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Friendship and RESPECT - Good for the Soul!

16. June 2012

I was warned recovery from breast cancer surgery and treatment is not a straight line.  I’ve been on the journey for more than three months and I’m still dizzy from the roller coaster of emotional ups and downs.

On the down days, hibernating at home is often my coping mechanism of choice.  But even I know social isolation doesn’t help and can even hinder the healing process. 

When my pal, Maggie saw me mired in a self-pity quagmire, she took action.   My perennially positive, take-charge friend of 30 years put together a fun and funk-free evening I won’t soon forget.

It started with an early supper downtown San Diego’s popular Athens Market.  From our cheerful window seat, Maggie and I people-watched while dining on the best Greek food in town.  (Go for the grilled salmon or chicken kabobs!)  We ate until we were full and laughed until we cried.

And the party was just getting started!   After dinner, we took a short walk to the Lyceum Theater at Horton Plaza – where Maggie had tickets for us to see a musical revue called “Respect.”  I had no idea what I was in for.

For two fun-filled hours, I forgot about the cancer and got caught up in this delightful musical celebration! Respect: A Musical Journey of Women is hilarious and exuberant – a high energy, historical and hysterical look at women’s changes from 1900 to today as told through our favorite Top 40 songs.

We laughed out loud as a narrator and three breathtakingly talented singers took a lively and engaging look at music’s depiction of women over the years as they go from codependence to independence – from “Someone to Watch Over Me” to “I Will Survive” and beyond!

Interwoven between the music were monologues of real women’s stories – which gave even more meaning to the songs. I don’t know how they did it, but the band and vocalists seamlessly squeezed in 63 song excerpts in a fast-moving, fasten-your-seatbelt two-act show.

Respect was created by Columbia University professor Dr. Dorothy Marcic, based on her book, “RESPECT: Women and Popular Music,” through which she analyzed all Top-40 female song lyrics since 1900.

The show included hits like “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” “Where the Boys Are,” “I Am Woman,” “At Seventeen…” just a wonderful, musical trip down memory lane.

How blessed am I to have a friend like Maggie – someone to get me off my duff and remind me there’s still reason to smile and plenty of joy to go around whatever else is going on.

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.