The Julie McCoy Syndrome

I love to make plans.  Truly.  I cannot help myself. I am the Cruise Director of the SS Dishner.

Yesterday, I was sitting with my friend, Jill, making plans in a local cafe when my friend Kate walked in and said hello.  She then joined a woman who had been sitting next to us for quite some time.  This woman turned to Kate and said, “You know these two?…I was just thinking of clubbing them to death!  They are making me crazy with their Fodors, their A to Z Guides, their enthusiasm!”  She raised her cane for emphasis.  I guess not everyone loves planners!

However, the Jill and Cathy Escapades have not been exactly successful to date.

Our first outing was to a movie with all our kids.  We had lived in London less than one week and were looking for something to keep everyone occupied.  What could be better than a feel-good movie, One Day, advertised as a sappy romance.

All went well until very near the end when (spoiler alert) the Happily Ever After moment was instantly destroyed by the heroine’s untimely violent death.  She told her beau she loved him, the music got a bit more dramatic, the filming angle altered…you knew something ominous lurked ahead.  Still, we were stunned when beautiful Anne Hathaway was tragically blind-sided by a train while blithely riding her bike in Paris.

We had just talked about renting bikes and exploring London.  No more.

My husband may not appear to be a romantic, but he loves a happy ending and sees the world in black and white.  Just ask him about The Bridges of Madison County.  He still gets passionately on his soap box and denounces the whole true love, soul mate subtext of Meryl Streep’s affair. You lost him the moment she committed adultery. Likewise, the moment the train hit, he exclaimed, “What the hell did you drag us to see? This sucks!”

Jackie is overly empathetic and cannot bear melancholy or violent moments in movies. She jumped out of her seat, turned around to me in fury, and loudly shouted, “I hate this movie and want to go home!”

So much for a fun night out.

Not deterred, Jill and I plowed forward with our next plan:  a musical in the West End. What could be better than enjoying theater in London?  Our choice was a bit suspect, Priscilla Queen of the Desert.  But it did get good reviews in New York and looked all flashy, colorful, and fun.  Just look at the glittery marquee:

We should have heeded the warning of the ticket taker as we entered.  She glanced at our kids in tow and then smirked as she turned to Jill and me and said, “You know this is not really for children, right?  It is a play about cross dressing drag queens!”

Perhaps it was the scene glaringly lit in seductive reds in which a cross dresser who looked remarkably like Cher, gyrated across the stage in black leather and danced suggestively on a pole.  It was priceless to watch our children’s reactions.  I think I had my eyes on them more than the performance.

Again, Jill and I were unfazed.  The next event was a special exhibition in London called Colorscapes.  Jill said that Time Out magazine rated it one of the Top 5 Things To Do that week.  We had to go.

As promoted in press materials:

“Colourscape is a large walk-in sculpture of pure colour. Nearly 100 highly-coloured chambers are linked by elliptical openings to form a breathtaking labyrinth of colour, light and space illuminated by natural daylight. The public pass through an entrance chamber into a new world of radiant colour. They wear cloaks of primary colours that change in hue as they move through the intensely coloured chambers. The visitor walks freely, choosing from many routes through Colourscape, experiencing ever expanding views of radiating colours. Many visitors are moved to express their experience in poetic terms:……”Like being wrapped in a rainbow.”…..”I felt I could almost breathe the colours.””

I might wax also poetic and add that if you are claustrophobic, as I am, the experience is like being drowned in a sea of color.

I stayed near the exits.

There we were in our cloaks exploring this color world. Musical performers, who change periodically throughout the day, heighten the experience. We were lucky enough to be there for the atonal intoners.  Rather than sing in traditional harmony, they groaned and repeated color names in odd sequences;  loudly exclaiming “Red! Yellow! Blue! Green!” while intermixing moans, chants, and tri-tones that evoke ancient seances.  Weird, to say the least.

This, above all else, you would expect the kids to hate.  But, surprise surprise, they loved it!  It was so strange that it was good!

Cloaked Colors trumped Melodramatic Movies and Titilating (literally!) Theater. Go Figure!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jackie dishner October 28, 2011 at 9:31 pm

great pics mom


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