jason and the golden fleece

Lost in Translation

Hindsight is always 20/20 and I’ve come to realize that for the last week, my coworker has been seeing me in quite the wrong light.

Forget Medea and Jason, this was a Greek tragedy!

Forget Medea and Jason, this was a Greek tragedy!

When I told her what I was going to see after work last Thursday, her eyes got gleefully big and told me that I would have a blast!

I appreciated the well wishes, but I was surprised. This is a coworker who every weekend, tells stories of embraces with strangers at trendy bars, henna tattoos and occasionally dred-locking her blonde hair. To see her be impressed with my tickets to Medea was a pleasant surprise.

Monday morning, she made clear to me what she meant.

“Did you love it,” she squealed as she burst into my office. “She’s so funny…”What’cha’ll gone do? what’cha’ll gone do? Y’all best know dat ‘ho.’ I could imitate her all day!”

Apparently, my coworker did not notice the important difference between the names “Medea,” the enchanting daughter of King Aeëtes, granddaughter of sun god Helios and wife to hero Jason, whom she helped through his trials as he fought to claim the golden fleece. And “Madea,” a woman who is really Tyler Perry in drag and who delights in being sassy, protecting her offspring through colorful language and generally making life harder for black people.

I’m not sure what about my Queen Elizabeth mousepad or the framed degree from Bryn Mawr on my wall that led her to believe that I would poison my eyes with such a thing, but I’m worried that my identity is not being made clear. Suffice to say I’m hoping to keep my office door closed, and play my Chopin a little more loudly through it.

PS. In case you’re wondering if the Medea retrospective featuring the various incarnations of her story as told by Francesco Cavalli, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Saverio Mercandante, Darius Milhaud and progressive Dutch rock band Kayak was worth the $100+ ticket. It was indeed.