Friday, March 12, 2010

The Wonder of Alice

With the release of Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" last weekend magic has been in full force. As I sat in the theatre with Clara, each of us grinning like the Cheshire cats that we are, I couldn't help but remember a time when I myself felt like I was in wonderland.

In the fall of 2002, (My god, eight years ago?! I FEEL OLD! *ahem*), I was fresh meat up for fodder at Meredith College, an all woman's college in "Nawth" Carolina. It was wonderful, new, exciting and...odd. Amongst the pearls and pigtails, the popped collars and the Ugg boots, and the Southern Belles I proudly strutted my citrusy self and rocked my Decepticon t-shirt and faded jeans.

I spent that first year being entranced by all the possibilities that lay before me. However, as the year ran on and I entered into my second year, I couldn't help but feel like a fishwife among housewives. I didn't care how I dressed particularly. I was not into the party scene. I didn't have a car...Quite frankly I wondered more and more if this was how Alice felt in Wonderland. I was a very fitting definition of 'Curiouser & Curiouser'.

Thankfully, this was the year that I also learned of one of the many traditions of my college. Once every college generation, the faculty and staff would produce and perform their own rendition of Alice in Wonderland. The tradition started during the flu epidemic of 1924. Then, most of the faculty and staff lived on campus along with the students. That Christmas, the campus was shut down and quarantined. None of the students were allowed to go home for Christmas break. Seeing the sadness amongst the students, someone struck up an idea...They would put on a play! Something to cheer up the students and keep up moral and be fun for all involved...Thus, 'Meredith College Presents Alice in Wonderland' was born!

The entire production is kept secret as to who is cast to play which part. Dance routines are choreographed, and sketches are incorporated to reflect and make mockery of the current times. Janet Jackson's unfortunate *ahem* ""Wardrobe Malfunction"" for example, was incorporated into the Lobster Dance when the can-can line flashed their flesh colored cloth and red glitter covered ta-ta's at the audience.

The play always opens with one of the music professors banging boldly away on the pipe organ, (usually the favored 'Toccata en fugue'). While the intermission is comprised of the 'Cards' (staffers dressed to the hilt as playing cards), running up and down the aisles to pop music, throwing confetti, paper hearts, and playing cards all over the attendees. Truly a Mad Tea Party if ever there were...

Having a show of this madness and magnitude really made me feel more at ease. Seeing my favorite English professor recite The Walrus and the Carpenter, and another History professor portray a hippie flower were the highlights of my years at Meredith. I regained my Muchness, celebrated my Madness, and Made Magic... What more can a girl ask for? :)


My Dear Friends- How do you regain your Muchness and celebrate your own Madness?


  1. ah muchness... that was my favorite line in the movie. and the meredith play was delicious.

    i like to find my muchness when i sand on things... strange i know. but just try standing (or kneeling) on your desk at work. tower above the cubicle walls and tell me you dont feel giddy (heh heh i'm standing on my desk at work heh heh). i like the different perspectives...

    screaming outside. a big long scream. its relieving and makes way for the muchness.

    jumping/twirling/dancing like a mad crazy woman to an excellent song.

    spending a day or a conversation with muchy people. because nothing brings out the muchness like muchy people.

    thrift stores. ripe with possibilities for creativity. where else can you find a rice field straw hat and an acid washed jean jacket that zips up diagonally with fur on the collar in the same place.