Reflections on Being Surrounded By Barbra Streisands

Barbra Streisand is a go-to joke in my immediate family.  My father was flown down to interview her in L.A., during her publicity rounds for “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”   My father had interviewed many famous people at that point in his career, including a President of the United States.  He loves to tell us that no one kept him waiting longer than BARBRA.

Here’s his first-hand account:

“I flew down to Beverly Hills Sunday to catch an evening screening of Streisand’s new movie, `The Mirror Has Two Faces.’ The following day I waited around until after 11 p.m., even though the interview was scheduled for 6 p.m.

There was an eight-minute video about the filming of the movie that played continually in the room where journalists slumped, awaiting the golden summons to a one-on-one with Barbra. I watched it dozens of times, committing many lines to memory, before thinking to disable the machine when no one looked.

Great consternation when the sabotage was discovered. But then we got to watch ‘Monday Night Football,’ ‘Murphy Brown,’ ‘Melrose Place’ and other diversions.”

My family is extremely WASP-y.  I can say that without being disrespectful, I hope.  I grew up believing: You never keep anyone waiting, you need to be polite, you couch your opinions carefully, you don’t hurt people’s feelings.

I’ve been watching the first season of “Glee,” and honestly, I’ve been on the fence about it.  Until the episode entitled “Sectionals.”  Rachel Berry, the Barbra Streisand-ish character on the show, described as “wanting everything too much”, sings a Barbra Streisand song.  The song is “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” Lea Michele rocks the hell out of that song.  I thought about the song, a lot, over the last couple of days.

The lyrics might as well state the opinions of most of those who surround me now: they have an incredibly different philosophy than the ethos I grew up with.  I think their philosophy might well be summed up by this song.  It’s a scrappy, life-consuming song.  Here are the lyrics:

Don’t tell me not to live,
Just sit and putter,
Life’s candy and the sun’s
A ball of butter.
Don’t bring around a cloud
To rain on my parade!
Don’t tell me not to fly–
I’ve simply got to.
If someone takes a spill,
It’s me and not you.
Who told you you’re allowed
To rain on my parade!
I’ll march my band out,
I’ll beat my drum,
And if I’m fanned out,
Your turn at bat, sir.
At least I didn’t fake it.
Hat, sir, I guess I didn’t make it!
But whether I’m the rose
Of sheer perfection,
Or freckle on the nose
Of life’s complexion,
The cinder or the shiny apple of its eye,
I gotta fly once,
I gotta try once,
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, life is juicy,
Juicy, and you see
I gotta have my bite, sir!
Get ready for me, love,
cause I’m a commer,
I simply gotta march,
My heart’s a drummer.
Don’t bring around a cloud
To rain on my parade!

I’m gonna live and live now,
Get what I want–I know how,
One roll for the whole show bang,
One throw, that bell will go clang,
Eye on the target and wham
One shot, one gun shot, and BAM
Hey, Mister Armstein,
Here I am!
I’ll march my band out,
I will beat my drum,
And if I’m fanned out,
Your turn at bat, sir,
At least I didn’t fake it.
Hat, sir, I guess I didn’t make it.
Get ready for me, love,
’cause I’m a commer,
I simply gotta march,
My heart’s a drummer.
Nobody, no, nobody
Is gonna rain on my parade!

My greatest fault (I have many) is that I am a perfectionist. I don’t want to say anything unless I amaze the room.  And I never do.  I can’t imagine believing that I had the right to fly – and that I simply have to.  In order to fly, much preparation would need to take place, and many people would need to approve. But this is B.S.

This is all an excuse as to my I haven’t posted my NIAW post yet.  I want to amaze the room with my words, but the truth is: I probably won’t.  I don’t have the golden voice of Lea Michele.  I don’t have the warrior spirit of Keiko.  I have not the eloquence of Stirrup Queens.  Or Stumbling Grace.

But, I’ve realized, that’s OK.  I don’t have to be perfect in order to take my turn at the bat. And yes, that’s a clue as to what my NIAW post will be about.

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8 Comments

Filed under Barbra Streisand, Infertility, NIAW, Parenting After IF

8 responses to “Reflections on Being Surrounded By Barbra Streisands

  1. Brava, yay, and abso-frickin’lutely about time woman 😉
    You DO have to fly. If nothing else, think of it in terms of “What do I want to teach my daughter about how to dance through her own life? What do I want to teach my son about how women should fly through this world?” They’ll learn what you do, so dance, fly…

  2. First of all, your dad sounds ridiculously cool. It must be hard going through your own adult life when his was so incomparably awesome (not that I’m saying yours is not awesome, but I don’t think any of us get to do the amazing things that he got to).

    I totally feel you on not wanting to put it out there, especially if it’s important to you, until you know it’s perfect. I was very nervous when I published that post on Tuesday night and then you immediately responded with your kind and supportive words and I knew everything was going to be alright.

    I am continually surprised by how disappointed I get when a post that means a lot to me, or that I’m proud of, doesn’t get much response. It’s happened a few times and the sinking feeling always follows me around for a few days. There are still posts I go back to and read and I’m like, this was good. Why did no one comment on this?!

    This community is so amazing and so supportive but I for one have to remember that it does not exist to carry me through my own issues about being accepted or writing well. Those are my issues and are not what this community (or commenting) is about. This community is about supporting people through the challenges and triumphs of IF and loss and if we give it more importance than that we can be setting ourselves up for disappointment.

    Maybe I’m the only one who does this. Maybe this has NOTHING to do with this post, but this is the tangent my thoughts took and so I went with it.

    I KNOW that you are an amazing and talented writer and I know that whatever you put out there in honor of NIAW will be worth the wait because it will be honest and thoughtful and from your heart.

    I can’t wait to read it!

    • “This community is so amazing and so supportive but I for one have to remember that it does not exist to carry me through my own issues about being accepted or writing well. Those are my issues and are not what this community (or commenting) is about. This community is about supporting people through the challenges and triumphs of IF and loss and if we give it more importance than that we can be setting ourselves up for disappointment.”

      That’s exactly how I feel! My dad says that the main thing writing is about is rejection. Hard for a perfectionist to hear. And the truth is, our community is about support, not wowing each other with our bon mots.

  3. I have those exact same issues. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t even tried to do a NIAW post. I know I won’t have the precious time to make it as perfect as I would HAVE to.. (and still find lacking)

  4. Pingback: Tuesday Time Warp: Waiting, Barbra Streisand and Glee | Too Many Fish to Fry

  5. Here from Time Warp… I love this post! As a fellow perfectionist I could relate to so much of what you wrote. I remember that episode of Glee and how powerful Lea’s rendition of that was. Thank you for sharing the lyrics here too. I love to read and ponder song lyrics and had never really contemplated these until today.

    Your dad’s job sounds so cool and how interesting to hear about one of his experiences with waiting to interview someone, especially someone that famous!

    I also really appreciate Esperanza’s cmoment here, as I could also relate to what she shared about the blog posts that we write and feel good about and then wait and wonder why more people don’t respond and comment as we hope and imagine they might. I think we have all been there and it makes me think another of your great posts this year about commenting.

    Anyway, thanks so much for sharing this. I am going to return to your new Time Warp post to comment there now. Thank you also for being first to link up! I am so excited about this blog hop and your kind words, support, validation and participation mean so much to me! xoxo

  6. The story of your dad interviewing Barbra is priceless 🙂 We should swap journalist/photojournalist tales of our dads! One of my favorites is when my dad called Pavrotti an asshole… to his fat, asshole face 😀

    And I love how you tied this in with the theme of waiting too – the more you think about “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” the more you realize it’s about having the freedom to do your own thing and more importantly – take your own time to do it. If anything, it reflects on the impatience of others.

    Fab job with your Time Warp Tuesday post!

  7. Oh, boy, do I get where you’re coming from. I see others put out 5 or more posts a week and I just can’t figure out how that’s done. I polish and polish and polish. Can’t manage more than 2 or 3, all because of those perfectionist tendencies.

    Glad you got your NIAW post out :-). Nice Time Warp!

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