Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ain't No Thing

Everyone tells me I need to do My Thing.

You know what Your
Thing is, right? You cook, or you write poems or you shave your head,
check in and out of rehab and get tattoos on your wrists. Whatever. No
matter what Your Thing is, it's yours.I don't have a thing. And, apparently, it's a cause of great consternation around here. 

My Thing, Hubby has informed me, will make me a happier, healthier
person. It will give me an outlet for growth, ambition and hope beyond
career and family life. Doing One's Thing is essential. If I don't do
My Thing, he tells me, I will be unfulfilled and angry. My soul will
wither on the vine. I'll come back in the next life as belly-button
lint. Or a barnacle. Or a newspaper columnist.

Fine. But how can I do My Thing if I don't have a Thing to do? 

friends have tried to come to the rescue. Leslie attempted to
reintroduce me to exercise. Hubby has been nudging me into movie
theaters and concerts. Keren has been trying to get me interested in
poker. So far, I'm not feeling at one with My Thingness.

thought that being a mommy could be My Thing, but it's not. Women who
are Mommies with a capital M are involved in various Mommy groups and
have Mommy blogs and write Mommy books and host Mommy networking
events. I just have a kid, and apparently, just having a kid isn't
enough to make being a mommy My Thing. 

I was perfectly willing to accept a Thingless life, but then Kevin started taking an improv comedy class, and I had an epiphany.

"Oh, yeah!" I said to him. "Improv used to be My Thing." 

years ago, I took a bunch of improv comedy classes. Every Tuesday
night, I'd come home as energized as a second-grader on a sugar high. I
laughed more, took more risks, felt more alive.

And, as happens
when you discover Your Thing, I became ravenous for more. I started
going to improv comedy shows. I watched improv programs. I even tried
to rally my pals together for an improv comedy party – but it wasn't
Their Thing. 

I did my improv thing for nearly a year before a
change of job/address/marital status all converged at once and made
doing My Thing nearly impossible. I took up gardening as My Thing for a
few years. MySpace had a short run as a Thing early last year. But I
never really lost my interest in improv.

So when Kevin told me
that he started taking the workshops, it awakened something in me. I
suddenly remembered what all the fuss over Doing Your Thing is about. I
loved being able to actually feelcreative juices flowing
through my veins. I loved sensing the blood rush to my cheeks when I
made a room full of funny people laugh. I loved improv. It was My

So what the heck was Kevin doing messing around with My Thing?

got more than a little jealous, but when I heard him talking about it
with the same kind of enthusiasm, I realized that there is probably
room enough in this Thing for both of us. I told Kevin that for the
next round of classes, I'd audition with him to see if we could take
the classes together.   

It sounded ideal. My buddy and I doing Our Thing.

now auditions are coming up, and I'm in a panic. It's been 10 years
since I did any improv at all. What if I'm terrible? Or what if I'm
fine, but I still don't pass the audition? And what if … oh, I hate
thinking about this: What if Kevin gets in, but I don't?   

seen me fail at plenty of things, and I'd be just as supportive as you
have been for me," he promised. "Laced with the same merciless mocking."

'There, there,' I'll say. " 'Don't feel bad just because the premiere
comedy troupe in Los Angeles decided you were too humorless to even pay
to take one of their classes.' " 

I can already picture the
glint in Kevin's eyes when he says this. I can hear the ceaseless
razzing. I don't know if I'm up for this. I love improv, but facing an
endless barrage of ridicule? Well, that's just not My Thing.

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