Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Subtlety is better. Except with grandmothers.

Let me say, first, that Bad Cohen's grandmother is a truly wonderful person. Generous, thoughtful, funny, etc.

Her character and conscientiousness are part of the reason we sat, last night, through a couple of ill-prepared string pieces, accompanied by what I like to think of as the "Mel Brooks" of dance, in which they prefer to bash you over the head with the point, instead of offering anything subtle.

Bad Cohen (as you may know) is a musician and composer, largely of neo-romantic pieces. Meaning, they sound nice, they are good to listen to (unlike the work of some of his peers). He likes to go to concerts, to sit still and not do anything else for up to two or three hours, listening to live performances of classical music. His grandmother also loves to do this.

Naturally, they like to share those things they enjoy with friends and family.

Only, I really *can't stand* going to the symphony.

I fidget. I twiddle. I think about all the other things I would rather be doing (like reading a book, or cleaning the bathtub). Classical music, to me, is something that happens in the background, on the radio probably, while you are busy doing something interesting.

And at $50 a pop, buying me a ticket and asking me to attend is not only torture for me, it's a waste of money.

After two years of receiving a "gift" of season tickets for two to the symphony from this loving grandmother, seats right next to her, so she not only knows if we attend but picks up on whether we enjoy it, I tried to express my feelings in a polite way.

I think I said something like, "at least at the opera, there's something to look at."

Unfortunately, she took this to mean that I enjoy attending opera. After a couple of painful performances (Carmen was one), I was floundering for something nice to say while expressing my distaste for sitting still for something as ludicrous as opera. I must have mentioned enjoying the dancing. At which point, she decided I must love the ballet.

Ah, the ballet.

Strongly muscled gay men (at least in our local company) and anorexic-looking women wearing too much makeup, wafting around the stage, overacting, suddenly remembering to smile, flutter flutter, ooh! did you see my arm move? let's do it again just to be sure... all accompanied by the overwhelming stench of old lady perfume from the surrounding seats.

I am a huge fan of folk music and modern dance. (Not together. Although, hmm, an interesting thought. Probably not worth pursuing.)

Having never asked what I ACTUALLY ENJOY, BC's grandmother probably doesn't know this. And I don't know how to correct her misapprehensions without offending her.

Her modus operandi is to make a birthday gift to each of us by offering us a choice of experiences she has preselected from among all the various local offerings of "Art." (Yes, that's Art with a capital A.) I'm pretty sure the things I actually enjoy don't fit in this category.

So I am liable to be stuck going to the ballet or something like it at least once a year.

No advice, please, only sympathy.


Blogger The back of the hill said...

Mmmmm, old lady perfuuuume!

3/05/2008 5:17 PM  
Blogger Friar Yid (not Shlita) said...

Ah, the symphony...

In elementary school, we were forced to go to the symphony at least once a year. For whatever reason (I attribute it to fidgety-ness and loose baby teeth), I almost always used the opportunity to yank out a tooth or two. (I distinctly recall coming home with no front teeth- my parents thought I might have been in a fight.) It got to the point that the parent chaperones started bringing extra kleenex with them.

By the time I had run out of baby teeth, I had developed the useful skill of falling asleep in darkened rooms. True, I can't remember what the hell happens in the Nutcracker, but I don't really care, so it works out fine.

3/06/2008 12:30 AM  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

feh! The Nutracker is a goyishe ballet, anyway. You didn't miss much.

Although the music is nice.

3/06/2008 11:41 AM  
Blogger Mordechai Torczyner said...

Lucky you... I get to listen to (my) speeches...

3/07/2008 2:19 PM  
Blogger Ahuva said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/12/2008 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Deep in the City Walls said...

It's funny, we have the opposite problem at our house... My husband is more into movies, rock and "pop" culture and my dad keeps trying to ram Art down his throat :)

Would you believe he offered us tickets to "A Christmas Carol" this year?????

(I checked out your blog bec I liked your comments on TO's blog - it's now bookmarked on my faves)

3/18/2008 4:21 PM  
Blogger Tzipporah said...

OMG. He did not. A Christmas Carol?


Welcome to my blog!

3/20/2008 1:03 PM  
Blogger Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

No advice yet--but two questions--is the grandma in your area? And is the grandma a old-style leftist grandma as well as a cultured lady?

4/05/2008 12:05 PM  

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