What? A blog? On a SUNDAY night? That you're probably reading on MONDAY? Well, today was the last performance of MRS. HARRISON. Unfortunately, I couldn't be in Philly for it; I was at home in Connecticut visiting my parents...but it was in my thoughts, and I wanted to honor it.
I don't know an overwhelming amount about my parents' inner lives. I know where they grew up and their personalities and interests and a lot about their past just from stories...but like, I suspect, many other children of parents, I don't know certain things they hold in their heart of hearts. I have a secure, honest relationship with them, but at the end of the day, there are some things that just stay secret. It's the nature of -- beyond parents and children -- stories and memories and experiences. MRS. HARRISON is about a story. Holly doesn't want to own this story, but she doesn't want it to be taken. So I posited a question to my parents that I posited to the cast and playwright in my Q&A's...Do you have any stories or experiences that you have never told anyone? Or just one person? Are there things that you will never share? Why keep these secrets?
My dad, Chris
So my secret occurred early on in high school. It wasn't initially a secret. In fact, what has remained secret is the shameful byproduct of something I probably should have kept secret but didn't. The party involved wasn't blameless by any means, but I betrayed a confidence that scared me...that I was uncomfortable holding onto, and thirty years before "going viral" was a thing, it went viral.
It initially negatively affected the party whose secret I betrayed, but eventually, because he was far more popular than I, turned me into a pariah, at least until the pubescent masses focused their attention on a new scandal. I guess it has stayed secret because the close-minded 14-year-old me doesn't sit well with liberal elite 52-year-old me (and had stopped sitting well with me by the time I was 20).
The secret I spread was true; but it was hurtful and damaging, unacceptable and unaccepting. It's totally incongruous with what I hope I've become and I know my children have become. So it stays with me.
My mom, Lisa
Secrets. Yes, I have two secrets that I have shared with no other human being...one I am ashamed of and one I am proud of but ashamed of that pride.
I am very lucky to have two people in my life who I consider best friends. I have been married to one for nearly 30 years and shared secrets with the other since we met in the 4th grade. I am fortunate to have other humans with whom to share secrets; they are available to unload on, to validate my feelings, to give advice, to let me unburden on without judgement (or at least they judge quietly and continue to love me). I don’t have to keep much bottled up and I think that keeps me grounded and relatively stress and guilt free.
So why do I have any secrets? The first one relates to a deception...a series of lies that were told for a very selfish reason; I was young. I don’t want the people I love now to know that I’m not as sweet as they think I am. And the second one, the one that makes me feel proud but ashamed. Well, that secret is just for me because it makes me cooler; it’s the kind of secret that feels dangerous, especially for a good girl.
Sometimes I wish I had more secrets, especially the dangerous ones. I feel like if I had more experiences that I was ashamed of or ashamed to be proud of it would mean I was leading a more exciting life. Truthfully, though, I have it pretty good. I am content to keep my two secrets and my stress free life.
What about you? Your secrets and why you keep them?
And no matter how long you keep them to yourself, can you ever hold onto them as yours? Who owns them? You, or another player? The person it affected the most? Are you the hero, or the villain, or neither?
Is the story even about you?
R. Eric Thomas did a better job tackling these questions than I ever could. I'll mrs. MISS HARRISON. Sorry -- I'll miss MRS. HARRISON.
Think on your stories.