POST: 'Utility' - I hate this woman

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What's it about?

Amber has two jobs, three kids and her life sucks.

What'd I experience?

The only way I can really express my journey with this show is in three stages :
Stage 1: Confusion - What did I just see?
Stage 2: Frustration - What was the point?
Stage 3: Anger - I hate this woman.

I initially didn't understand why this story was being told. It could be that I have heard this same story from at least 8 out every 10 women my mum knows. It's so irritating see women aware of the shit storm they're in and willingly stay in it, even worse when they show no regard toward their own children's well being.

At first I was confused with whoever chose to write such a boring story, after thinking it over a bit the writer seems to have chosen the more likely of outcomes for a women in a crap situation. The root of my frustration for this woman was admitting to myself that she is more likely to stay with her on-and-off again husband who is probably cheating on her, for the sake of having a husband. Adding onto my impending hatred for this character was the lack of a voice of reason in her life. When speaking with her mother, she responded with a sad truth that was quite depressing to hear. Commenting on her husbands possible betrayal, she makes a point about how her community would respond to her cheating, essentially saying that she'd be ridiculed unlike her husband who's actions just get excused because 'that's what men do'.  

Since she had three children it seemed selfish to me that she was more concerned with her reputation than providing a stable home for her children. Her husband wasn't violent or aggressive, it felt more like seeing someone who could do so much better. He didn't have a stable job, which eventually caused the lights to go out, due to missing an electric payment. It was annoying to see a women who valued herself so little, even worse seeing her mother encourage her daughter to remain with her deadbeat husband. All I wanted to do is shake her and say, "WHAT THE F*CK ARE YOU DOING?!?" What kind of example was she setting for her daughter?

I don't know if I myself am stereotyping or it being the story's intention to point out the setting to be somewhere in the South or Midwest, but I took the sweet tea (with 5 spoons of sugar), buying everything at Walmart, along with the southern accent to mean these were some Southern or Midwest folk. Given those details in combination with my current obsession with politics - in particular the conservatives who makes up a majority of those regions - I immediately visualized people with those values as the community this woman was referring to when she said she'd be shamed for not having a husband. Which made me try to reason that it was that pressure to please her community that was holding her back, but within that same thought I was disappointed that a single mum who has already proven she can raise these children on her own would rather live in ignorance, because having a husband makes a women look good. Even with all that immense public pressure why should her kid's suffer, it's like the idea of saying 'no' for her was seemingly impossible, no matter how much of a mess her husband made her life. 

Thinking back now this story let it's characters do what a lot of people do when they make a choice they weren't confident about - what if?. Would her life be any better if she had chosen another or would it have fizzed out like it did with her husband?  

No, because sadly this lady's life wasn't about bad luck, but instead about making intentionally shitty choices. The last straw was having her take back her husband, where she has an extended moment of silence.  She looks at his cell phone (which has messages from a women), then she just gets up shuts the phone and heads to the bedroom. So what was the point? 

All I really got out of this is what not to do with my life, which is why there wasn't a stage of acceptance, because letting women think this a viable option... we need to learn to say 'no'. 

SHOUT OUT TO MY MUM! Having to make the decision to move on from a guy that wasn't mature enough to be a dad was the best thing she ever did for my brother and I.  It makes me really appreciate all the mothers that decided to look for something better - that actually had hope. 


 

Want to see it?

$18 Tickets
$9 Tickets (thru OffOff@9)

Utility
The Amoralists
@ Rattlestick Theater
thru Feb. 20