The Twenty-Three Year Old Little Miss Muffet

1992. Kew Garden Hills, Queens. A young platinum blonde child takes to the stage to make her dramatic debut as Little Miss Muffet. While Little Miss Muffet exudes a confidence, radiance, and readiness to perform, her co-star, the Spider,  perspires up a storm. Little Miss Muffet turns to her fellow actor to ease his nerves, but all he can say is, “How do you do it? How do you remain so calm?”

Little Miss Muffet smiles meekly, as any three year old girl would do, and says, “That’s just a surface thing. On the inside I’m in the same place as you.” The Spider has his doubts, but he squelches them long enough for the two to make their dramatic debut. And if home videos fall within the realm of cinema verite, their performance is highly acclaimed by the entire daycare audience.

Fast forward twenty years, and Little Miss Muffet is now a Little Miss Production Associate in a Very Big City. She still radiates the same outward confidence, but internally continues to struggle to define herself and her grounds for happiness. Her therapist, and yes Little Miss PA now has one, asks her to explain the duality within herself further. How can she soothe the Spider and yet not soothe herself? How can she preach calm when she is perhaps the most neurotic no-longer platinum blonde individual within city limits?

The answer is one that is certain to illuminate a series of issues latent within her. The question is, is Little Miss PA prepared to tackle the enormity of it? Can she admit that she resides in the cognitive plane, in which confidence is key and hard work is a given? Or, will she admit to occasionally frequent the emotional plane, where vulnerability reigns supreme and feelings dictate action/inaction?

That is the million dollar question, but every Tuesday and Thursday she gets closer and closer to the answer. The first step she has taken. Little Miss PA has admitted she has a problem– that such a duality exists; that she can play the role of the intimidating woman who will make potential male suitors shake in their boots, while simultaneously planning her next extreme diet to shed the pounds that have led her to a life of exclusively black clothing.

And Little Miss PA has taken one further step: admitting that this dichotomy has existed in her since Day One, or at least since her first and last theatrical debut (that is, if you don’t count the time she starred as the American Flag in the Flag Day Play in sixth grade). Of course, this makes her therapist smirk, as she now has 23 years worth of material to keep these sessions going.

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