One thing you may encounter if you are in the theatrical world is THE DIVA.
Cranky was once befriended by a musical theater Diva –the worst kind. Believe it or not, Cranky’s natural inclination is to be generous, so it took many many Diva acts to reach the friendship waterloo. Basically, the annoying behavior is to insure that everywhere they go, whatever they are doing, they are the center of attention.
Hence every visit to every restaurant began with multiple changings of tables due to mysterious drafts that no one else could feel besides her. “Oh no. I can’t sit here. The draft. There’s a draft. It will ruin my voice. Cough. Cough. Do you feel it? Can we sit somewhere else? Are you sure there is not a draft over there too?” If you have ever worked in a restaurant, you know how just much maître ds love this. Cringe worthy. And when it came time to order, she would over discuss the foods she can’t eat with the waiter in a whiny voice.
So Cranky decided restaurants were not a viable place to see the Diva. So Cranky would make dinner at home and invite her and her henpecked live-in boyfriend. What could go wrong there? What? Well, Divas find a way. She once asked if she could bring along a fan visiting from London to dinner. Of course. The more the merrier. NOT. The fan was a guy named Barnaby or something who had seen her musical in London like 100 times and given her a rose at the stage door every night. OY.
So here comes Barnaby into my home. He doesn’t say hello, thanks for inviting me OR ANYTHING. He plops down next to the Diva and they sit nose to nose all evening while he praises her and she drinks it in and no attempt is made to engage in conversation with the rest of the table, which consists of henpecked, me, some guy I was once married to, and a horrified friend. I felt less like a hostess and more like an enabler. Her only foray into group conversation is when the friend compliments me on my eyes and the Diva suddenly springs into action and runs over to him to show him the amazing spots in her irises.
Then there is the party at the Diva’s house. Cranky is always willing to help a friend before a party. As a major domo, Cranky can crank out crudité, and is never without doilies and toothpicks at home. So I go to the Diva’s house to help. There is a massive amount of vegetables to cut, cheese to arrange and things to pop in the oven. The Diva shows Cranky everything that needs to be done, chops one piece of celery, and then disappears. Cranky keeps working. And working. It’s summer, and my hair starts to droop and the makeup is melting off my face. Where is Diva? Where? Well, when preparation is done, and the doorbell rings announcing the first guest, Diva appears freshly made up and ready for the party, and Cranky/friend/maid was ready to lie down. Diva had taken a shower, put on make-up and changed outfits.
One day I ran into her and a friend of hers when I was on the way somewhere. I had just put on a tiny bit of some lemony scented something. Diva went nuts. “ARE YOU WEARING PERFUME? OH NO! DON’T COME NEAR ME. STAY BACK! I’M ALLERGIC AND IT WILL AFFECT MY VOICE! STAY BACK!” Cranky kept walking.
Funnily, Cranky didn’t really know who Diva was in the theater world, as an avid unfollower of musical theater. Maybe if I had been a sycophant, her behavior might not have been so irksome. But, I knew she could really sing. Hell, she could sing. She used to occasionally sing for me. Mini concerts in her living room. That was nice. Diva had some voice. I used to tell her, “Girlfriend, you have the best voice I have ever heard! Get out!” I once attended a concert she gave, and she was so good Cranky cried.
But, to me, she was a fellow dog owner in the hood. She had three huge dogs who used to steal food from the homeless people sleeping on the benches. Divas raise delinquents. One day, returning from the dog park, Diva asked Cranky to hold her pack of dogs while she went into the market for “just a minute.” A half hour later, after Cranky had had enough time to reevaluate this relationship, Diva returned.
Our last morning meeting in the dog park we chatted while the dogs romped. Diva drank Cranky’s coffee. I was wearing mirrored aviator sunglasses. Diva interrupted her to say, “I’m sorry. I can see myself in your glasses and I look terrible. Would you take them off?”