"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I Have Been Changed for Good: 10 Years

I like this reminiscing stuff. January 28th marks 10 years or two HUGE milestones. I thought I would re-post a blog entry I wrote on a different, private blog. It explains...a lot. It wasn't written the day of the milestones, but it shares what I experienced with one of them.

FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2009

Day 7: Wicked Worries

There comes a problem when you have loved something so much for a time, and then excitedly and anxiously come to encounter it again: you are afraid it will not measure up--up to your memories of and up to your love for it.

I've seen this worry happen with books. Movies. Places. People. This time, it's Wicked. (What else?) Nothing can beat the first time you experience anything. Whether good, happy, funny, sad, scary, terrible, or whatever the experience, nothing beats it. And my first experience with Wicked? It's one of the most unbeatable of the unbeatables. All I knew when I entered that theater was

  1. It was a story about the witches in Oz
  2. I'd heard 1 or 2 songs which I vaguely remembered
  3. It was ranked #3 of all the musicals playing on Broadway
And all I thought I knew when I entered the theater was
  1. The whole musical takes place before Dorothy comes to Oz
  2. The witches were friends but shows how they became enemies
  3. The musical shows how the Wicked Witch becomes wicked
I was wrong. In so many, many ways.
There I sat for over 2 hours thinking That's why she's going to become evil. And That's going to be a big reason she turns bad. I--like the rest of Oz and, yes, the world--was so ready to believe her to be bad. Willing to let anyone tell me that this meant she was evil, that meant she was bad, and told to shun and hate her because that's what we do with people we don't know or understand. (Beauty and the Beast: "We don't like what we don't understand, in fact it scares us...")
Do any of you have any idea how much I hate prejudice? Being pre-judged about something and then summarily treated a certain way because of that pre-judgement, with others not bothering to get to know who you really are. And there I was at the end, sobbing not only because of everything that had happened on stage, but everything that had happened in me. How could I have thought what I did? And been ready to believe what I did? And how often do I do that every day in my own life? "Till [that] moment, I never knew myself." -Elizabeth Bennet
Well, not just the life-changing part of the the musical stood out. The characters. Who was who. The costuming (some bizarre yet very Oz-fitting things there). The effects. The music. That last one alone would have made for a most magnificent experience.
All of it was new to me when I was in the Gershwin theater in NYC. Every bit was absolutely increcible and I had to record every possible thing I could in my memory. Then, of course, I went through typical post-watching musical symptoms--most of my cast was better than the recording. (I couldn't listen to any Les Mis recording for months after my first time seeing the play, because the jaw-dropping Randal Keith beats out the wonderful Colm Wilkinson any day.) No picture or pirated copy of a scene here or there could compare with actually being there. Nothing compares to actually being there.
So the worry that comes is when you're going to encounter it again. My first experience was incredible. I'm not saying it was perfect. (Ben Vereen was sick and wasn't there as the wizard. Terrible disappointment!) But as my first everything with Wicked, it was perfect. And a second encounter is a worrisome thing because what compares with perfect? What if Galinda's Galinda-ness is way too much? (Because I do think that's possible, even for a self-centered airhead.) Or Fiyero's voice just doesn't make him the Winkie Prince? Or Nessa's character gets sadly underdone and overlooked. Or the effects/costuming just don't have the pizzazz? Or the choice of staging is not quite how I would have imagined or wished for? So many things that just might not...measure up. And yet, that is the joy of
The Theater
And like so many other things in this life (particularly theatrical stuff), we find that it doesn't have to measure up. It never will. Because each instance, each movie, each book, each place, each musical, each garden, each building, each person is its own thing. There is no need to measure up to anything except itself. And since 1/2 of what we get out of a thing is what we bring to it ourselves, then how in heavens could we expect to measure it against something else. Compare, yes. I will certainly do that. But measure it up? No. This performance will be its own performance. Separate of any and all I have ever seen or experienced in life.
And I wouldn't want it to be any other way.
Some pictures of times I've been to see it since, and 2 of the 3 times I've dressed as Elphaba for Halloween.
My 1st Halloween as Elphaba (the year I first saw Wicked - 2006)

2nd time seeing Wicked - Norfolk, VA in 2009

Virginia YSA 2010 Halloween Dance

3rd time to see Wicked - SLC tour in August 2012

And the journal entry recording the milestones? It was written on Feb. 1st, partly. Because that was the same day that I got my first ever Ouidad haircut, and learned how to style my hair the Ouidad way. And that was a huge part of my NYC day-trip. I managed to write that part. It was late when I finished, and I never got back to writing about the play part. Completely shocking, but then SO much happened that year since I unexpectedly moved back to UT only 6 weeks later. But I figured I'd still include the journal entry because both Ouidad and Wicked were HUGE life-changing events for me.

I had about 5 hours of sleep. Then I was up & ready. Jen got me around 7:20a.m. And we were on our way! We got to NYC & parked @ the GMC Parking Garage by 9:30. They parked the car for us. We walked to the Ouidad Salon. I was nervous about meeting Ouidad. She seemed to like me hair. SHe held it out on both sides & asked, "What is this?" I replied, "My hair?" - "How long?" "2 1/2 years." - "No way. It would have been to here" (my shoulders). - "Yes, that's about right." 

I seemed to diagnose my hair type & problems right since she didn't correct me. She looked at the album I put together of my hair history on Friday. She thought it was great I was donating my hair. She had me stand up by the side of the chair, turned to the women behind her & said, "I'm committing murder." I was to hold the hair. She asked if I was ready, then she cut. She didn't pull it straight like the directions said you could. She cut 11 inches--curly--off because it asks for 10 & they can't use the ends. My hair was to my shoulders when she finished & she had me look in the mirror at it. By that point, she had no option of keeping it longer or making it short. It was going to be short. It was kind of weird holding my hair as she cut. Looked like I was holding a horse's tail. 

As I was heading back to get my hair washed, she stopped me & said. "We could go shorter!" meaning I could have shorter hair & still get the curl--what I wanted every time I had a hair chop. Her assistant washed my hair. It was almost like a scalp massage. Then Ouidad cut it. What a thing that was to see. Her signature "carving & slicing" was very impressive & I couldn't get enough of watching. It was pretty much cutting on a diagonal & starting further up than I'd have expected. Then her assistant took me from then on. I agreed to a Deep Treatment ($50 more) because it's what 1st made Ouidad famous & I wanted to see how to do it. I was under a dryer thing for 20 min. Then she put in Ouidad's products & explained what she was doing. Air dry is preferable after that, but you don't leave a salon w/ wet hair. So I was under the dryer for a bit & then she used a diffuser on me. 

When I was able to sit up in the chair & see in the mirror, I had a head of curls! It was neat to see. Even Ouidad turned & looked & was surprised to see how well it turned out. I suppose even w/ all her knowledge, every curly head is different & will display itself w/ its differences. Many in the salon (& since) keep thinking that I must be shocked by the change. But it's not the length that gets me. I've had at least 2 "drastic" cuts & I can well remember having hair that length or growing out of the length. I think most of college was that way. What gets to me is how much curl there is. I've washed & styled it once since then. Let it air dry. Not as much lift & all like at the salon. But there is definitely curl. 

I decided to buy the products she used since I was there & she'd marked everything she used in my instruction booklet. The whole bit ended up costing ~$350--twice what I'd originally thought. But, my last 2 cuts were chops, and they were guy related. Something drastic to remind not to be an idiot (in the same way) again. This time, it was for me. So it was a cut. And by someone who knew what she was doing and could help me start fresh. I am happy w/ it. And it's fun to have more prominent bounce & swing. The back is apparently really curly & looks great. But I don't really see the back. I only see from the front. I'm not as pleased w/ that because I still feel like it's winging out from my face & making my face look rounder & bigger. I think it will continue to take practice styling before I'm fully satisfied w/ the front.

However, I still prefer long hair over short. Maybe not as long as it was. I want it to look healthy. But I love to play w/ it. And long hair just feels like Princess Hair. I feel regal & beautiful when my hair goes past my shoulders. When it's short, I feel cutesy. I like both feelings, but I'm not going to keep my hair forever this length & style. And Ann keeps telling me that I have to & that she will change my mind about long hair. She thinks I cut my hair because she has boy-short hair. (Which haircut, by the way, she got long before I ever met her.) I really feel if she keeps talking as she has, I'm going to end up hating my hair. 

But for now, I do like it. I'm just annoyed by all the comments of looking "better" & "more mature." Was I immature before? Ann makes me feel like I was ugly before it went short. I understand looking older because long hair at my age makes one look rather young. And all of the old hair is gone so it looks healthier. And darker because the lower part was light from such long sun exposure. But I have to constantly remind myself that DE people are used to me w/ long hair & college friends are used to me w/ short. When they hear about the cut, they won't be too surprised. And in the last 5 years, I have learned that those who meet me w/ long hair prefer me w/ short & those who meet me w/ short prefer me w/ long. Well, I'm the one that it matters most. I love long. And no, Ann, no matter what you say I will always prefer long! If anything, that is one thing Mom has learned about me over the year. (That, & I love green.) And I'm pretty sure the more others press for me to stay short, the more I'm going to grow it out....

Happy 10 Wicked & Ouidad Years, Me!

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