The Dreaded Parental Meeting
Posted January 20, 2012
Persephone’s mother, Jeneva, loves an excuse to serve tea; she feels that most anything can be made better with tea...
Jeneva: What a treat to meet you at last, Peter, though I despaired, as our Persephone is a secretive one! Although she did intimate that you work in a theatre; do tell me more about that –
Pete: Erm, well, mostly I’m the technician for lights and sound. It’s a small community theatre, so we wind up filling in on other things like making and moving props, taking bit roles, and so on –
Jeneva: It sounds enchanting! How I envy you; I adore the theatre, and used to act a bit in my school days. My favorite role was Lady Bracknell in “The Importance of Being Earnest” – has your theatre performed “Earnest”?
Pete: Not yet, though I think it’s on our director’s list; maybe next season –
Persephone: *musing* I would have thought the role of Miss Prism more likely, though it could possibly be construed as simply portraying herself...
Jeneva: Oh, “Earnest” should be in every theatre’s repertory; it’s so cheerfully absurd and witty! Just listen to this line of Lady Bracknell’s upon hearing Jack was found in a handbag – “The line is immaterial. Mr. Worthing, I confess I feel somewhat bewildered by what you have just told me. To be born, or at any rate bred, in a hand-bag, whether it had handles or not, seems to me to display a contempt for the ordinary decencies of family life that reminds one of the worst excesses of the French Revolution. And I presume you know what that unfortunate movement led to? As for the particular locality in which the hand-bag was found, a cloak-room at a railway station might serve to conceal a social indiscretion - has probably, indeed, been used for that purpose before now-but it could hardly be regarded as an assured basis for a recognised position in good society.” *giggle*
Pete: Oh yeah, that British wit; I like a good Brit sitcom or novel, don’t I, Perseph?
Persephone: Indeed – however, while amusing when viewed externally, it is anything but when one lives it day to day, as I do!
Jeneva: Well, then, you MUST let me know when your ensemble starts casting; I should very much like to read for Lady Bracknell! I think your director will find me quite the asset. And you should read for Lane, Algernon’s butler; you’d be just the ticket, I’m sure!
Pete: Really…um. He gets in some digs, if I recall –
Persephone: At least she didn’t cast as you as Merriman –
though I now see my mater’s a natural for Lady Bracknell –
Basil: Wot ho, lass? I heard there’s tea to be had in here –
Jeneva: Oh! You’re late, as always, Basil dear – but yes, there’s tea if you are wanting it –
Pete: *to Persephone* o-kayyyyy… I take it this is your dad? He sure likes to make an entrance –
Persephone: None other – though his style isn’t so much calculated as artless – unconscious, even –
Jeneva: The purpose of this tea was to introduce you to our Persephone’s sweetheart, who’s come to visit. Do properly greet Peter, please, dearest –
Basil: Well hallo then, Peter. If ye haven’t guessed by now, I’m Persephy’s dad, Basil; you can call me that, too; no standin’ on ceremony wi’ the “Mister Sinclair” business! Havin’ a good visit, then?
Pete: Nice to meet you, Mister – er, Basil. Yes – it’s been an, um, interesting visit so far –
Basil: Eh, be sure to get in a snog or two! I would if I were in YOUR shoes, HAR!
Pete: No problem, sir!
Persephone: One of the few tidbits of his advice I would take to heart…
Basil: Well then, Jen, I’ve done my parental duty, so I’m ready for that promised spot’o tea –
Jeneva: But of course, dearest one, as just as you like it, three lumps and milk *beaming* –
Basil: ‘Ere now, Jen, I know I said “a spot’o tea”, but ye didn’ have to take me literally! Ye’ve got mixed up and brought out the demi-tassys –
Jeneva: Handsome Steely, dear Steely, I’ll bet you would like some sugar lumps, hmmm?
Steely Dan: Sure…got any of those brown ones?...More flavor, y’know… *wufff*
Pete: So…I’d say that went pretty well, Perseph – what were you so worried about? *snerk*.
Persephone: Yes… they’ve forgotten us; thankfully they are easily distracted. Just don’t say anything to remind them about “Earnest” –
Pete: Who? *wink*.
(And if you’d like to read “The Importance of Being Earnest” in its entirety, follow this link.)
That hurdle taken, could any other relative be so daunting? In this household, the answer is – well, Pete will find out soon enough...