Speaking of nerves, the extended Mamea aiga attended the opening night: our Stern but Loving Parents, Awesome Sister and her girls, and Staunch Bro and his family. They said they enjoyed the show and I can’t ask for more than that. The Lovely Wife was not called on to take one for her husband so it was quite the lovefest and very validating for this writer.
The lights dim and you press Play on your entertainment system. You lean back in your seat to enjoy another entry in a well-loved genre. It’s quite likely a story you’ve seen a few thousand times by now, but you recognise the names of the creatives and you’re willing to give things a whirl.
You know the story, the one about the willful child who careens from one self-inflicted calamity to the next, while their forbearing parents, patient and compassionate (and invariably well-resourced), try their best for their child. And we know how it ends — on screen, at least: as our story reaches its appointed climax, the child — having spurned their awful, selfish and clueless parents for the preceding 80 or 345 minutes — returns to the arms of their parents, safe, secure and totally forgiven.
The earliest memory I have of exposure to such stories is from The Wonderful World of Disney television series when I was ten or eleven. That same memory includes 10-/11-year old me exchanging a look with my Awesome Sister, and together we would look at our Stern but Loving Parents, and we’d think, That shit would never fly in our family.
So — don’t tell anyone — but I was doing a little light research when I read the following passage:
[French explorer de Bougainville marvelled at the skill of the Samoan sailors who knew] how to use the sun and stars as a guide and how to take advantage of prevailing winds. Furthermore, they seemed to have a wonderful sense of direction that would tell them the right direction of travel no matter what strange surroundings they were in. And, like a bird of migration, the Samoan sailors unerringly returned to the island from which they had set out.
And I flashed on this early exchange:
WELLINGTON -- 2008
Our PET WRITER and his GODDESS seek directions from the writer’s AWESOME SISTER.
We just want to find the nearest supermarket.
Easy-peasy: you take the first left and you’ll see a KFC on the corner. Drive past it for three blocks until you see a McDonalds, take a right before the golden arches, and you can’t miss it.
... I have no idea what you just said.
It’s okay, I got it.
(off writer and his sister)
... It’s an island thing, isn’t it?
Pet Writer and Awesome Sister try not to smile patronisingly at her.