What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Friday: Green living.

02 February 2017

Friends 'Til the Curtain Call

I feel a bit funny writing about friendship when I don't really have friends here yet. I have coworkers who are lovely, wonderful people, and maybe I've found the church that's right for me and they'll be friends someday soon, but in the meantime... all my friends are online.

In particular, they're mostly on Facebook, which is unfortunate because I've been avoiding that particular pit of crazy. Thank goodness for Twitter friends (many of whom are also real-life friends, of course, even though we've scattered ourselves all over the globe) and for the fictional friendships I can enjoy and fret over.

So I've been thinking about another fictional friendship that was torn apart, not by evil intent like last week's Much Ado gents, but by (perhaps misapplied) good will. In It Shoulda Been You, we meet up with the gang after best friends Marty and Jenny have been estranged for a while.

It all went down like this: they grew up together, along with Jenny's younger sister, Rebecca. Rebecca and Marty even dated for a while, after Jenny went off to college and left them both behind. But eventually Marty discovered a secret that Rebecca asked him to keep, and Marty knew he couldn't trust himself not to tell Jenny, his best friend, if he kept in contact with her. So, to keep his promise to Rebecca, he dropped out of Jenny's life. Without another word. Without telling her why. And Jenny is understandably upset about this when the friends finally reunite onstage.

Marty (Josh Grisetti) & Jenny (Lisa Howard)
rehearsing the reunion song, "Who."
Which is delightful and ends in forgiveness.
Source: Broadway.com.
So here's the thing that's bothered me about this ever since I saw the show: did Rebecca know how big of a sacrifice she was asking Marty to make? Did she think about what it would do to her sister to lose her best friend so suddenly? Did she even notice the effect she'd had on them? Neither character blamed Rebecca for this, by the way, although perhaps they should have. Instead, they mended their friendship between them, rather spectacularly well.

It was (probably) not with ulterior motive that Rebecca asked Marty to be silent. It was (most likely) with the best of intentions that he agreed. And despite her harsh words at their meeting, Jenny was faithful in holding onto hope that their friendship might return someday. (She still has him on speed dial.)

As with Much Ado, it's a friendship that was nearly ruined by someone else's actions. Unlike real-life friends, fictional friends have the benefit of structured time--everything has to be wrapped up by curtain call. Of course, in real life, too, we're also running out of time, with the added twist that we don't know when our curtain call will be. I can say, without giving anyone away, that I know some folks who woke up with regret on February 19, 2015, for having not mended a rift with Chadwick before it was too late. And there's nothing that can be done about that now.

That's as close as I'm going to get to saying the obvious thing, but please do consider the obvious thing just in case. Here's the second-most-obvious thing: it's not good to be the one who steps in between people. Goodness knows life is messy and screwing up is human, but to cause intentional turmoil in others' relationships, even without ulterior motive, is to invite trouble into many lives. Deal gently with other people's hearts and minds and emotions. Tread carefully before you cause a crack. You don't know if there's enough time to mend it before the curtain call, and it would be pretty lousy to face the afterlife audience as the villain.

(I sadded everything up again, didn't I? I wasn't planning to go that way, but spontaneous sad seems to happen whenever my fingers meet a keyboard. Maybe this is who I am now.)

3 comments:

Sharlan Proper said...

Sometimes truth is sad.
I never thought about the widow having to receive mourners who waited too long to reconcile. Yuck.
For a moment I thought the theatrical blog had morphed into a real-time application with Jenny and Rebecca, but there was no Billy, so I got back on track. 😜

Su Wilcox said...

Ha! Well, my Jennie & Bekah are spelled differently. And this is so not Billy's kind of musical--he might be offended at me dragging him into it.

Su Wilcox said...

Incidentally, if I have to choose? I'd rather be the widow saying, "There, there," than the one having to live with the regret. I'm on the easy side of this one.

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