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Insanity is Doing the Same Thing Twice and Expecting a Different Outcome

Posted Jun 07 2013 12:00am

So, I think it's safe to say that sometimes I have really, really awesome ideas. Really awesome. It's like the idea is so good, that I don't even need to reflect. I just do it. Mostly, those are the times when I prove myself a complete and total idiot.

Such was the case Thursday evening.

A couple of times during the year, I've taken my opera singer student to see live broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera in a movie theater. Produced by Fathom Events , these are tremendous opportunities. While I was at the last one, I saw that there was a broadcast of the Russian ballet company, performing Swan Lake live from the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg.

There is no way in my life that I would ever be able to see something of this magnitude and so I immediately added it to my calendar. It was only showing one day, and that day was Thursday. One of my shorties is very interested in ballet, and so I decided to take her. When my other shortie heard it, there was no rest until I agreed to bring both. Rookie move #1.

On the way there, I told them the story of the ballet, only to be interrupted - "Mama, we know the story. We've seen Barbie Swan Lake a whole bunch of times." Rookie move #2 - should've turned around, right then, and gone home to watch a Barbie DVD.

We arrived at the theater in plenty of time, got seated, and waited. The show finally began - only it really didn't. I had no idea that the first 30 minutes was a scenic tour of Russia, St. Petersburg, the history of the Mariinsky and interviews with the principal dancers. Excellent for me. Very bad for shorties. Rookie move #3 - verify when the show actually, you know, begins.

Thank God we sat in the back row. (I always sit in the back row – it's kind of a thing with me.) Further Thank God that there were only 20 other people in the entire theater. The shorties stood up, they sat down, they switched seats. One needed to stretch, one had a coughing attack, both needed tissues. One started sneezing, the other needed to ask questions, and the music was in no way loud enough to cover them. Typically, my children behave very well - at least in public. This was most emphatically not the case on Thursday evening.

"Mama, why isn't the man wearing any pants? What do you mean he's wearing tights? Boys don't wear tights! You can see things!"

"Mama, no one has a birthday party this long (the entire first act as a birthday party for the prince).  When are they going to get to the swans?"

Act I took 317 hours.

They went immediately to Act II, and I had high hopes. The swans appeared, and the dancing was breathtaking. I let out the breath I didn't know I was holding. Maybe this act would be just the thing, I thought.

It was not to be. The shorties stood up. They sat down. They stretched. They balanced their bottoms on the folded up chairs and squeaked when the chair opened. I handed out more tissues, a cough drop, shushed people more than I wanted to, and almost gave a rousing cheer when Act II finally ended.

And then it was a 15 minute intermission, and I decided that I was done.

I called my oldest daughter, who had just finished at work, and we agreed that I would bring the shorties home, and then return to the theater – my Opera student was at a school function across the street from the movie theater, and I had high hopes that I could drop the shorties off, return to watch the movie, and then pick up my daughter.

It is a 25 minute drive. And they were doing road construction.

I got back to the movie theater, and discovered that I did not have my movie tickets. I begged my way into the movie theater, showing my credit card receipt, climbed all the way up to the back row, and sat down to watch the very end of Act III. I saw approximately 2 minutes of it, and then there was a 15 minute intermission.

For. Real.

Act IV began, and 3 minutes in – yes, I timed it – my daughter texted me that she was ready to be picked up.

The next time that I want to pay $37 to go see a show with my shorties, please tell me to go by myself, and use the money I've saved on the $12.50 tickets to buy myself a stiff drink.

Apparently, I am a slow learner.

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