Although I was born and raised in the Denver area, my extended family is from a much larger city. As a result, they tend to treat me a little like the family’s “country mouse.” This seems silly to me. I’ve traveled to major cities in North America and Europe, personally and on business, and I live and work in a metropolitan area.
But every once in awhile, my inner country mouse comes out. Today is one such day. I’m a person who doesn’t mind doing things on her own— I routinely go to movies on my own, and eat in restaurants by myself, and happily browse bookstores and museums. The one thing I’ve never done on my own is to go to the theater. Somehow, it’s always been communal. But this week, I’m going to the theater on my own for the first time.
Part of me is hesitant about this. Shouldn’t I just ask one more time, and be sure that no one wants to catch this performance? But by the same token, I’m incredibly excited about this. I don’t have to miss shows that aren’t my friends’ cups of tea! And there’s something terribly grown up about the idea of taking the train into the city to see theater, after work. I don’t know why “terribly grown up” is all of a sudden exciting— it’s not that exciting when I’m arranging for insurance or prioritizing home repair or paying bills or some of the other terribly grown up things I do. I guess it seems glamorous, in the way that being a grown-up seemed when I was a kid. My inner 5-year-old wants me to wear black patent pumps, a 50s-era fit & flare dress and little hat with a veil and white elbow gloves on the train, and carry one of those flat pocketbooks without the strap that adult me just hates. Adult me is probably wearing flats, pants, and, in deference to it being a warm week in September 60 years after the picture in my head, I’m probably skipping the hat and gloves, too, disappointingly. But in my head, I’m eight shades of Grace Kelly on her way to the theater in a much bigger city than my hometown. And I might have to admit, as a result, to a longer streak of country mouse than I generally prefer to own.