Although The King may dispute whether that third season was markedly different, I did the best I could to live by that credo. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have my moments; it was a demanding environment. The first week of my first season, I promoted a good guy to crew chief only to have to fire him later that week, and in that final season, I had to fire one quarter of the stage crew at one time. One lesson I learned at that theater was that unless you’re caught in a recession, in a political appointment, or with a despotic boss, you don’t get fired by someone else–you fire yourself.
Despite all that, my new slogan must have worked to a certain extent, since that’s the season that I met Mama, who’s not only the most compassionate person I know, but also the least likely to tolerate any meanness.
This has made it hard on her when 3B has done what, in an adult, would be considered mean, like hitting or pinching in frustration. I’ve tried to remind her that while he does know that he’ll get a reaction from us, he doesn’t really understand that he’s hurting us, or what it means to hurt someone.
Of course, that’s all well and good until he socks me in the eye or tries to pull my lip off of my face.
Then, several conflicting reactions flash through me:
- React without emotion.
- Emphasize the hurt, not my anger or frustration.
- Fuck, dude, that hurt!
It takes me back to that moment with The Producer. I know 3B can see my reaction on my face. I also know that he can see what I do with my reaction. Do I stay calm? Become angry? Use polysyllabic epithets?
Tomorrow: Dude, where’s my lip?