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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

~Culture Up The Wazoo~



It is probably my fault that my little girl likes the symphony. It might stem from her early baby days when I would prop her between the stereo speakers and play classical music. (I did that because I thought it would soothe the savage beast long enough for me to take a shower.)

Perhaps it is all about loving music that your mother hates, and since I like almost all music, the only direction she could go was the orchestra.

Maybe my big mistake was buying her a violin so she could play in the school orchestra.

Maybe it is my fault genetically. I spawned a daughter who will find a way to get exactly what she wants, and baby girl wants a string section next to her wood-wind section.

Whatever it is: my girl likes classical music and it gives me a headache.

In the past two years she has taken me to four symphony concerts, and by "she takes me" what I would like for you to understand is that each time she said, "Will you take me?" I have said, "We can't afford it" and she replied, "but if I get tickets?" and I was stupid enough to say, "Sure, you get free tickets, I will take you."

She always manages to get free tickets. She has achieved this many different ways; I think it just boils down to the fact that when she wants something badly enough it materializes. (Note to self: convince baby girl that she wants mama to win the lottery.)


Last night we took my sister and Kate's friend to dinner and we had a typical girls on the town conversation:

"They were making out on the playground--totally gross. He said she tasted like cherries with a hint of lemon. What kind of lip gloss do you think that is?"

I handed my daughter and her friend pearls of wisdom such as, "Boys don't taste like cherries with a hint of lemon. They taste like spit, so you should avoid kissing one for as long as possible."

Then we had to stop having fun so we could go to the concert.

The concert began like every other symphony event that I have attended: someone comes out to thank the sponsors and to talk about something uplifting like maybe cancer or a childhood disease. Then someone else talks about the featured artist and suggests we buy their cd, and we clap a whole bunch of times and laugh politely at commentator jokes and we clap some more, then the music starts.

I feel like a total heathen for saying this...but...when the music starts I get a headache and I start wondering how quickly we can leave.

During the violin solo last night I whispered to my daughter:

"Check out the guy playing the bells. He has a metal spike through his face."

"No way!"

"True dat, check him out."


"Ew! Why would he do that?"

"It's a tribal thing that is becoming very popular, sort of like tattoo's or earlobe stretching."


She whispered the info to her friend and for two minutes they stared at the man and I giggled. Then he took the stick out of his mouth and ran it across the chimes to make a tinker-bell sound.

My daughter scoffed and shushed me when I laughed.

As always, a lady sang, and she had a voice like an angel and it made me cry. Kate whispered to me, "Isn't that pretty--aren't you glad we came?" and I whispered back, "if we leave right now we will beat the traffic."

"The concert has only been going for ten minutes mom."


I tried to make a break at intermission, but she didn't believe me when I told her the concert was over.

I tried to bribe her with ice cream:

"If we leave right now, I will take you out for ice cream."

"I don't want ice cream."

"I am not talking regular ice cream, I am talking cold stone creamery ice cream--the place where they mix your ice cream on a cold stone and add your favorite treat."

"I don't want ice cream."

"They have gummy bears and chocolate bits and even bubble gum."

"I don't want ice cream."


I was trying really hard to be good a culture-loving-mother during the second half. I began to pretend to be loving it for my girl. Instead of whispering lies, I started counting men in black wool coats (because I think black wool coats are sexy). I tapped my toe and clapped to the beat. I displayed my cultural excellence by resisting the urge to pull off the damn girdle.

And then the girl with the angel voice sang again, and tears dribbled from my eyes. And the famous piano guy said he wanted to have one of the sponsors read "Twas the night before Christmas" and I was done.

"gotta go!"
I whispered to my daughter.

"Not over!" she whispered back.

"Gotta get Missy home before 10:00!" I whispered, then walked out of the theatre.

The evening ended with my little girl crying because she wanted to stay longer and me cranking rock and roll in the vehicle loudly so that I couldn't hear her disappointed wails.

Listen, I appreciate the culture and I think it is grand that my baby girl can pull symphony tickets out of the thin air. It makes me proud that I gave birth to a person that appreciates the classics and has the ability to play the music on a number of different instruments--

But--

I don't want to go to another symphony performance. Not unless my girl is sitting on the stage. I know that classical music is supposed to be good for me, but much like brussel sprouts, sushi and duck liver paste--I have had my fill.

The next time baby girl has tickets for the symphony, I am going to allow her father to take her. Hell, he should take the boys too, let them all steep in some flute music. I am going to refuse to attend the next event.

Unless...

...Martin gets a black wool coat and some expensive cologne and he promises to meet me in the Durango during intermission.

3 comments:

odie said...

If only I lived closer, I'd be more than happy to take her for you. Although for me, it makes a bit of a difference what they're playing. Wagner and Tchaicovsky, I am so there. Mozart, not so much. Tickets are so expensive around here I have to limit myself to one a year. And yes, sometimes I find myself wondering why I bought symphony tickets when VanHalen is coming to town, but then the music starts and I am glad I did.

Ash said...

Alright, suddenly I am so Thankful that Leila asked for a guitar for the holidays. Maybe it makes a difference what you name them for: Leila was named for the Great EC's "Layla" ergo: rock music. Maybe Kate got it confused in the womb?

Either way, you realize that children who play musical instruments ten to be smarter, right?

Cheers(Sneak in some booze next time)

heiresschild said...

i love classical music and symphony orchestras, plus i played the violin for years. i listen to it sometimes when i blog. maybe some ear plugs for the next one?