I have 4 fabulous tickets to The Lion King which will be making its Richmond debut next week. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I have 5 beloved family members jockeying for the tickets. How did this happen you wonder? No, it’s not that I added a new family member since I bought the tickets. Nor did I forget about someone when I bought the tickets. As with everything family-related, it’s more complicated than that.

Last fall I took my mother, sister, and husband to see Wicked. Great tickets. Which means expensive tickets. My mother, bless her heart (as we say in the south), slept through the majority of the production. At 79, she sleeps through most productions – eating dinner, church, driving, the news – you get the picture. My sister reminds me that mom banged her head (hard) as she was getting into the car to go to Wicked, so that had her out of sorts. Sure, but unless she had a concussion (and we should have been waking her every hour), does that head banging preclude sleeping through a screeching monkey Broadway musical?

While you’re thinking about that, are you also wondering who’s the number 5 in this dilemma? It’s the kid – the 7 year old nephew (son of sister) – who was the main person I thought of when I snagged these 4 great tickets. I thought “Robert will love this! Of course sister Katherine should be there to see his enchantment. And then husband Richard and I will go and we’ll all have a great time.” I figured mom will understand why I’m not willing to dish out $100+ for another nap for her. I figured wrong.

Actually, it’s sister Katherine who’s throwing the wrench in the plans, saying she’s not that interested in The Lion King and I should take mom in her place – mom has “always wanted to see it.” Which puts me with a 7 year old on one arm, and a 79 year old on the other. Of course husband Richard would help – but then does that leave my sister sitting at home having a pity party? And really, what are the odds mom won’t doze off?

WWMD? (as in What Would Mufasa Do?) Probably, as King of the Jungle, he would’ve thought a little harder and longer before pressing the “purchase” button on his computer. He probably would have realized that there could be hard feelings, changing desires, and what seems like a good idea in September can turn into a dilemma in February. So he would have suggested I include the whole family because that’s what Prides do – they stick together.

So I guess if he could put his big furry paw on my shoulder right now, he’d tell me to suck it up and buy one more ticket (they have a single available on the 4th row! no way she’d fall asleep there!). And then in a gentle but firm voice he’d remind me to put my business practice of thinking before acting into my personal life as well.

Maggi