But first, the opening act: found by pegkerr: Remarkably well-done filk on "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General", from Aragorn's point of view. Some favorite couplets:
I'm Estel and I'm Aragorn, and Elessar and Strider, too
I've hunted orcs and trolls and wargs, and sometimes a Black Rider, too.
My sword is old and busted but I wield it with impunity
And draw it out and flourish it at every opportunity.
Hee hee. OK, anyway...
When I was fifteen, my boyfriend (who will we fictionally continue to call Aaron) convinced me to try out for the school play with him. The play was called Blue Denim and was a sentimental drama set in the '50s about a teenage girl who falls in love, gets pregnant, and gets an abortion. Aaron thought it would be pretty rad if he got the part of the boy and I got the part of the girl. I, for one, thought it would be weird and unpleasant, and would have preferred getting the chance to kiss some other guy on stage instead, but I kept that thought to myself.
Well, to everyone's total shock, I got the part of the girl. A fellow named Tim got the part of the boy. I barely knew Tim, but he was a pleasant and well-behaved guy. Theater-clique people who hardly talked to me before were congratulating me in the halls the day that cast list went up. Aaron, however, was not very quick to congratulate me. He was feeling slighted at not getting the part (or any part for that matter), and was something of a wet blanket on my giddy success. Luckily for him, he had at least one ally in the form of a girl who had tried out for my part. "I'm sort of glad I didn't get it," she reputedly said to him. "I mean, I wouldn't want people to think I AM that kind of girl." (*roll eyes*) Aaron's further comment to me: "And they will, you know." He was perfectly serious, too. What-ever.
I spent a couple months rehearsing with the cast, memorizing lines, and learning to make out with Tim onstage. In case you've never had to kiss anyone for purely theatrical reasons, and have wondered what it's like, then I assure you it is weird. You feel like you're really, really intruding on their personal space. There's a lot of nervous giggling and apologizing. (But then, we were 15 and 16, and not exactly professionals.) Only toward the final days of dress rehearsal was I able to keep kissing him on that sofa for the full 30 seconds or however long it took for the lights to go down and the scene to end. I always broke it off somewhat early before that, and said, "OK, OK, then the lights are down." Tim teased me for it, but I got past it in time for the performances.
Mainly I tell you all this to make it clear that, on my part, there was no inclination to find this activity hot. I liked Tim as a person, I trusted him, and I greatly enjoyed being in the play, but this was nothing like making out with someone for recreational purposes.
But hey! We fooled the audience! On the Saturday night performance, Tim stoked 'em up a little by pouncing me on the sofa, in that last second of stage-light; a cute culmination to the previous half-minute of kissing. While we lay there laughing in the dim bluelight after the curtain fell, we could hear them out there whistling and catcalling along with applauding. (You know: the titillated "Wooooooh!" of the sitcom studio audience.) Neato! Fun! This was entertaining for us all! So I got up and trotted backstage; Tim stayed on for the next scene. But after I got changed and was wandering around during intermission, here came Aaron, through the backstage side door, stalking straight toward me and looking deeply pissed.
"What was THAT all about?" he wanted to know.
"What was WHAT all about?" I, in turn, wanted to know.
"That looked WAY TOO REAL," accused my trusting boyfriend.
Huh?? Well, I thanked him for complimenting my acting skills, but assured him that they really were just acting skills and nothing more; and by the way, where did he think I learned how to kiss? That's right - from him! It should have looked familiar, shouldn't it?
He didn't buy it. Something must be going on here. The way I went down from Tim's lips and kissed his neck - how dare I? That was going way too far!
I pointed out that actually kissing someone's neck is less awkward than kissing their lips, so I was basically avoiding being intimate by kissing Tim's neck.
Yeah? YEAH?, persisted Aaron. Then how come - aha, gotcha now, girlie! - how come Tim enjoyed it??
I had no basis for imagining that Tim enjoyed it, and said so. Aaron hauled over Dylan, who was one of his classmates and a stagehand on this production. Dylan whispered in my ear that Tim had stayed firmly put on the sofa in the next scene, rather than getting up and strolling around like he was supposed to; and that everyone figured it was because he, indeed, had enjoyed that make-out scene way too much.
Well, that just sent me into giggles. Immature of me, yeah, but really, the whole thing was silly and bizarre. But, oooh! Mistake! Shouldn't have giggled! Aaron took that as a sign that I was pleased with the idea of arousing Tim. Oh, good LORD.
He had the decency to go back to his seat before the next act started, but my good mood was wrecked. I sat around in quiet fury backstage and spoke to nobody. After the play, Aaron accosted me again, out in the hallway, where the other actors were getting hugs and congratulations from friends and admirers. Not me, no; I was against a wall getting a monologue about how unhappy Aaron was with me. Yay!
And you want to know the irony? You knew there'd be some irony, right? Part of the irony was that I was, in fact, interested in another guy. But it wasn't Tim. It was, as it happened, one of Tim's friends who I knew from before. (And, as it also happened, I ended up marrying yet another of Tim's friends - but that's a different story...) :) Oh, and the second part of the irony? Tim did like me, as it turned out. I pulled him aside in the hallway one day, shortly after the play had ended, to show him some great photos someone had taken of us in costume. He smiled and said a few pleasantries, then looked shyly at me, handed me a folded-up piece of paper, and said, "I wrote this for you. Just read it. You don't have to answer if you don't want to."
Yep. Love poetry. Oh dear.
I wish I could say there was a tidy resolution to all this, but there wasn't. Aaron persisted in lame jealousy fits for the next year, before I called it enough and broke up with him. I wrote Tim a note in return, saying I was extremely flattered but didn't think it was going to work; he took it graciously. I never got another lead in a production again, and will certainly never get to play a teen temptress again.
So, the moral? Break up with these idiots before they ruin your successes with their own hangups. And laugh. Yes, laugh!
P.S. Found this one photo of us in Blue Denim. So you can see part of the Sofa That Got Us All In Trouble.