Making choices has never been an easy task for me. My husband will ask what I want for dinner and I always reply “it’s up to you, I don’t care” or when we go out for a special occasion I always leave clothes on the bed and have him make the final decision on what I am going to wear. The few choices I have been certain about are marrying him and starting a family.
I graduated with a Masters in Special Education, the “ideal” career for a woman who wants a family. Mid-way through my first year teaching my husband, boyfriend then, was asked to move to London for his job. We knew we wanted to get married so we got engaged, had a civil ceremony and moved across the pond, leaving a job I loved. To keep this short, I’ll just say I have never had more than a year at a school because shortly after moving back to the States I got pregnant. We had talked about starting a family so weren’t trying but weren’t being careful either. It didn’t make sense for me to go back to teaching right away because the salary I was making at a non-profit school was about what a nanny or daycare would cost. Nineteen months after having my first daughter, I gave birth to my second and that’s when I realized I was a full-time stay at home mom. My thoughts at the time: why go to work and teach other children and use almost all of my salary to have someone else teach my children and witness their milestones. Little did I know being a stay-at-home mom would be more challenging than the classroom. Some days I am happy with that decision and other days I feel like being a stay-at-home mom is making me lose my mind. Would I be happy working and not seeing my girls grow? Or being there for them every moment and having those challenging days? Lot’s of “what-if’s” racing through my head…
You might be wondering why I am writing about all of this? Over the weekend I had the opportunity to see Rapture, Blister, Burn at Playwrights Horizons which left me contemplating my choices: should I have chosen a different career, should we have waited to have children, should I have gone back to work because at this point I don’t know if I will ever get a job in a school with my “scattered” and limited experience, is it possible to have it all-a career and a family? Rapture, Blister, Burn, written by Gina Gionfriddo, reunites two friends from graduate school who took opposite paths in life; Gwen (Kellie Overbey) put her degree on hold to start a family with Don (Lee Tergesen) while her roommate Catherine (Amy Brenneman) moved to London to pursue her career and becomes a successful writer. Decades later, Catherine moves back to take care of her mother, Alice (Beth Dixon), who had a heart attack and takes a job teaching. Avery (Virginia Kull), a twenty something year-old college student and Gwen sign up for Catherine’s course which takes place in Alice’s home. The four women bring forth the perspectives of 3 generations of women in regards to 20th century feminism while sipping martini’s and discussing topics like the accessibility of internet “porn”, the use of technology (I couldn’t help notice Gwen took notes with a pen and paper while Avery took them with her IPAD), the role of women, the impact of children in a relationship, can men and women be 50/50 in a relationship.? Catherine and Gwen ponder the “what-if’s”, coveting the other’s life and commencing a dangerous game of musical chairs…the prize being Don (Rapture, Blister Burn Synopsis). I don’t want to give it all away so won’t continue on. I highly recommend it. The phenomenal performance of the entire cast and incredible script captivated me the entire two hours and ten minutes. I was so drawn in, I felt like I was in a graduate course on feminism. Rapture, Blister, Burn will be playing on the Main Stage at Playwrights Horizons May 18- June 24. Can’t find a babysitter? PLAYTIME, provides affordable babysitting services to bring parents back to the theater. For more information go here.
Rapture, Blister, Burn was such a thought-provoking script it’s impossible to write it all in this post. Please join MamaDrama on May 30 at for a twitter party to discuss the hot topics in Rapture, Blister, Burn. More information here.