Monday, December 22, 2008

Whereas if I'd been the Christmas Lobster, I'd have been delighted

So at my preschool in Dacca (now Dhaka), Bangladesh, we acted out the nativity scene.

I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but I was Mary. A very reluctant, bitter Mary. Enlarge to fully appreciate the pout on my face. And the glasses.

Because, you see, being Mary meant I had to wear my pajamas as my costume. And an afghan that my grandmother had crocheted. I felt I might as well still be in bed. In front of the whole school.

When the teacher assigned roles, I cried and cried. I went home 54 kinds of upset.

"Why, Mama, why? Why do I have to be stinky old Mary?"

"Sweetheart, Mary is not stinky. She's a very important character. She's the mother of Jesus."

"Why can't I be something interesting? Like an aaaaaangel? Or an elf? It's not fair! They get the best costumes."

And so I sat there pouting, just like you see in this picture. For. The. Entire. Play.

I look at this as proof that our personalities, they solidify really early in life.


  1. I was always jealous of the sheep. Their costumes looked AWESOME.

  2. Man, I don't remember the sheep. Those would've been good costumes!

  3. Actually, one wonders how much insight your preschool teacher had, as far as the pouting goes. Because Mary? Um, yeah. She's pregnant by a diety, the only person who believes her is her husband (and let's face it, if your wife cheats on you, you'd agree to pretend it was divine intervention too), she's traveling on either food or camelback or some such AT TERM, and she's about to give birth in a BARN. The pouting was nothing short of brilliant acting.

    By the way, have you read Christopher Moore's Lamb? I think you'd enjoy it.

  4. Um. Traveling on FOOT. On FOOT.

    /goes to eat breakfast. Thanks, Freud.

  5. I would have much preferred to be an angel also. However, from my time in Catholic elementary school, I remember people fighting over who got to be Mary. Probably because they felt it was an important part.

  6. I love that young Lisa picture so well matches the bloggy Lisa picture (glasses and head covering and all!)

  7. Okay, that comment would have made more sense if you had the afghan over your head.

  8. With a puss like that, it's no wonder there was no room at the inn!

  9. You look like you just ate something foul. That is classic.

    Luckily, I never had to play a role in a religious based play, though I DID do the Vagina Monologues in college and we performed at a church.

    My mom died a little inside when I said "pussy" on an alter.

  10. I SO empathize. And this is the greatest picture EVER. I love it so much.

    I had the same experience with Alice in Wonderland in elementary. I remember clearly that I CHOSE to be a "rosebud" in our play because of the costume.

  11. I was a Maid in our Nativity scene.... not ONCE, in ANY Jesus story do I remember there being a MAID!?! I remember I wore a place mat tucked into my skirt as an apron. I didn't even have any lines. At least you got to be a real live character that people have actually heard of.

  12. I think that is the most disgruntled, pouty Mary I have every seen. At least you didn't have to walk around wearing your dad's shirt backwards like that other kid.

  13. This picture is adorable.

    I remember actually *wanting* to be Mary. 1) I was a bit of an attention whore, 2) I just took any excuse to hold one of the new babies in church, whichever one was Baby Jesus that year.

    Now? I get "stage fright" even speaking at staff meetings.

  14. Jessica - You are right! Thank you for the validation! Her life at that time was super-sucky! She probably wanted to have the same expression, even if she had to maintain a beatific smile or whatever. And foot, food - very close.

    Christine - Being a heathen, I think I just didn't get the importance of the role.

    lacochran - I hadn't thought of that! And I'm sure it started out on top of my head.

    FreckledK - I know! Who'd let in someone that dour?

    Lemmonex - Yikes. The Vagina Monologues in church. I feel like that has me beat by a mile.

    Jane - Ohhh, I would totally choose to be a rosebud as well! Pretty!

    JoLee - Yah, I don't quite remember a maid either...

    Girl With Curious Hair - Hahaha! That made me laugh out loud.

    Liebchen - If I'd actually understood, I'd probably have wanted to be her too. Mother of God! Very important role!

  15. You're adorable! (Says the woman who, had I been your mother, would have been sitting in the audience giving you the small mouth and glarey eyes trying to make you stop pouting from sheer will.)

  16. I forgot to say that I blame Hugh Grant for making you pout.

  17. In 4th grade I played the lead girl of a couple who went back in time to 1994 (present day) from 2010.

    My hair was a crimped side-ponytail, I wore hot pink stirrups (holla Katherine!) and drew big stars on my cheeks. Who knew Cyndi Lauper was the future?

    And then I think about what I would most like to be wearing today, and yeah... you're definitely right.

  18. Agreed, the Christmas Lobster is waaay better than, say, the Christmas Octopus.

  19. Lisa, you are so right. My recalcitrant daughter was recalcitrant the minute she exited my womb!

  20. Lisa, if you use that look, or the one you gave Nick in a previous post, on your future've got it made!! Instant submission on their part, I think.

    And really, who wants to be Mary? Virgin thank you.

  21. Lisa, you look like Eloise, from those kid's books!! =-) Too cute.

  22. DCup - I know. If I were my mom, I'd have been soooo irritated and glarey too. As for Hugh, absolutely agree, as you know.

    LiLu - So cute! I can totally picture you like that! And Cyndi Lauper is always the future. Ha.

    Jennifer - Absolutely. All those arms would be really inconvenient.

    LJ - I do believe that people's personalities are already set - and that's further proof.

    Susan - That is excellent to know! I will definitely file that nugget away to be pulled out when I need it.

    Ryane - I LOVE Eloise! Thank you! :)

  23. My mom has a picture of me pouting on "school picture day" and it's worse than that. I apparently DID NOT want to take the picture. Of course, my parents had no idea until the picture was ready for pick up.

    It's my mom's favorite picture, and yep, I still look the same when I'm doing something I don't want to do...


Tell me about it.