Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Being Alive?

with 2 comments

In the show stopping number from the musical Company, the main character Robert (or Bobby) is accosted by the people around him because they want him to settle down and marry. They think that it will make him happy to have someone that needs and loves him. And through the song “Being Alive”, we are shown that Bobby wants this relationship, too. But the question I must ask is why does someone have to have a significant other in order for society to see them as the “norm”? I mean seriously what is so wrong with being able to live your life without having someone there wondering where you are or having to check with someone else before you make decisions that might effect you both.

“Being Alive”

By Stephen Sondheim

Someone to crowd you with love,
Someone to force you to care,
Someone to make you come through,
Who’ll always be there,
As frightened as you
Of being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive.

AMY: Blow out the candles, Robert, and make a wish. *Want* something!
Want *something*!

ROBERT:
Somebody, hold me too close,
Somebody, hurt me too deep,
Somebody, sit in my chair
And ruin my sleep
And make me aware
Of being alive,
Being alive.

Somebody, need me too much,
Somebody, know me too well,
Somebody, pull me up short
And put me through hell
And give me support
For being alive,
Make me alive.

Make me confused,
Mock me with praise,
Let me be used,
Vary my days.
But alone is alone, not alive.

Somebody, crowd me with love,
Somebody, force me to care,
Somebody, make me come through,
I’ll always be there,
As frightened as you,
To help us survive
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive!

I understand that having a significant other is a noble ideal for most people. I would like to find someone someday, settle down, and have children. I think that that is the preprogrammed animal-side of humanity that courses through our brains. Yet, I also have other goals and dreams which I don’t think I could accomplish if I have a spouse and kids in tow…I mean I would love to visit the world, teach abroad, backpack through Europe, and many other (now clichéd) things. I just don’t think that it’s practical for me to get married right now. Also, I don’t know that I’ve met a woman lately that I would feel comfortable dating…I’m picky…but in a relationship one has to be…Right?

The reason why I am thinking about this subject is one because the song “Being Alive” popped up in a shuffle mix on my iTunes and two because every time I go home my mother asks me about any female friend I’ve been lately…seriously, if I’ve mentioned that I’ve hung out with them at all, she starts asking me about how they’re doing and what they’re doing and such. She’s being very transparent whether intentionally or no…I don’t know….I really just want to ask her can’t I be alone and be happy without her trying to hitch me to someone.

Understandably, my brother and sisters were all married by their early 20’s. Now, as I approach my mid-20’s, I suppose she thinks that I should be married and have kids (mind you, my siblings have grandkids…so that’s not a viable hypothesis).However, I do not see it as such. I’m fine with being free and easy with no ties. Like I said, I do want to marry someday, but right now, I’m a little more career and future oriented.

On the other hand, I am also realistic. If I did meet someone in the next couple of years or months even that I fell in love with, I wouldn’t put that on hold because of my previously said ideas. I would probably marry and continue with everything (a little differently but trying to go down the same course). I guess some people would think that I’m a cynic…and honestly, I’m fine with that in the grand scheme of thing. Think me a cynic, think me an asshole, or think me an angel…it’s really whatever. I know that I will find my own path to “Being Alive”…it’s just a little further down the line.

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Written by barryr22

March 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I’m surprised that you only quoted Amy’s line in the song…interesting choice.

    You have to remember that it took Bobby 35 years to reach his conclusion about “Being Alive.” In the show, he says that he never got married because he had all these things he wanted to do, but now he’s done them. He’s in a different phase of life.

    Trivia: did you know that Being Alive wasn’t originally the ending of the show? Sondheim had written a piece with something about birthdays in the title, but it was darker and not a happy ending, so he threw it out and wrote Being Alive, which I think is pretty much one of the most perfect pieces of musical theatre literature.

    Creaves

    March 21, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    • Did not know the bit of trivia you posed. I thought Amy’s line conformed to the point I was trying to make…the others didn’t necessarily. So, I guess I’m being a little skewed.

      barryr22

      March 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm


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