.

    I was thinking about Mrs Robinson’s guide (my favorite) suggesting that “those who can laugh together are made for each other,” Does this mean I could be made for Mark? Or was it Joel or even Trey I laughed with more? I had to admit, even though Joel had been busy dating Ella and Mouche’s cousin in tandem; we did have some amusing moments together.  It was all becoming very confusing as I raced back from my recently fixed car to get the last pages of the Boy-Rating Diary that I’d stupidly left in my make-up box in the dressing rooms.

     Mark was still packing away a lighting cable. I was shocked that he seemed to enjoy his rustic but lonely “menial tasks.”

     We met as I was racing down the stairs and he was walking up them.

     We had to turn on our sides to pass each other, but our bodies touched. It was kind of uncomfortable, but in a good way.

     “Does this mean you’re my girlfriend?” Mark said sarcastically, when we had about one inch of space between us.

     “You wish,” I said, mortified he may have discovered my Boy Rating Diary where I had highlighted the “why girls should stop treating boys like Princes and other girls like minions,” page for Teegan.

    As the secret and real versions had started to merge, along with our animosities, we had all become more curious about each other’s experiences and more willing to share. The more we shared, the more we learnt about the way boys think and the games they play and the more we stopped being total frenemies and embraced what could (almost) be described as “friendship.” Why couldn’t girls be more supportive in real life? Perhaps we just needed a common goal (the greater good) in order to work together.  Imagine how much we’d missed when we were unsupportive of each other. Everything was changing. Boys like Mark and Jet and Joel and Ethan were in for a wild ride.