Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Most Important Thing I Ever Learned From My Mom:

When I was in 5th or 6th grade, one of the kids in my class wrote a play and our teacher decided to have us put it on for the whole school (if that sounds curious to you, that was just how Michael Driscoll school was circa 1999, we loved ourselves and each other and if one of us 10 year olds wrote a play, well then damnit, that play was going to be performed, quality be damned because this is America, damnit. Damnit!).

I had never been in a play, that I could remember, but I was just old enough to feel the effects of stage fright. Picture if you will, me, a dumpy, egg-shaped young lass on the cusp of preteenhood, shaking in my leggings, hiking boots and lime green flannel (Really mom? What was that all about?) the night before the big show. My Mom, who is absolutely not given to flights of being overly-emotional, looked me directly in the eyes and said "Zoe, if you go out there and you pretend that its easy and you make a good show, nobody is going to think you're doing a bad job. If you go out there and let yourself be nervous and you don't say your lines clearly because you're scared, thats not going to be as good. Just do your best and don't be afraid. I love you. Stand up straight and try not to be so duck footed."

That last part was really just something she said to me consistently over a number of years, but it stuck with me. Essentially what my mom said to me there was "Fake it till you make it", which is a sentiment that I carry with me to this day. Sometimes you have to put on the show, even if you're terrified. My mom was a single mother for most of her momhood, and even though I had (/have) a super-present Dad who gave us constant help and support and has been there for me my whole life, it wasn't easy for her to bring me up predominantly on her own. There were a lot of times where she had to freakin' fake it. Fly by the seat of her pants and take a guess. Maybe letting me use food as an emotional crutch would yield in crushing obesity and chronic depression, but guess what! It turned out okay! I'm a happy, healthy 23-year old who has every intention of finishing college! So mom, you win. You're an incredibly strong person who was really good at being a mom, and you deserve the world for always knowing when to treat me like a child and when to let me be an adult. Thanks mom. I like, love you. Or whatever.

Speaking of moms, something my mom would love (yes, queen of the segue? I accept this award on behalf of all segues everywhere and the topics they so effortlessly link) is the Chihuly exhibit going on at the MFA right now, which is open now through August 7th. Last saturday I went to see the exhibition with my little sister, and it was amazing. The first question everyone has asked me so far, is, where you sober? And the answer is yes, we were totally sober, and IT WAS STILL AWESOME! The giant glass sculptures are totally unbelievable, its like some portal into an Alice in Wonderland world. If you can't make it to the show, or if you need some convincing, I suggest stopping by the store and taking a look at Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass by Gerald W.R. Ward, it has big glossy photos and plenty of information about Chihuly, and a lot of photos of Chihuly's outdoor installations, which are, if I may, "boss hog".

It doesn't surprise me to learn that Chihuly does a lot of installations in nature; there are so many organic moments in the sculptures, such as large puckered technicolor orbs that look like massive seed pods, or delicate serrated arms that sprout and wave like tentacles or vines. The colors are amazing, the work is flawless, and because she's 17 and I'm a student, we went on a saturday and got in for free. Basically, if you want to be blown away, I suggest taking your mom to this amazing show while its still up. Although, if you're planning on visiting the rest of the Art of Americas wing while you're there, I might start with the more historical stuff first; we tried to see that collection post-Chihuly, and after you get to wander around in psychedlic Glass Wonderland, looking at armoirs and paintings of dead guys in wigs somehow lost its verve.

I also suggest taking the fake mustaches you bought the night before (available at the card and gift room of one Brookline Booksmith) and taking pictures in the rock garden around the side of the museum, directly afterwards.

Yeah. You're welcome. You're. Welcome.


Anonymous said...

I love this post. You've done your mama proud. Now try not to be so duck footed. (I have never said or written that before, but I suspect I will be saying it and writing it for a very long time.)

Zoe said...

Thanks! I can't help it, I lead with my toes, but maybe if I can get everyone to start nagging me about it, I'll develop some better habits. Fingers crossed :)