Tiger Beat

The very first time a girl wanted to show Sam how much she liked him, he was 10 and she was 12 and she baked him an apple pie (his favorite) with his named baked into the lattice of the pie.
This was quickly followed by the first girl who had to kiss Sam onstage on his cheek during a play who invited him in one night after rehearsal for a glass of water, or, as I called it, a nightcap. He also had an admirer in 6th grade at school who went by the initials KG and he had to tell her over lunch period that she just wasn’t his type.

Yes, my boy is a ladies man. At the beginning of the tour, there was only one young man who had the ladies screaming at the stage door after the shows. Bryan Welnicki, a very attractive and talented guy, loved by the young ladies in the audience, earned the name Tiger Beat by his cast mates on the tour bus. But a few months ago, Julie our teacher heard some girls talking during intermission of a show about how “hot” Pugsley was too. Now Bryan, age 24, and Sam, age 12, are attracting the same age demographic. And it’s on, baby. (The one exception is the cougar ladies aged 30 and up who find Bryan hot, but not Sam.)

I have spent my dwindling days on tour with the sad realization that I am not as young as I think I am. I talk of joining the cast late at night out at bars or casinos, and then think, eh, I’m too exhausted. It’s midnight. I’d rather be in bed.

You know that character that Amy Poehler plays in Mean Girls where she’s trying to be the “cool mom”? Wearing the trendy clothes that her daughter wears like pink Juicy warm up suits that don’t flatter her body? Trying to talk all hip like her daughter’s friends? That’s how I feel lately. Like, “hey, guys, what’s happening tonight after the show? We going out to the clubs?” and they all look at me with a glimmer of pity.

I did have one exciting moment in
Orange, TX where they needed some cast members for a photo op with a special plant called a “corpse plant” that only blooms every few years. Since not many cast members showed up, I’m in the press photos. It’s as “Sam’s mom joins in the fun.” But still.

Because as much as I want to think I’ve still got it and can party as hard as they can…I just physically can’t. I’m exhausted. These one nighters are killing me. The lack of sleep, the extreme heat and humidity, the late nights, and the early mornings..I…am…too…old! I really can’t even talk about the same things that they do. I don’t know what snap chat or vine or insta chat are. All I do is mumble about the old days when we had only one phone in each house and had to write letters to new friends we would make away from home, and they look at me like I’m Mary Todd Lincoln.

And so, I will watch my boy hit on the female fans waiting by the stage door without “killing his scene” by hovering as my buddy Aaron captured me doing last night. I will watch in envy as the cast comes stumbling into their hotel rooms at 6 am, pulling all nighters of partying while I pass them in the hall on my way to pee for the 8th time that night. I also must deal with the revelation that my 5 year old Aidan, who also talks of kissing girls in his closet “when he’s older,” is well on his way to becoming a ladies man in the Kindergarten scene.

I will do it all while resting my aching back and tired legs, and reading my generation’s magazine of choice:: “More” Magazine…for women over 40.





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