The show is open. And, contrary to the theatre folklore, the fact that we had a good final dress did not take away from the opening night. The story goes that, in order to have a good opening, the show must have a bad or disastrous final dress. Superstition. My take on it is that by final dress, everyone is tired and sloppy so mistakes get made. And then, opening night, everyone is nervous with the audience there and they clean up the mess of final dress. We had a clean final dress, a tremendous opening and a flawless second show. I hesitate to even think this but I don’t see how things could go wrong at this point. There’s no superstition there. It’s just being professional in order to make things go smoothly and easily. I may eat my words before the week is over. After all, it takes nothing to tumble over a 23′ rolling column…or 6. They fall like dominoes in my dreams.
Opera is it’s own beast. One of the beastly things is that it is the last haven for the overdressed. That includes the help. Men look fantastic in tuxes (and suits in general). The old and young, tall and short, fat and thin. Hot men look smokin’, men that commonly tread in hiking boots and jeans look tremendous. Even the formerly ugly look put together in a tux. Men would get laid far more often if they bothered to look as good as they do in a tux. Is it the shiny shoes? The starched shirt? The many pieces that, when together, say “I care”? Is it the tie? Or is the female psyche that is naturally attracted to a man dressed to wed?
A part of me is “awake” that hasn’t been awake in more than 6 months. The part of me that wants to flirt, to be attractive. The part that wonders if the old grey mare is quite possibly what she used to be. And I feel guilty. I feel like I’ve gone against my vows even though, for all purposes, death did us part. But I have to believe that Stephen is around me and he really wants me to be happy. I have to know that. But we never talked about anything past the funeral. That was probably poor planning. He never wanted to talk that far because he wanted to be hopeful. He never wanted to imagine life going on without him. I mean, who does?
Life is going on without him. Without his physical presence anyway. I don’t know how he would want me to handle our future. I have things that have to get done. A household to run, girls to raise, bills to pay, laundry, traveling, decisions about school, church, haircuts, families. How does he feel now that I am awake? We never talked about what to do from here. Is it okay with him that I go out, that I dress up, that I swoon over the men in tuxes and suits? Is it okay that, for a week, our children were essentially raised by someone else? There are no answers to these questions. I will never know. But, for today, I feel guilty. I want more than I have. I want a companion and a reason to look pretty. It was so easy with Stephen from my very first day with him and even to his last. 6 months today.
What I do know is that I wish that women had the equivalent of the tux. I wish we had the one outfit that made us all look good. I wish there existed the one thing that levels the playing field for frumps and fashionistas much like the tux does for men. Because I would wear it. Flaunt it. Buy and not rent. Comes with matching shoes and jewelry. No wonder they look so good.