make more mischief

I ask my New Years Resolution what it needs to be this year. I am expecting “punctuality” or “work out 4 x a week” or “learn Italian”. Instead, she winks and declares,


“Make more mischief”.


My soul – surprisingly – agrees. Once again, God is everything I don’t expect.


I am rather confused on both fronts. Why mischief? And what does that happen to do with my soul? Last year it was “fiscal responsibility” and it was a success. Should I not continue along the path of security and sobriety? Mischief indeed! There are so many more practical things for me to achieve. What am I supposed to glean from this Idea?


Have I swung too hard the other way? Have I lost my fun? Have I become a square? I am spending New Years Eve doing laundry and walking the dog because I don’t want to spend money, be tempted to eat things I’m allergic to, or cavort with fellows who ultimately are a waste of time for me.


Oh God. It’s true. I’ve become a nerd! How did this happen? If my plays get nerdy, I’m done, I’m dead.


I look up at my cupboard and see a bottle of wine I’ve been keeping for nearly…oh my goodness, nearly four years! Turnip gave it to me. He purchased it at a vineyard while we were in California. I got the impression it would age well and be worth hundreds. I promised to keep it for a special occasion. That special occasion never came. His love vanished but his wine remained. When would I drink it?! There never seemed the right occasion. Each time I considered it, along with the bottle came the memory of the heartbreak. Should I give it away? Maybe. But that feels disrespectful. It was a gift.


Wouldn’t it be terrible mischief to drink it like it’s nothing, while I’m folding my sheets and playing internet Scrabble? I mean, why am I so worried about being disrespectful towards a Turnip who broke up with me by email?! GOOD LORD LUCIA!


I crack it open while chatting with my brother, Joey, on the phone. He says, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you’ve held onto that thing for this long. Your accountant brother advises you to just sell it!”


Too late, it’s open. I give it a taste. It’s very nice. Very nice indeed. I chuckle, very pleased with myself. And what surprises me: I feel a tremendous relief! I had no idea my niceness kept me chained to a constant reminder of Turnip. This bottled memory in my home, every single day. What was I thinking?!IMG_0252


Between scrabble games, out of curiosity, I look up the market value of the wine: label, grape, year. It’s worth sixty bucks, not three hundred.


While I sip on glass number two with chocolate Cheerios, I look up the definition of mischief, in case there are connotations I’m unfamiliar with. Not really. Webster’s says: a playful desire to stir up trouble.


I start to let mischief into my imagination. What would it look like beyond this bottle of sixty dollar wine being treated like a Coors light beer? Skipping a day of school with my daughter to go swimming in the lake, packing entirely impractical daffodil colored Moschino pumps for my trip to Italy and …(the third idea I am not going to share…)


As for mischief in my writing…that’s far more dangerous. I would say I’ve done a lot of mischief over the years, but I have to admit, the plays I have started recently…I’m trying to make them safe.


Each draft I do, I make it happier and sexless. Why? I want it to sell. I want to survive. I don’t want another AD to wince and say “this is a red flag”. I don’t want to get the scathing reviews anymore. I don’t want people who don’t even know me say they “hate” me. I don’t want nasty letters and emails. I don’t want people writing to me on Facebook, telling me I should be ashamed of myself.


But then again, everything good that’s come of the writing has been because I’ve taken a risk somewhere, somehow. And I know darn well that’s worth it. And I know darn well that’s my job. I am not the female Disney.


Cheers to that! I raise my glass.


Mischief. Oh mischief. You never make things easy for me. But you always leave me with integrity.

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  1. Bill Rummel

    Lucia! You bad girlll!!! When did you stop misbehaving? Get on with it girl, go out and misbehave, and drink a toast to each and every time you have been mischievious in the past. It’ll get ya good and buzzed, melancholic and grateful all at the same time. And what more could you ask for to start off a New Year. All the best from up here in the Great White Frozen North.


    1. Lucia Frangione

      haha, Happy New Year, my dear Mr. Mischieves! It has been far too long since I’ve seen a watermelon seed plastered to your head. I adore you. Stay warm and toasty. Take that as you please!

      1. Bill Rummel

        Happy New Year to you and Nora.

        It has been a long time since I wore a watermelon seed. Of course it’s been a while since I saw you under a table too!

        I am comming to Vancouver in March for a month long course. I’m not sure about watermelons and drinks too excess, but I would enjoy sharing a cup of tea or something. I’ll keep in touch.

        All the best


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