My little family unit lives in Queens, unlike most of the people that I know; they are in New Jersey and Brooklyn, both of which might as well be Maine for all of the visiting that we do. This is generally fine with me, as I tend to prefer having a lot of acquaintances but very few friends. (Friends were a bit too much work for me even before I had a husband and Kid.) But of course, woman cannot live on the company of her spouse, child and the people who work at the neighborhood stores alone. So, fortunately, I've started cultivating friendships in the local theater scene.
It's always interesting to start out in a new group of people. I've never had a really hard time doing this, though, as has been mentioned in a previous blog, sometimes it takes a while for me to warm up and have my full personality emerge. I'm a space heater, not a fluorescent light, you see.
Anyways, I'm enjoying being a part of the larger Queens drama society, even though my participation is fringe at best. But it seems that the people my age or thereabouts that go out after shows are mostly single or dating, with a few married-no kids around. Of course it works out fine; I know better than to talk about my family life, sticking to common ground, and since the Hubby is generous enough to hold down the fort during these once-every-month-or-so outings, I don't have to worry about getting home at a certain time. (It helps that I go out on Saturdays, when people often have a matinee the next day and can't stay out all night.)
The only times I feel uncomfortable are when these no-strings-to-tie-them-down folks talk about what they're doing, projects-wise. They go from show to show, without a question as to whether or not it's possible. The last time I did a show, I had to rearrange my whole family's lives and schedules, resulting in lots of stress and some financial hardship. It was worth it, yes - even when I'd get to rehearsal five minutes late, sweaty from running all of the way and still fuming over an argument I'd just had, I could then disappear into my old life and my character for a while. Still, I've had to take a few months off, and even when things had calmed down, I've had to wait for a project that was within walking distance with a role for me with dates that I could do. I'm still waiting.
Within the next six months, the Kid should be old enough to hang out at rehearsal with me until her father can pick her up. In a few years, she could read or do homework at a table unsupervised when I'm onstage. The problem is that I'm 33 now, old enough for the good 30s roles and young looking-enough to go for late 20s stuff as well. I have a small window for playing Marian the Librarian, or Miss Balish in She Loves Me - and that window is closing a little more every day. It's no surprise that actresses get pregnant in their late 30s; it's a fallow time of being too old to be an ingenue and not old enough to be the matriarch. Silly me, I got knocked up at 30 instead.
This is one of those issues that come with the "being married" territory. Thing is, if I hung out with more married people, I could gain the missing perspective that would turn this from a nagging jealousy to a manageable notch in the loss column. I was hoping that writing about it here would help me to work it out ... Clearly, I've been watching too many sitcoms these days. My problems can't be solved in 22 minutes, or in 2000-odd words. :)