Monday, June 22, 2009

If hockey be the food of love, play on!

The boys got a quick lesson in irony of situation this weekend.

We were walking in the rain after one of their Play On! road hockey games. As we passed a group of non-hockey kids hanging out by the port-a-potties in the Commons, one girl, about the same age as Jack, stepped away from the pack to express herself. She was clearly making a statement even before opening her potty mouth, although she had so many piercings it's a wonder she could talk at all. Dyed, spiky black hair. Dirty, ripped black clothing. She was a menacing, 100-pound accident looking for a place to happen.

"You're fucking wasting your lives!" she yelled at the boys, as she stamped out her cigarette and spat on the ground.

"That", I said to the boys, "is irony."

They had no idea what I was talking about, and my explanation missed the net, so I am thrilled to see Shakespeare by the Sea is cranking up for another season in Point Pleasant Park. I'm embarrassed to say I have never been. It's one of those situations where you never fully explore your own backyard. Jack and I have been to the Globe Theatre in London, twice, but never to a performance right down the road.

I plan to change all that, as I see they are doing Macbeth. And, at least this summer, if you don't like the play, you can scoop some plastic tampon applicators off the beach and hurl them at the stage.

I am determined to go because Jack studied Macbeth in school this year, only they didn't read the play. Or act out any scenes. I think I've mentioned this before but it still has me frothing at the mouth. The teacher told them Shakespeare wasn't meant to be read, messing with their already foggy 13-year old heads for any future Shakespeare assignments. They watched the movie and the cartoon instead.

But, never mind. That chapter of his education is over. He made the Honour Roll somehow, and I hope to instill in him the love of Shakespeare. Or, get him to appreciate the language. Or, at least get him to like it. A tiny bit. Oh, hell, keep him awake during a performance in the park.

The one-act play, performed by the lovely, young lady in the park this weekend gave the boys a chuckle. But her soliloquy had all the makings of a drama, not a comedy. A tragedy even. Where the hell were her parents on Father's Day?

Shakespeare by the Sea is also doing Love's Labour's Lost and Jack and the Beanstalk. Maybe we'll start there. A haggard single mom with a limited wardrobe trying to make a living in a recession, all the while raising a boy. At least the plot will be easy to follow.

So as I play on, searching for my golden egg this rainy Monday morning, I realize being Jack's parent makes my life far from being a waste. It makes me the richest woman in the world.

How fucking ironic.

Shakespeare by the Sea opens July 1st in Point Pleasant Park.
The 2009 schedule is online at