From the monthly archives:

November 2014

Mane Event

by Marinka on November 26, 2014

“Hey mom,” my son told me the other day, “I’m going to be a tiger in the class play.”

“Roar!” I said, before I remembered that he was 13 and not 4.

And then he told me that he was going to wear his sister’s tiger costume and I congratulated myself on being the type of mother who had endangered species costumes around the house. (BTW, I just realized that I wasn’t sure if tigers were really endangered or if I just heard some propaganda on the issue, so I confirmed it with the World Wildlife Fund and now I’m depressed because some species are Critically Endangered and none of those species is the GOP.)

I was feeling pretty good until the next morning, when, as my son was leaving for school he asked me to pick up a lion’s mane for the next day.

“Why would a tiger need a lion’s mane?” I asked, suddenly concerned that I was dealing with the exception under the No Child Left Behind Act.

“Change of plans,” he explained. “I am going to be a lion.”

Now, I have no idea what kind of species-reassignment their class play underwent overnight, but I found it both immoral and un-American. I mean, one minute my day stretches out before me with nary a mane in sight, and then suddenly and without any reason, I am Googling shit like: LION MANE and LION MANE EZ-TO MAKE WITH NO SEWING OR TALENT OR EVEN HANDS FOR THAT MATTER. And what I learned after a few minutes, which felt like decades, of research is that: most lion manes on the market are for cats and dogs and the DIY lion manes are for a lion face made out of a paper plate. Since I birthed a child that’s neither a domestic animal nor is he part of the the disposable tableware family, I was shit out of luck.

“This is a tragedy of epic proportions!” I wailed on Facebook. And then someone suggested that I go to the local costume store.

I called them.

“Hello,” I said (after they picked up the phone). “I am in the market for a lion’s mane.”

“Hold on, please,” the phone picker upper said and placed me on hold. Someone else picked up a few minutes later.

“What are you holding for?” Phone Picker Upper 2.0 asked.

“Lion’s mane,” I said, wondering what the other people on hold were wanting to buy. What if there was a sudden rush on manes this holiday season? Maybe it’s a good thing I got a jump start.

“We have the Cowardly Lion mane,” the person on the other end said, “that’s $80 and we have a wig that can be styled into a mane that’s $50.”

Immediately, much like the youngest child at a Seder, I had four questions.

1. How is the Cowardly Lion Mane different from a run-of-the-jungle lion mane?

2. Why is the Cowardly Lion Mane so expensive?

3. Is “Cowardly Lion” the only time the word “cowardly” has ever been used in the history of the English language?

4. Who is going to do the styling on the $50 wig to make it mane-ish?

But instead I said “great! Thanks so much!” and then added a few lies about how I am definitely going to stop by to pick up one, if not both, of these bargains.

After I hung up, I thought some more. Maybe, just maybe, I could stop by the Minskoff Theater to see of The Lion King cast could spare a mane for the afternoon. I mentioned this plan to a colleague, who pointed out that despite its obvious merit, unfortunately there was going to be a matinee performance of The Lion King the very afternoon that I’d need the mane for. For a split second, I became very excited that my son had in fact joined the cast of The Lion King, but apparently it’s just one of those “coincidences” that the government wants us to believe.

“I don’t know where to get a lion’s mane,” I told my son once he got home from school and he reassured me that he no longer needed one.

“Are you going to grow one?” I asked and he shook his maneless head.

“Are you back to being a tiger?” I asked and he continued to shake.

“Where will you get a mane?” I was on the edge of my seat and also, coincidentally, the window ledge.

And he told me. He told me that his friend was going to lend him her tutu and he was going to wear it on his head, mane-like.

Don’t tell Julie Taymor.