Friday, June 18, 2010

all about steve

"Margo Channing is a star of the theater. She made her first stage appearance at the age of four in Midsummer Night's Dream. She played a fairy and entered, quite unexpectedly, stark naked. She has been a star ever since. Margo is a great star, a true star. She never was or will be anything less or anything

I could hear George Sanders's mellifluous tones yesterday in a business meeting.  I had just finished a short presentation on a new business policy -- smugly thinking how well I had done.

And then I heard the younger attorney I am training as my replacement add more information.  He was well-spoken,  His additions were helpful.  The audience appreciated his participation.

But a little voice in my head started asking: "Why is he talking?  Those should be my lines."  I call it my Margo Channing syndrome.  Vain and churlsh.

For our younger readers Margo Channing is the lead character in one of America's best films: All About Eve -- a movie that drips with life metaphors.  Ambition.  Betrayal.  Manipulation.  Triumph.  The kind of film Lady MacBeth wishes she could star in.  In short, a darn good movie.

It is the story of a young woman (Eve Harrington), who wants to be a Broadway actress.  She insinuates herself into the entourage of Margo Channing, a star at the top of her game, and attempts to replace Margo.  The new toppling the old.

You can see how an older, retired attorney might feel some connection with the tale -- no matter how tenuous the threads may be.

Coming back to work has told me a lot about myself.  I love the work.  I like the people I work with.  I adore the adulation.  It is almost like returning to a sitcom where I had a lead role for 19 years.  But I am now simply in a guest role.

Things have moved on.  New people now hold the spots above the title.

That is a great lesson.  One of the things I missed in Mexico was my web of friends and colleagues in The States -- a ready-made audience for my talents.

Then I broke my ankle.  And I learned that I had the starts of a good network in Melaque.  My Salem network took almost 20 years to develop.  But I found the new network in Melaque was every bit as satisfying as my old one.

Seeing new people in my old roles simply reminds me that nothing stays the same.  Everything grows.  And usually for the better.

My role now is to gracefully pass on what I can, and to then shuffle (or hobble, in my current condition) off the stage before I am relegated to character bits as the eccentric, aging uncle.

George Sanders's summary of Margo really does not apply to me.  But a slightly paraphrased version of another of his lines may:.

"While you wait, you can read my [blog]. It'll make minutes fly like hours."

No need to buckle your seat belt on this ride.  It will be smooth sailing until I return to Mexico.


Anonymous said...

Great post! Steve.
With much insight....Take care

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you need a hairdo and voila Bette Davis or Margo Channing. Our dog in San Miguel looks like Carol Channing and then there is Stockhart Channing - all over the top women.

Steve, just be George Sanders in a voiceover.

NWexican said...

As my time as a "techie guru" in Salem, Oregon winds down I am constantly reminded that I am a dinosaur. Being one of the few remaining that has ever seen, let alone touched, a punch card for big mainframe systems I have long passed my prime. I no longer have the desire or the drive to be, "the man" Therefore, I will slowly fade in to the cactus far SOB, never to be remembered as significant....
Dramatic enough?
Thankfully I will never resemble Stockard ot Carol Channing..

Anonymous said...

Steve, I hear ya'...I'm going through those same pangs at this late stage of my career.

Great post and very insightful. I think you're homesick for Mexico. Wish I could just get up and move there. Maybe someday - maybe never. Who knows?

Thanks for sharing your innermost feelings. It becomes you, really.

Babs said...

I just said at lunch today that I feel like "my season" ended about 10 years ago and I can hardly understand some of the stuff that is going on now.
IF, God forbid, I had to go back into the business world I know without a doubt I would feel like a "has been" or an albatross, whichever looks better in a red boa.

1st Mate said...

And all this time I bet those young Turks are muttering to themselves, "Cotton's got the right idea, just get myself down to Mexico...Naah, the wife would never go for it."

Steve & Wheezy said...

Very good post, probably alot of us have wondered what it will be like after we leave, you've provided us a quick glimpse. You do that often, little pictures of what life could or would be like, guess thats why were all hooked on your writings. Thank you, but please hurry back to Mexico, I have no desire to retire to Oregon. And please keep writing.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

It is great to keep growing and learning about ourselves. Self-reflection is important. One experience leads to another. It is what keeps us living life to the fullest.

Steve Cotton said...

Anonymous -- I am still working on that insight thing.

Richland -- I just watched the movie again. I do believe I am Addison DeWitt reincarnated. Perhaps not as nasty.

NWexican -- So when are we going to talk?

Alee' -- I am definitely getting homesick for Mexico -- and for returning to retirement.

Babs -- You would walk in and simply take charge.

1st Mate -- And I think they are.

Steve & Wheezy -- Love the moniker. The Mexican tales will soon return. As will I there.

AMM -- And here I was thinking I had gone into summer reruns.

NWexican said...

We have... ;)

Just kidding actually you know my wife, sorta ...

NWexican said...

Think brief, uh very brief, conversation in line to eat at a saif place, uh about 3 weeks ago...... She's a redhead, starts with D..
She told me about you not knowing I had already been reading you blog for a while.

Steve Cotton said...

NWexican -- I know I should know.