Sunday, December 16, 2012

ballet and booster seats

for years my mother and i have wanted to go see the nutcracker ballet together.
it has remained a subject of daydreams. every year there has been a different excuse. it was on the same day as nana's christmas party, i was out of the country, my flight got in after the show stopped for the season, too expensive, snow storm, sold out, clara broke her leg.  we could never seem to catch a break.
but this year it all changed. my aunt was given tickets to a matinee showing of the nutcracker by one of the ballet's sponsors, and she gave them to me and my mom. i was thrilled.
clara and the nutcracker
when we entered the theatre lobby i was in shock. we were giants. surrounded by hundreds of little girls and their mothers and grandmothers. a generational tradition. little girls holding cabbage patch dolls in matching gowns. GOWNS. the miniature humans were dressed in lavish dresses with crinolines poofing out above their dora the explorer winter boots. i was wearing a jean jacket and red keds. the ugly 24 year old duckling of the matinee.
five minutes until curtain and we entered. on our right sat a little girl named taylor and her mother. taylor is about five years old. she refuses to sit still. her only redeeming quality is that she is tall for her age and does not require one of the brightly coloured booster seats. which the ushers seem to be handing out like candy to ever child that walks by. not taking into consideration the lap sitters, hallway tantrumer's and aisle walkers among them. we spent the entire show hearing
"taylor sit down" 
"taylor one more time and we are leaving!"
"don't lick that!"
"QUIET people are trying to watch the show"
i adapted to taylor and her wild ways. but the four eyed blonde pigtail stick figure in front of my seat was another story. she could have cared less about the ballerinas prancing about on stage. she didn't even bat an eyelid during the set changes. in fact her eyes seemed determined to stare at everything but the stage. she sat on her knees facing me for the majority of the show. her knuckles griping the chair back, her nose squished into the seat cushion so tightly that it pushed her glasses up a couple inches higher than they should be.
the families in the aisles surrounding us had lunch boxes filled with snacks for intermission, they talked about christmas concerts, led kids down to the front of auditorium to get a peak at the symphony pit, and the said countless rounds of "excuse me, excuse me, excuse me"as they squished in and out of aisles like we were at a wiggles concert instead of the ballet.
needless to say, i can understand why my mom waited until i was 24 to take me. until i was old enough to stash snacks in my own pockets, sit quietly, and hold in my pee until it was socially acceptable to relieve myself. 

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