Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Date Night

I went on a date Saturday night. I mean...... a real date. 5 PM found me dressed in a swingy black get-up paired with jewelry and make-up applied with care. My hair was fresh out of hot-rollers. I wore heels and carried my good purse.

We were seated for dinner, table reserved. Ordered cocktails and wine, three courses and coffee. Our meal finished up with just enough time to walk the couple blocks to Benaroya Hall and find our seats, but we were left with precious little time for people watching. Indulgent, but a favorite part of any event.

This concert was my birthday present: Tickets for the opening night of the Seattle Symphony season and the inaugural concert of its new music director. The program, my date, the event......was fun, funny, inspiring, energetic, dreamy and thought provoking. Marc somehow knew that I was starved for this very evening. This very experience.

We don't attend the symphony often enough and don't always spring for box seats ......but on this night, he did. For me. For my gift. We got settled, listened to the musicians tune their instruments and looked forward to this maestro's interpretation of the program. We watched gleaming brass and angled bows. Anticipated the pulse and movement of the percussion section. It was mesmerizing. The next couple of hours would surely transport me to another space; to that meditative place of being immersed in the moment and far away from the necessary but niggling tasks of the day to day.

He made an effort, my perfect date......the one who gave me a perfect view surrounded by perfect acoustics for my birthday. After years together....he knows me well. Which is why its possible that he only pretended not to hear me when I leaned over and whispered, " Not sure why, but I just thought about the Muppets." 

A quizzical look. A furrowed brow.

"The Muppet's," I whispered louder behind my hand. "You know...the puppets?"

I motioned. I chuckled and smiled.

"The two that sit up in their theater box and heckle?"

He shook his head, motioned a shush with his index finger, then refused to look at me. He knows. It's happened before: an unfortunate case of giggles in an inappropriate situation, most likely inherited from my mom. One look and it could be all over.

Do you remember, Statler and Waldorf, the elderly gentlemen that appeared in nearly every episode of The Muppet Show? The tuxedo clad, grey and balding chaps who were chock full of themselves and their opinions? They thoroughly enjoyed the sport of berating each performer and cracking each other up with their pomposity and put downs. I have no idea why they crossed my mind. There was no one I saw that looked like either of them......almost no one.  Not one person I noticed that appeared stuffy or uppity or critical. In fact the atmosphere in the house was relaxed and energetic and lively. Seattle is especially known for it's casual and notably un-stuffy demeanor and attitude, so this was no reflection on the feel inside the performance hall. It's just that, I have a certain sense of humor and this is what I thought of at this particular moment.

I willed it not to happen and it didn't. By the time the program began the potential to giggle had passed. I was in a good place seated next to the one I love. Experiencing music and its power to tell a story; to record history and emotion. Thankful to be in the presence of talent, creativity and excellence. Of years of hard work, dedication, passion and love for one's craft.

The new music director was the master of the evening and of the audience. He radiated charm and individuality and a liveliness that some may not consider when they think about the symphony. But it was there.....accessible and fun. And I was there. In my seat, smiling and lost for a couple of dreamy hours.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

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