I want my leading role back!

(Produce section Hy Vee Eric selecting an avocado.)
Friend #1: Where you been hiding?
A fairly standard question, used to strike up a conversation with someone you hadn’t seen in awhile, but it got me to thinking. Where had I been? Making a mental list it seemed there were quite a few people that I used to see on a regular basis that had left the cast of my day to day life, but why?
(Fade in family dinner, Mother’s Day. Relatives milling around making small talk. Eric seated at table with his children.)
Aunt # 1: What have you been up to? Your mother used to fill me in when we talked but lately she has been so occupied with the grand kids.
It seemed that there was an alarming trend in my life, I was slowly getting written out of everyone’s plot line, worse yet, in many cases I was being inserted only for comic relief.
The spotlight can’t always be mine but surely at home I still had a leading role? I started paying closer attention to the family dialogue.
(Eric enters scene ascending stairs, wearing striped golf shirt an plaid pants.)
Eric : Does this look OK?
Daughter : (glancing up from cell phone) Plaid, with stripes? No…. just no.
Cue laugh track
(Juvenile son returning home from weight training. Gets into a football stance and challenges father to block him. Eric accepts and bends down slowly getting into position, suddenly experiences sharp stabbing pain in lower back, falls to the floor rolling over like a turtle.)
Eric : Backs out, backs out!
Cue laugh track
(Breakfast nook Sheehan house. Husband wife enjoying a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning.)
Wife : I was talking to Heather at the clinic today and she mentioned her husband just finished remodeling their kitchen. I told her the only thing you have remodeled lately is your golf bag.
Cue laugh track
It is clear my character is quickly becoming the punch line. How had this happened? I can remember as a child everything revolved around me, I was the center of attention, top billing. Looking back the transition was subtle at first. In my late teens I starred in a few romantic comedies, sharing the spotlight with my leading ladies. Then came marriage, children and the first of a string of supporting actor nods. Then it began to be a struggle to make it into enough scenes to keep my name on the marque.
Lately it was a different, I was only written in for prat falls or one liners. I imagine that he script referred to me as, ‘Town Member’ or ‘Father In Sports Crowd’, but never by name.
Don’t get me wrong, I am over being the star, that is reserved for the young or at least good looking. My fear is that my bit parts will eventually dry up, leaving me to only be mentioned in character development references in the back story. ‘His father was a good man, he worked hard for that family.’
Somehow I need to reinvent myself, kind of like Betty White. Get my face out there any way possible, maybe as, ‘Angry Man at City Council Meeting’ or ‘Talkative Man in Grocery Line’? Take whatever bit roles I can to work towards larger ones again.
I also have to start writing myself back into my families plot lines, schedule date night with my wife and camping trips with the kids. Work towards a Best Supporting Actor nod again like when they were younger.
Anything thing is a start, I just don’t want to be ‘Dad Sleeping On Recliner’ for the next 20 years.


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