What’s a worse combination than having a takeout food with your husband and watch a program about the great Balanchine, at the same time (considering that your husband isn’t a ballet performer but a rugby player)?
I literally tortured my husband one night.
We were having takeout pizza – how bad are we – while watching a documentary about…ballet, of all things.
On a Saturday.
At 9pm (with no kids around!).
Yes, the man in him struggled.
The torture of satisfying his palates with a pizza while the visual offered neither rugby nor horror, nor Two and a Half Men, was too much to take.
Yet, the British in him fought and conquered.
He stood there, next to me on the sofa, motionless, and I think, a bit confused, trying to figure out was that real?
Was he really watching a documentary about ballet on a Saturday night, in French?
I couldn’t help myself and laughed so much.
First, I laughed, because it took me a while until I figured out that something wasn’t right. When it clicked, I looked at him and saw slight rotation of his eyeballs but knew it wasn’t from the crunchy pizza.
It was from the program.
I chuckled but kept the channel on until I saw how far he could take this, and when he’d finally say, “honey, what on earth…”
He stoically conceded to a few more minutes, which I appreciated.
Eventually, I obliged and changed the channel.
Out of all that, I thought about two things:
1). Why do we care so much what we wear and how we look, when we go to the theatre or the opera (that, in connection to the takeout pizza, somehow)?
It’s like the ‘runway’ when I go to the theatre here, in Malta.
In fact, people end up talking more about what ‘she’ or ‘he’ wore or did, than anything in particular about the performer.
I don’t want to judge, but I am.
That makes me think, are we trying to deceive society about who we are?
Are we lying to ourselves about who we are?
Do we really like going to La Traviata?
Do we know who Violetta is?
Is it in some sort of a Western cultural clause from the ‘respected citizen’ manual where it says that one must attend operas and ballets so that the others think he or she is an intellectual?
Which reminds me what my favourite writer says on a similar subject, “everybody talks about the classics, but no one reads them”. (If you’re not one of those ‘intellectuals’, then you’ll know who I’m quoting 🙂
And that annoys me.
It annoys me to no end.
Mainly because, when entr’acte comes and everyone gets into a passionate chattering, the air suddenly fills up with stale mouth odour. But that’s irrelevant. What matters is, who’s’ got the biggest pearls.
2). When I interview young people for my research and when I ask them what type of music they like, there are the odd ones, who say classical music.
The rest, of course, burst out in laughter and mockery.
I’m sure the teenager in question would have known how his peers would react.
Yet, he stood up for his answer (male respondents, in all three cases that have said they like classical music).
My point is that, it requires certain amount of dignity to stand up for what you truly like or dislike.
So, if you don’t give a toss for opera, who cares.
You’re not missing on anything.
There’s Cold Play and U2 and Led Zeppelin – not specifically in that order. Not exclusively, either.
There’s also always Mark Twain for a good book (for all ages, at that), or a great Scorsese film.
All of the above blabbing (mainly in 1).) is my characterisation of one particular type of human beings.
He is not necessarily related by birth to our own inner self.
But, he is not necessarily a stranger, either.
It’s the snob. (That one, who’s likely to frown upon the pizza eating during a ballet performance.)
That’s one trait I’d really try to carve out of my kids.
Because, somehow, someway, and at some point, snobbery always comes to us with the proposition to rest for a while, until it just settles in, and becomes the landlord of our soul.