Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Impossible Dream

As my college roomates would be more than willing to testify, I have a ridiculous love of musicals.  In school, while most co-eds were listening to Nirvana or The Red Hot Chili Peppers, I was down with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and West Side Story.  Seriously, where was my intervention?  You'd think friends and family would have provided some much-needed guidance to uber-dork here.

Anyway, one of my favorite musicals was (and still is) Man of La Mancha (the musical version of Cervante's Don Quixote).  When I was living in New York, I saw it on Broadway five times.  Still no intervention.  The song I loved most was To Dream The Impossible Dream.  For the theatre geeks out there, I've included the Elvis cover of the song:


Back in my 20's, I interpreted the song as a quest for a righteous life.  In my late 30's, I have a decidedly different take on it.  I think the song may have been inspired by harried housewives.  Our list of "impossible dreams" piles up daily.  For example:

I dream that I will one day be able to park my car in the garage.

I dream the baby birds who have happily taken up residence outside our window and chirp all morning will learn to fly away.  Or die trying:

I dream my husband will one day love me as much as he loves his bean bag boards:

I dream I will have my own laminating machine:

I dream that I will uncover a treasure trove of vintage Fisher Price Little People at my favorite second-hand shop:

I have found that middle-aged dreams can be exhausting.  They serve only to remind me of my mounting failures.  The laminating pile grows.  I couldn't even fit a broom in the garage today. Joe wouldn't take his bean bag boards out of the car for a party on Saturday citing "safety" concerns (while our children turned purple from 12 hours in the pool followed by a dousing of DEET).   

Comedian Mitch Hedberg perhaps summed it up best:

"I'm sick of following my dreams.  I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later." 

Sounds like a plan to me.


  1. Marianne,I'm behind on your blog, but they all make me laugh. I, too, loved Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and was talking about it at a 4th party yesterday. Nothing like Donny Osmond singing the 'close every door' song. Saw it with Michael Damian too. Not the same. Loved it so much that I became a huge Donny Osmond fan in my early 20s and my boyfriend surprised me with a Donny Osmond concert at the Chicago theater. I am a huge nerd. Jeanine

  2. Jeanine - Donny Osmond seems to be the theme of my life...I'm glad to know there are others out there like me! I saw the show in Chicago as well and thought he was just marvelous.