Sunday, February 11, 2007

Swan Lake and Peanut Butter

Swan Lake Pacific Northwest Ballet puts on a lovely Swan Lake performance. It's beautiful and makes me cry a little. So pretty.

Of course I do have a complaint. It is me for pete sake. There was a family sitting behind me. Dad, Kid, Younger Kid and Mom. Kid was directly behind me.

K & YK were about 3 and 4 maybe 5 years old. TOO YOUNG TO SIT THROUGH A THREE HOUR BALLET. Thank you very much.

Mom and Dad were thinking about the timing so they kindly brought cherrios in plastic bags for act 1 and those horrific peanut/nut orange-colored crispy things for act 2 and 3. The orange treats were especially nice because as the children shoved them mindlessly into their mouths the peanut butter smell grew with each handful.

The bags nicely crinkled with each tiny monstrous hand movement.

Just in case I became deaf because of the food noise, the children were kind enough to kick my chair in time to the music. Every once in a while I would hear a parent "whisper" something (not in English) to the spasming children. I would NEVER disrupt other patrons to speak during the performance and as my seats are mid-row there's no calling an usher. I attempted to give the father the look of death during the first intermission but they were quick to remove the little darlings to the lobby.

Sadly, the parents brought food items for acts 1-3 but there are 4 acts in Swan Lake. The little princess with her fake angelic eyes and little ribbon in her hair was so bored during act 4 that she started rubbing her cute pink rubber boots together and fiddling with the zipper. Zip up, squeak, zip down, zip up, squeak, zip down, unintelligible "whisper", whine, squeak.

I tried my darnedest to go to my happy place, use my skills at tuning out others to pinpoint my attention on the stage. ZIP. But as I was watching the swans dance across the SQUEAK stage my mind drifted ZIP to ways to punish a parent for CRINKLE placing their children in such an inappropriate situation. ZIP. I don't blame the children.

The little girl next to me (unrelated) asked her daddy if he could make them be quiet SQUEAK. Then he pulled out a gun and made them leave. The entire audience and the dancers gave the dad a standing ovation and then we watched the rest of the ballet in peace. (I wish.) I lived through it without hurting anyone but be careful the next time I hear the squeaking of rubber boots it could be ugly. PBSS... post ballet stress syndrome?

(For the record... I am NOT making light of PTSS. I'm just saying I might understand it a little more now.)


MWR said...

Those evil children and their evil parents have harmed you. I wish there was more I could do.

Next time, use your intermission time to find the person in charge of the theater and demand satisfaction. If you wait until the end, it's like finishing the salad and then complaining about the earwig.

Or, you might consider the tactic of turning most of the way around and starting intently at the offenders. When you have the attention of a parent, use the old "out of air" gesture from scuba diving (pantomime cutting your own throat). You remember how well this worked at the Seal concert. This should get the point across even if they don't speak English.

CLD said...

That's appalling... any child young enough to need baggies of snacks is too young to attend a 3 hour ballet. I should know... I have two kids that would fall into that category. I know some adults who couldn't sit through a ballet, so it is outrageous to think a 5 year old could! ;)

I agree with MWR -- you should have spoken up. It's not fair to pay so much money for tickets and then not get to enjoy the performance...

MJS said...

Perhaps that's why Bruce Wayne's parents were executed in an alley shortly after a play...Bruce was simply to young to attend.