I spent the weekend in Ottawa this past weekend where I saw some delightful shows, including Cyrano de Bergerac and a slew of undercurrents offerings. Trust me, everything was well-worth seeing but I’m going to opt-out of general reviewing to talk about something that really stuck with me: Carmen Aguirre’s Blue Box.
There isn’t a huge age-gap between us, but when I grow up I want to be Carmen Aguirre. She is a strong, beautiful, earthy and sexually charged individual who has been through a lot and knows how to laugh at herself. She is an incredible storyteller weaving together a tale of her revolutionary days in Chile with her encounters with a man simply dubbed the “Vision Man” (for reasons explained in the show) throughout the years. It was this latter story that stayed with me the most. At one point, after traveling from Vancouver to L.A. to be with this man, she is left waiting at the airport, promptly ignored, left alone with the man’s roommate and sticks it out for a good 48hours before a girlfriend wisely informs her to immediately get her ass on a plane back to Canada. By the time Vision Man calls her up to know where she went, she gives him the most beautiful put down I have ever heard. From memory, it went something like, “Put your hand down between your legs because you will realize that you have no cojones. You are not a man. I know this because I am a Queen. And do you know what a real man does when a Queen takes time out of her busy schedule to come fuck him for a week straight? A real man shows up early at the airport with a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a box of chocolates in the other, he takes her into his arms and doesn’t let her go. A real man takes responsibility.”
There was more and it was brilliant, but I don’t want to stray too far from her words and you probably get the point.
And this hit me because for as long as I can remember I have been dating these baby boys who pretend to men, who treat me as an afterthought and leave me feeling like something is wrong with me because I can’t seem to be worthy enough to warrant their full attention. They fuck around on me, ignore me in public, never even bother to spare a kind word my way and I act like I’m ok with that because I don’t want to appear needy or clingy. Cowards who are so frightened by any sign of real emotion that I shut down, learn to love what they love without them making any effort to enjoy the things I do, make myself small, and pretend there is nothing wrong in order to appease them.
To them I say: Fuck you and fuck that shit.
You know what I realized this weekend? I am an awesome, smart, funny, ambitious, interesting person who looks better than she ever has. Any person I choose to spend my valuable time with should treat me like the catch I know I am.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for a long-term relationship or a marriage proposal or even a subservient to cater to my every whim. I am looking for an equal. Better yet, I am looking for respect. I think, however, that it is high time I take it back for myself instead of waiting for someone else to give it to me.
Little boys and cowards need not apply.
And that, is the power of the theatre.