Last night was the preview for the community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof. Katie is in the ensemble, and has spent countless hours at rehearsals and Sean and I have driven miles and sat hours and drank way, way too many $4 coffees.
Preview night is like the final final final dress rehearsal, in front of a live, paying (though discounted,) crowd. It's the very last chance to work out any kinks before the full price paying patrons show up. The Thursday night preview and discounted tickets appeal to our senior friends on fixed incomes, and they came out in droves.
I think it's Senior Night. They are coming in on busses.
I texted Sean. You know, those big shuttle vans. Not really busses. They're Oldsmobiles. Ba dum-bum.
There is a 15 year old boy in the lobby, I think he's with his grandma, I say.
LOLZ ! Sean texts back. I always use proper grammar and spelling, and my husband texts like a 12 year old girl.
Here is the great thing about going somewhere alone: You can always find a great seat. I had the center seat, six rows back. No one for three chairs to the left or right. Best seat in the house.
Here is the awful thing about going somewhere alone: People feel like they need to talk to you, because you are out somewhere alone and therefore you are a loser. I got news, assholes. I talk and interact and have some kid in my personal space on a nearly constant basis. If I've managed to make it out of the house alone, do not fucking speak to me.
Except old people are sweet and cute and wrinkly. It is hard to look at and old person and think, do not fucking speak to me. So when the woman in line for the restroom asked if I was enjoying the play.
'I am, thank you. I hope you are.'
It's a funny habit that Sean got me into - I hope you are. It's a slightly more sophisticated version of 'You, too!' And, it is folksy as hell and old people love that shit.
The woman in front of me is talking about the quality of the production, and the woman behind me is singing a song about a train and constipation, to another woman that she does not know. She didn't sing it once, but over and over, like a chant. I have a feeling the singer ended up in the stall next to me, because there came forth from that toilet, a symphony of shit. It is hard to stand next to someone washing you hands with that kind of soundtrack in the background. It is embarrassing.
I got back to my seat, after a brief conversation with a gentleman who asked if I was enjoying the programme (he said it in such a way that I feel compelled to spell it all fancy). In the row in front of me sat three ladies. I would guess they were near 75. One tall and solid, one tiny and frail, and one, small and regal. She was impeccably dressed; a black turtleneck under a fitted, red and white checked jacket. A cream scarf around her neck, a simple bracelet and earrings. Make up, but simple and careful and quietly stunning. Her hair was perfectly white and curled around her face. I just knew that if I reached out and touched her cheek, it would feel like baby powder.
I sat there and I looked at that woman and thought, first, she is beautiful. And then, shit - is that going to happen to my face?
The play began and it was wonderful and I get such a joy from watching my kid be part of something she loves.
But the old couple behind me were killing me.
WHAT DID SHE SAY? The woman stage whispered to the man. I DIDN'T HEAR HER.
I DON'T KNOW, he not-whispers back.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED? WHY DID THEY DO THAT? WHAT BROKE? WHAT BROKE? WHAT DID THEY BREAK?
Partway throught Act II - ARE YOU ASLEEP? ARE YOU ASLEEP? ARE YOU SLEEPING?
The show is three hours long.
As we were exiting the theater, I noticed the couple in front of me were wearing headphones, provided by the theater for hard of hearing patrons. Folks, calls an usher, Don't forget to take off your headphones. She motions to her head, moving a finger from one ear to the other, in the international sign for 'headphones you borrowed and now you are stealing.' The man smiled at her, and gingerly lifted a hand from his walker and gave her a half wave.
They keep walking. The usher repeats herself and the man again half waves, but is visibly annoyed by this bitch. He whispers to his wife and they pick up their pace. Not considerably.
They just keep walking.