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It’s Phantom Friday!

Can you feel the excitement in the air?  Listen!  I swear I can hear Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music as though it’s playing in my heart.  Oh, wait.  It’s just my cell phone in my jacket pocket playing Masquerade.  Whoever you are, I’ll call you back later…I’m talking about Phantom here!

I’m not crazy or anything.  I’m just like you except in this one little instance.  You see, I don’t just like something.  I become passionate about it.  Sometimes that passion is a good thing.  Just ask my husband.  Sometimes it’s annoying.  Just ask my children.  I can’t help it.  It’s who I am on the inside—a caffeinated, sugared-up mush ball.

One thing that I am passionate about is characters–real and fictional.  I collect them.  Take a look at my friends.  If you’re thinking, “I know her friends and they all seem pretty normal to me.”  Umm… maybe it’s because you are ‘one of the interesting ones’ and trust me, I appreciate you!

Back to Phantom Friday.  First things first.  I think we need to establish the difference between a “Phan” and a normal person who enjoyed Phantom of the Opera on Broadway or liked the movie with Gerard Butler.  Before I begin the real Phantom Friday Blog next week, let’s take this Friday to figure this out, shall we?

In order to separate the wheat from the chaff or the ‘normal’ from the ‘Phan,’ I’ve come up with a simple test.  If you have done any of these things, perhaps you will come back next week to read my blog again.  Or, you might want to seek professional help.

Are you a Phan?  To find out, ask yourself:

1)      Have you ever downloaded a ringtone from the musical to your phone? (Okay that’s weird, but it gets worse.)

2)      Every time your phone rings, do you hope someone recognizes the song, so you’ll have a brand new Phan-friend?  (Phans bond very easily.  It’s safety in numbers—or the fact that all our other friends cringe and roll their eyes when we bring up Phantom.  “Oh, god! She’s doing it again.”—Yes, I’ve heard you.)

3)      Have you ever watched the movie during the day and gone to the musical that same night?  (It was the perfect day.  I remember it well.)

4)      Do you use a line from the musical at least once a day in regular conversation just to see if anyone picks up on it?  (Still looking for that Phantom soul mate…no luck yet.  They may be tied up somewhere and not allowed to go out in the general populace, but I hope to connect one day…outside the facility, that is.)

5)      You cannot simply walk down any grand staircase, but feel compelled to glide down it with giant sweeping motions while saying, “Why so silent, good Monsieurs?” the way the Phantom did when he crashed the Masquerade party.  (He knows how to make an entrance!  Note:  People will give you very odd looks as you descend in this manner, but it’s so worth it–even if your husband refuses to come down until you’ve reached the bottom and people stop staring.)

6)      Do you harass your sister-in-law (or any other relative that lives in France) until she agrees to go to the Paris Opera House to take pictures for you from Box 5 and then you continue to harass her until she agrees to try and get a tour of the basements?  (*Ahem* Work on that, will you, Jennifer!)

7)      Do you make your husband wear a half-mask to every Halloween party?  (This is tricky as it has been known to cause the need to leave parties earlier than planned, or find a quiet, dark corner somewhere.  I assure you, he’s never complained about that mask.  Not once.  I swear.)

8)      Have you ever special ordered a black tuxedo, white shirt and black silk cape for your beloved husband because you don’t want it to ‘look like a costume’?   (It’s hard to find a good cape in the 21st century, let me tell you.  But, damn!  He looks good in it.  Who cares if he can only wear it once a year…in public, anyway.)

9)      Have you ever lost the ability to speak coherently when someone asks you anything about Phantom? Gibberish comes out of your mouth and you get so excited you drool just a little?  (Hey, I’ve heard it happens.)  *looking around, avoiding eye contact*

10)   Can you bring ANY conversation back to the Phantom? (Yes, I know how annoying this can be, but it’s the way my mind works.  My mother is still hoping I grow out of it.  I’m 40-something.  It’s not going to happen, Mom.)

11)   Have you ever begged your husband to buy the silver car because its official color name is Phantom Pearl Gray?  (Hey, it is a beautiful car!)

12)   Have you ever written an 80,000-word novel about the main character to see if you can bring him to the edge of redemption only to tip him over to the dark side because, well, he’s Erik, the malevolent Opera Ghost?  (I had some time on my hands.)

13)   Have you ever jumped up and down when your husband got a promotion because you found out his positional title is abbreviated O.G.?  (O.G. is how the Phantom signed all his extortion letters.)

14)   Have you ever done an embarrassingly long happy dance about your husband’s new job because you found out you get to wear a rhinestone pin with the initials O.G. to all official functions?  (What are the freakin’ odds?)  It’s destiny, people!  I’m married to the O.G. (Opera Ghost!)

All right, before I scare you too much and cause you to keep your children and pets away from me or make you consider moving out of the neighborhood, I’ll stop.  I think we get the general idea, yes?  We can all see these are not typical thought patterns of a rational mind.  Now we have a good idea and a solid foundation for understanding the mental workings of a strange, but harmless Phantom Phan.

If you’ve done any of these things drop me a line.  I really want to know who you are.  If you are a Phan, let’s hear the crazy things you’ve done in the name of Erik!  Your comments are welcome.

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