Lisa Day is a writer and stage manager and served as SM for This Is A World To Live In.
Heather: Hi, Lisa!
H: How are you?
L: I’m good.
H: Good. I’m really excited to get to know you and ask you some questions.
H: Awesome. Thanks for coming over. And hanging out. In the boudoir! (they laugh) So, Lisa, where were you born?
L: I was born in New Hampshire.
L: Mmhmm. Let’s see – Manchester, New Hampshire.
H: And how long were you there?
L: I was there until I was eight. And then my mom and I moved to Iowa at that point.
H: Where in Iowa?
L: I grew up in Des Moines. Are you –
H: I lived in Solon.
L: Oh, ok! Wow!
H: For, like, a decade.
L: So I did most of my growing up in Des Moines, Iowa.
H: Did you go to Adventureland?
L: Yeah, yeah, I did! I went to Adventureland many times. Yup. Let’s see – what was the big roller coaster? I think they have bigger roller coasters now, but – I’m trying to think of the name of the major roller coaster at the time. (pauses) Anyway, yes. I loved Adventureland.
H: Yes. So do you have any siblings?
L: Yeah. Yes. There’s like this pause because I’ve got varied little tiers to my family. Yes. (laughs) I have a brother. And I have a lot of step-brothers and sisters. All over the place.
H: How many?
L: Let’s see. (pauses) Six, but one of them died.
H: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.
L: Thank you.
H: Was it recent?
L: It’s been a while. It’s been, I think – let’s see – I think it’s been about 15 years.
L: Yes, so it was a long time ago. She was young.
H: Can I ask what happened?
L: She had cancer. She was older than me, but she was still young. She was 30 at the time.
H: What kind of cancer?
L: They, um, at the end they didn’t know. They thought they knew, but then it kind of spread everywhere and they realized they didn’t know the source.
H: I’m sorry.
L: Thanks. Yeah.
H: Do you have any funny sibling rivalry stories?
L: Let’s see. Uh, yeah? Yeah, yeah, I guess. The sibling I’m most connected to is one that there’s a pretty large age span between us. My mom – we were a foster family – and so when I was 17, my brother came into our family. So in a lot of ways I was kind of, I don’t know, not really a mom, but I was more of an adult to my brother. There was kind of a rivalry, even so – I was kind of immature. (laughs) So there still would be rivalries between us. And uh… wow. Oh, that was your phone! I thought it was your bed! I was like, “Your bed started vibrating.” (laughs)
H: (laughs) It’s a special bed! I put a quarter in it, just for you!
L: (laughs) What’s going on here? (laughs) Um, when I was in my twenties, my brother was heavily exploring being a bad ass and he was just beginning that journey for himself, but he was in junior high. And I really never was a bad ass, but I was, um,recovering from some things, so we were really going in opposite directions. So there was a rivalry between us and we each really thought the other person should be different. There was a huge age difference between us, but it has taken us a long time to sort of find our way back to kind of a mutual respect and understanding.
H: Sure. What was it like being in a foster family?
L: That’s a really good question. Hmm. I, uh, I really, really love my brother and I think it had been my mom and I for a lot of my life and I was a really spoiled girl and I think it was very good for me to have another person in our world. To have my mom care about somebody else so that I wasn’t always the center of the Universe. For me to learn how to think about another human being in that way. It was actually – there were a lot of ups and downs. Because often the goal of foster care is that the child will be going back with their biological family. So that was the goal for the first year that he was with us and there were a lot of reasons why that didn’t happen, but sort of that journey around that was really painful for me as a teenager. But I think – and I mean, this sounds sappy – but I think it was an opportunity for me to learn how to love in a new way. So it was good. Good and hard. I mean, that we got to keep him! (laughs) I mean, we did! My mom adopted him. So it was, for us, a really positive thing for our family.
H: Can you talk about your dad?
L: Um. (pauses) Let’s see. I’m trying to think of what I can say about my dad. I didn’t know my biological father. As a child, I didn’t know him. I knew him when I was about a year and half old. I knew his mother – I had a relationship with his mom – and when I was a teenager, I had a relationship with his brother. But he, for a variety of reasons, chose not – could not – be a part of my life. I connected with him as a young adult and did get to meet him and know him. Both of us tried to build a relationship with each other, I would say for about six , eight years. And it was a really powerful thing to be around this person who formed me – had a lot to do with forming me – and realized there really were some major connections that we had. It was hard for me to get over my resentment for him not being there. (pauses) And it’s quite possible that we may connect again, but we haven’t had any kind of conversation for about four or five years.
H: Where does he live?
L: He lives in Maryland.
H: And where’s your mom now?
L: My mom’s still in Des Moines, Iowa. She’s a teacher.
H: When did you know – when did you know the first time that you were in love?
L: Huh. Um. (laughs) So… I’m bisexual. And, um, I don’t think I was in love before the first woman that I dated. So I think I was in love with her for a while, as we were becoming friends. And I guess I knew I was in love with her when we were laying in bed together. (laughs) And I hadn’t, um, I mean, it was my first relationship with a woman. And, yeah, I would say that is the only time in my life where the romantic process so much took me off guard. Because I wasn’t fully – what’s the word? In touch with – or ready to be in touch with – how I was feeling. So I guess I knew I was in love with her after I kissed her, but when I looked back I could see the growth of our friendship.
H: Sure, sure. (pauses) But you’re married now!
L: I’m married!
H: To a man.
L: Yep, I’m married to a man and –
H: How does that work?
L: (laughs) Well, I –
H: I’m sorry for the naiveté question!
L: No, no! How does that work? I suppose my sexual orientation is really – I don’t know – I love who I love. Sometimes when I try to talk about it, I think I end up sounding too heady or something. But I think love, for me, often isn’t what I expect it to be and if I try to put too many words to how I think it is, how it is for me, then the next year or two I learn something new. About who I am or how I feel. (pauses) But I’ve dated lots of people. (laughs)
H: So what was the clincher for marriage?
L: That’s a really good question. (pauses) What was the clincher for marriage? (pauses) I don’t know. I think – it’s not easy, but Colin is my husband. And there’s times when we go through hard times and, um, I have a lot of armor. And he’s very patient and very accepting of the way I really am. And somehow, my history has been that I tend to run after a while. Or I get bored or I get… crazy. (laughs) That’s probably the most accurate: get crazy. But I don’t know. Somehow, somehow, with Colin, I’ve found a way or we’ve found a way – and I’ll just speak from my own experience – to move beyond anything I’ve done before. I kind of feel like I get to learn really new things than what I’ve previously experienced in relationships. I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s just – I don’t think people should commit to something just because they feel more secure. I think there needs to be – what people are looking for, it’s all different. But there is a security I feel with him that, without a doubt, makes me able to show up to a lot of parts of who I am, in my life, in a way I’ve never been able to do.
H: (pauses) Wow. Thank you for sharing that. (pauses) And just one last question. What’s your favorite color?
L: Hmm. Green.
Tim Donahue • Kristina Fjellman • Matthew Glover • Peter Heeringa • Sam Landman • Theo Langason • Megan Campbell Lagas • Derek Lee Miller • Heather Stone • Ryan Hill • Andrew Dolan • Lisa Day •Evie Digirolamo • Danielle Siver • Jodi Trotta