Uncle June Dreams the Dream

For purposes of this post, I’m going to request that you pronounce the word “theatre” as “THE-a-tah” so that we can sound fancy and class.

Let’s sip our tea with our pinkies in the air and begin.

Christmas morning will be lame in the gift department this year, as I’ve pretty much given my mom her gifts already. Along with the book, I bought us tickets to see Les Miserables last week—our absolute favorite show of all time.


(If you’ll remember, I’ve had the songs memorized since I was a mini-Lovely Lady.)

So last week we geared up to go see the show, and I’ll tell you right now that it was phenomenal. There really are no words. We’ve both seen it a couple times before, but this production was amazing. That’s the end of my review, as this post is not about the show itself. 

Plus, you know, there are no words.

While I was excited to go, I was also slightly dreading it for a couple of reasons. One being the fact it was a weeknight and interrupting my normal routine in which I do nothing of significant importance except maybe work out, possibly write some drivel, run errands and bond with my couch before going to bed at 10 so I can get up at 5. 

In other words, OCD.

But the main reason was that it’s a THREE HOUR show. 

Three hours, people! I can sit for about 1 1/2 in one spot without having to get up and move, so three hours in the cramped quarters of the theatre (pronunciation!) was a task comparable to breaking through the barricades myself.

However, ‘tis the season for sacrifice and culture—and using the word “tis”—so I anxiously went, sat and thoroughly enjoyed my experience, an experience that almost didn’t happen due to my mom’s insistence on the addition of one thing—Uncle June.


It’s an old picture, but you get the idea. 

It started with a text message from my mom about how she had nothing to wear. I had no sympathy, seeing as she still has a gift card to Kohl’s — we know how that went. The text came while I was eating, something she knows is strike one (do not interrupt my meals), but I know she was excited so this behavior was excused.

I texted her back about how no one cares what we wear to the theatre (pronunciation!), that I was eating and that I would see her in 30 minutes. Approximately 2.3 seconds later I heard the “ting” of my phone once again and this text exchange began:

Mom: Uncle June wants to go to the show! Bring Uncle June so he can “Hear the People Sing!”

Me: Ha! (Thinking she was kidding and trying to be polite, seeing as I was eating. See rule above.)

Mom: No, I’m serious. Bring Uncle June. I want to take his picture at the show.

Me, realizing she was entering crazy mode: Mom, I’m not bringing a pocket gnome to the theatre. Or my camera, since they’re not allowed. I’ll see you in a bit.

Mom: If he doesn’t go, I’m not going. I’m not kidding either. Bring Uncle June.

Me, realizing she was progressing into stubborn bitch mode, and leaning that way myself: No gnome. Zip it. I’ll see you in a bit.

Then my phone rang, the sound of which filled every cell of my being with the urge to fling the damn phone out into my backyard, a yard several small woodland creatures are currently “occupying” with small picket signs in a show of solidarity again my bird seed of choice.

The details of said phone conversation are not important, as she hung up on me. So I called again, and to avoid another tantrum I relented and told her Uncle June could go if she would a) shut up about it b) take responsibility for him and c) promise to be on her best behavior.

Summary: I am a 30 year old woman who had to bribe her mom with a gnome.

So we  left, her bouncing in the passenger’s seat with excitement, gnome securely placed in her purse. All was going well until I went to use the bathroom before they started seating, leaving my mom in the crowded lobby.

Upon my return I found her propping Uncle June up on a lobby chair, artfully arranging him with the program and ticket stub for his impromptu photo shoot. She had no camera, but she had her phone, a phone that doesn’t have Internet to transfer the photo for others to see.

But she also had a group of elderly patrons gathered around watching this woman take a picture of a gnome with the camera on her phone.


This was taken at home, not at the theatre.

Like I said, there are no words.

This post was partly based of the Studio 30 Plus prompt this week:

The Gift

It was also partly based on the fact that I took my mom to Les Miserables as part of her Christmas gift and she refused to go unless I brought a gnome—mostly that.

Speaking of gifts: Buy the Book. Save a Kitten.

33 responses to “Uncle June Dreams the Dream

  1. Hahha, your mom sounds hilarious, and I freaking love musicals (Phantom of the Opera is my drug of choice). And I know what you mean about the interrupting meals thing. Not so much about meals, but about talking to me in the morning. Seriously, don’t do it. Don’t call me in the morning, don’t say hi to me if you pass me on the way to the bathroom, nothing. Just don’t do it. Not til I’ve had my coffee and feel like a human being.

  2. Awesome – this one just made me warm and happy inside. Because it was about a gnome and not a leprechaun. Leprechauns are assholes. (little known fact.)

    • I actually knew that about leprechauns. Maybe it has something to do with the accent and a sense of entitlement, what with the cred they got from Lucky Charms before the big “healthy cereal for kids” movement.

  3. You just made my day. Another Les Miz freak! I saw it when I was 13, and have been obsessed with it ever since. I’m 30 now. My fiancee is ready to throw the TV across the room because I put it on whenever the 25th anniversary concert is on PBS.

    • I freaked out when I was flipping through the channels a couple months ago and saw the PBS concert, immediately putting on a performance in my living room for my fake tree! It was right after that they announced the show, and I knew it was a sign (that I should buy the tickets, not that I should sing.)

  4. You have to read Merrill Markoe’s new book where she talks about her mother in the first chapter. I think you’ll be able to relate.

    As for me, there’s a lot to be said for being an orphan. 😉

  5. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes

    Too funny. I side with your mom. Uncle June needs to hear the people sing!!

  6. Your Mom is a hoot! But then I’m guessing the acorn did not fall far from the tree!

  7. I want to trade moms. Now.

  8. Yay another Les Miz fan! I’ve seen it a few times but last time was with my ex who slept through it and THAT is justifiable enough to become an ex in my opinion.

  9. Abby – she sounds hysterical!!

  10. So, if I thought we were already rather similair, this post nailed it. I too, freak out if I have to stay out late and break my routine (oh, hi, OCD).

    And as for the Les Miserables obsession, well, we’re practically sisters. Perhaps if we ever meet in person, we can recapture the Les Miserables awesomeness together and have a good ole’ sing-song?

    I have no words for the sheer bat-shit craziness of your Mother – she sounds like a real gem 🙂

  11. New trend in mother-daughter bonding. I’m in. Does it have to be a gnome? What about a ceramic cat or maybe a rubber ducky?

  12. Your mom is adorable. That is all. Glad you had fun! I bet Uncle June slept so good that night from all that excitement.

  13. I looooove Les Mis. Love. I auditioned for a musical once singing my favorite song “On My Own” which shortly became my least favorite song after Joey Potter massacred it on Dawson’s Creek. No Joey. Just no.
    And my life is more complete with this photo of Uncle June and the program.

  14. Did any cranky THE-a-tah-goers complain to management about you sneaking in a gnome without buying him a ticket?

  15. Hi Abby~
    I see that we have both given Kim over at LMSBS a good lecture on how to stay off her ass and rest. We think alike, so I ventured over. So glad I did, because in addition to my hero Kim, I can now visit you for a good belly laugh. You are also my newest BFF, because I’m too afraid to talk about my bat shit crazy mother and I can live vicariously through you! I made the mistake of telling my family about my blog, so now I have to be nice and not tell stories about how nuts they are.
    I love Les Mis, saw it in NYC years ago and it was fantastic. Glad you went to the THE- ah- ta, even if you had to take Mom and Uncle June. I keep thinking of the PEZ episode of Seinfeld where Elaine keeps cracking up at the recital. That would have been me if I had been there to see your Mama. I can’t wait to keep reading your posts…I’m loving you already!
    Keep dreaming the dream, Uncle J.
    Have a great week,

  16. This is strange. My mom has a gnome her boss gave her one year. My sister and I grafted a personality on to it – he is friendless but doesn’t let it get him down and he has terrible taste. I wonder if they’re related.

  17. Oh Man. Your Mom is a riot, and she reminds me of my 8 year old daughter. That was hilarious.

  18. So you’re part gnome? I’d never have guessed it without seeing a picture of your Uncle June.

    I love the the-a-tah and am dying to see Les Mis. So jealous of you, your mom and your Uncle!

  19. * Les Miserables = hands down my favorite play. Evah.

    * Bribing your mom with a gnome named Uncle June is cracking gem the hell up.

  20. I am laughing out loud! I love, love, love that your mom wanted to take Uncle June! Ha! Uncle June! That name is awesome by itself. Also? I don’t care how much I like something, I always want it to end. Every concert is always too long. Enough with the encore! Just go backstage already and let me go home!

  21. This post embodies the entire kerfluffle of holidays and families in such a sweet way.

    If only they has security-checked purses at the door…and the guy asked your mom to open her purse and she pulled out a gnome.

  22. Oooh I’m going to see Les Mis on Saturday!! And I am SO EXCITED! I’m already planning on crying and I won’t even have a pocket gnome to blame it on;) Totally feel you with the inability to sit issues though – me too…

    Love this post – totally makes me wish I was related to you and your shopping-hater mom:)

  23. After what your Mom has been through? I think it is awesome how she get her little kicks out of the small stuff…

    (And, admit it, you love it too. I can tell…(0;)

  24. While reading this I kept correcting my pronunciation of “theatre” in my head.

  25. if the gnome hadn’t been tiny, this would have been awkward. can you imagine bringing a three-foot gnome to the theatre? glad this wasn’t the case.

  26. Your mom is pretty rad. I love Les Mis!!

  27. I love your post. This is totally something that my mom would have done too. She’s nuts but that’s just part of her charm. I have to say that we have been kicked out of a CVS for going down the aisle with all the seasonal items and turning on all of the talking/singing toys. Growing up with my mom was never boring, she still makes me laugh at her crazy antics.

  28. First off, I love Les Mis. We sang a bunch of the songs in choir when I was in elemntary school and I became obsessed. I didn’t actually get to see the show until maybe 6 years ago, but the soundtrack was one of my favourite cassettes. I’m actually pretty sure I still have that cassette (DOUBLE cassette, actually, being such an epic soundtrack). . . though I no longer own any kind of tape player.

    Also, I can’t blame your mum. I have a lil’ plastic sponge bob in my purse all the time, and I have been known to whip him out for photo shoots whenever the mood strikes me. Though he has lost his legs and is difficult to pose.

    …i now need to go look into what musicals might be playing in my town in the new year. . .

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