Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Material Girl

Not all that long ago, someone told me that they were "not a materialistic person". This statement set-off a discussion in my head (I'm a Gemini, and we often have discussions, and arguments with ourselves, in our heads. And yes, I'm fully aware that there are prescription medicines that would prevent this happening!!!).

I know that I'm not a materialistic person, as a rule. Not in a "materialistic things matter" way.

I was brought up at home and at school to value people far, far more highly than things. I went to a "progressive" school, where the pupils shunned the whole notion of fashion and followers of fashion. The trend at my school was, ironically, to go against the trend. You weren't "in" if you didn't express yourself as an individual (yes, I am fully aware that this is an oxymoron type thing!). The students who accomplished this feat best became the vanguards of their class year. We usually saw "fashions" that had begun in our school hit the streets about two years after they had reached their peak within our school peer group.

I wasn't one of "the vanguard".

I was, on the whole, crap with fashions, (that was before I realised that I didn't actually care about Fashion anyway!).

But materialism isn't just about keeping up with the Jones's, or spending lots of cash on designer labels, expensive cars and big houses. It's about coveting "things". And, though I hate to admit it (that's a lie - I don't mind at all really!), there are one or two things I've come across in my life that I would love to have in my possession, or rather, in my keeping, as I believe you can't actually "own" something, only have it around for as long as your around. Then it goes on to someone/somewhere else.

At the moment, there are two things on my "List of Things I Covet".

The most recent addition is a life size Lego castle, inspired by an advert where I thought I saw one, but it turned out not to be. But I liked the idea so much, I clung to it.

I saw the advert when I was with my mate, Karen, while we were watching her TV.

On seeing the advert (and what I thought was a life size Lego castle that turned out not be that, but something else), I blurted out "Wow! A castle made of giant Lego! Cool! I'd love one of those!".

When Karen looked at me in astonishment (she does that quite a lot, actually), and asked "What the hell would you do with a life size Lego castle?", I made the mistake of blurting out -  "Why, I'd keep my giant red sequined stiletto shoe in it, of course!" (I mean, Duh!).

She gave me another look, one which hinted at her thoughts of 'phoning for someone, anyone (preferably someone with access to tranquilisers), immediately.

I realised that, once again, I'd stupidly landed myself in a situation where an explanation was required (unless I wanted to go back to that nice, comfy room, wearing the nice, tight jacket with the long sleeves that buckle around the back).

So, I explained.

I few years ago, during the time I was the Technician at the Trumpton Theatre and Arts Centre, we were the host venue for a touring show by the Catherine Wheels Theatre Company. The show was called "Cinderella's Sisters" (brilliantly funny show, by the way). It was not unusual to have a touring show come round, we were a theatre after all, so this generally happened at least three or four times a week (not including music gigs). And these shows generally had scenery with them. And, now and again, whatever scenery was brought was of a fantastical, rather than realistic nature.

This was not at all an unusual state of affairs in the world of theatre. I had worked on hundreds of shows that had clever or unusual stage sets and scenery. Some of it was amazing in concept, some of the set pieces did clever things, or were set up as "tricks" for special effects. Some of them were just fabulous to look at. I had admired a great many of these pieces, either for their style, design, or function. I then worked with them, finished the show, and did the get out, knowing that I'd never see these pieces again. It never bothered me. Why should it?

But, for the finale, this show had a GIANT RED SEQUINED LADIES STILETTO SHOE, in which Cinderella sat whilst singing her finale song at the end of the show, when good has triumphed over evil, the baddies had been found out and had dutifully got what they deserved, the goodies got their just rewards, and they are just about to go on to all living happily ever after, blah blah blah etc.

This is what the object of my desire looks like (sort of).

I still can't figure out why, but from the very moment I helped unload this giant red sequined stiletto from the truck in which it had been transported with the rest of the set, I fell in love with it.

My one is slightly bigger than this one in real life (my one hasn't got an engine, though)
(read the story behind this picture here.)

That was five years ago, and I still dream about it.

Maybe it was the sheer ridiculousness of it that appealed to me. Or how useless an item it would become if removed from it's natural setting on the stage, and brought into the harsh light of the real world.

Maybe it was because it symbolised something that encapsulates the glamour and fantasy of the theatre.

Maybe, when I watched the show, and saw Cinderella sitting in the shoe, singing her sweet finale song now that she knew a lifetime of happiness lay before her since she had met her Prince Charming, maybe a little magic dust got in my eye because, as the sequins on the red shoe sparkled under the stage lights, I swear somehow my scar-tissued, cynical heart melted just enough to let me believe that fairy tales could come true, if you were a good person who was willing to work at it.

Maybe, just maybe, it could happen to me.

On the other hand, maybe I just have a bizarre and utterly inappropriate sense of decor! 

If it was a piece of art, no-one would bat an eyelid at a giant, red sequined stiletto shoe sitting in the middle of the room.

As long as it was a BIG room (my house is smaller than a chocolate box - no, really).


And this, my dear readers, is where I believe we came in!

(See, it actually does all make sense if you stick with it!)

The End!

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