Marc & Marcia & Bambina
The scene that made me shriek with delight this Tuesday was Kevin’s surprise gift to Sally. A beautiful little red Fiat 500, giftwrapped! I just wanted them to keep the camera on the car. My delight quickly turned to horror as Sally shrieked at the happy salesman to take it back. No, Sally, you don’t know what you’re saying, no no, keep the car!! Keep Kevin. Give the car to me – Kevin too if it’s a package deal!
I thought, she’ll come to her senses. The car will win out. But then she flew into Kevin, and even said “the colour stinks”! No, it’s beautiful! It’s a brand new little Bambina. Red! What more could you want?
It was hard to concentrate on the show after that. The image of the little orphan car wearing its bow was burned into my brain.
Marc as Marcia
But then I saw Marc, bruised and bloodied, slumped on the bench in the police station in dress, necklace and blonde wig. The look of surprise then realization on Audrey’s face as she recognized the battered lady on the bench was the suave man she had come to the police station to help – priceless.
Then the beautiful scene that put even the Fiat 500 out of my mind (briefly). Marc, cleaned up as best he could, explaining about being a transvestite and about his late wife and her acceptance of him and his alter-ego Marcia. And Audrey understanding, remembering people in her life who were “different” but made her feel “fabulous” for just being her.
She had jumped to the conclusion that many do: that cross-dressing is only something gay people do. So she remembered her gay friend, Lionel the colourist. I wished I had known Lionel, just from how she talked about him. Sadly, he was one of the too many who died of AIDS in the 1980s.
That was a time when living with AIDS wasn’t talked about; dying from AIDS was the only option. It was very frightening for gay men and for anyone who knew and loved a gay man. Audrey’s far-away look as she talked about Leonard brought it all back for me.
And Marc was equally concise and effective at explaining straight male cross-dressing to Audrey. He also conveyed the fear of telling a partner about it, about the fear of rejection and the joy of acceptance. I also wished I’d known his late wife because she sounds like a lovely lady to have made him so happy in her life and so sorrowful at her death.
I hadn’t really had any thoughts one way or the other before about Marc, other than wondering what he was doing in the storyline with Audrey and Claudia. Now I like him, feel like I know him, and I hope he and Audrey become lasting friends. If he tells Claudia about his cross-dressing, I hope she is as understanding as Audrey was. But, after all, she’s a hairdresser too so, as Audrey said, she also ought to have lots of experience with “people of all types.” I’m counting on you, Claudia.
Friday note: I do not believe this bank robbery and Jim story. He wouldn’t be that stupid, so he wouldn’t. There are a million other ways to get out of this cockamamie story about the pub ownership. Jim’s character didn’t need to be sacrificed in schedule-driven writing to accommodate actor and production plans.