Blue Collar Ballet
“This play sucks!” griped Abraham.
“Oh, like if we’d be doing something really exciting back at the house,” Mary snapped back. “I’m tired of watching you admire yourself in the mirror and repeating ‘Fourscore and seven years ago our....’”
Abe cut her off.
“Aren’t there any dancing girls in this production? Ulysses told me there were babes in this play. For Pete’s sake, the monster covered wagon pulls would be 20 times more entertaining than this pompous crap.”
“The play’s title is ‘Our American Cousin’ (author note: great factoid and ice breaker trivia to jumpstart a dull party). And I’m enjoying it, so stop your complaining,” Mary weakly insisted.
“Mules can act better than these hacks! I think I’d rather be eating wood or deflecting cannonballs at Fort Sumter,” Abe chided. “Besides, I should be home practicing my pose for the five dollar bill. They’re sending over a sketch artist tomorrow!”
Mary just folded her arms and shook her head. “And will you take off that damn hat – the guy behind you can’t see the stage!”
Husbands loathe culture. Wives love it.
Of course, I’m generalizing. But most guys are probably like me and that means culture irritates them like a tight pair of wool boxer shorts rubbing against a stomach infected with poison ivy.
My advice is simple. Use some of the very same thespian skills you despise. For instance, create the illusion that you're making an extreme sacrifice and surprise her with two tickets to a play: one for herself and the other for your daughter. If you don't have a daughter, then a sister or sister-in-law will suffice, or any female relatives. Next, explain in a very sincere, “I get you” tone of voice that your heart fills with joy when a mother and daughter share tender relationship moments, like going to Evita or Phantom of the Opera. While delivering this speech, do NOT attempt to fake tears, but it’s probably okay to feign your throat welling up. But only stutter once and quickly regain your composure, or she’ll catch on to your theatrical ruse, punish you for insincerity and drag your sorry ass to a future Elizabethan production. Where you will die from over-sophistication.
I once fell asleep during West Side Story. Is that bad? My wife concluded that I made the ultimate sacrifice by attending an event so vile, so despicable and so dangerous to my grey matter that is caused me to slip into a temporary coma. She thought my slumber at the theater was pathetic, in a cute, puppy dog sort of way. We busted another mattress that night. Marriage can be mystifying.
No matter how hard they try, no matter how sick they make themselves, husbands can’t dodge cultural events forever. Accept that fact. In one situation, about 24 hours before I was supposed to attend an opera with my wife, I ate five dead flies that I found stuck in a spider web attached to an attic window. She invited a female coworker to attend in my place. And even though I became violently ill, and one of my kidneys stopped functioning, I got to lie on the couch all night, watch a Dirty Harry cable marathon, drink beer, eat potato chips with onion garlic dip and vomit into a large potted plant (I couldn’t find any big mixing bowls in the kitchen).
But alas, even with all of my intellectual gifts and talents for evasiveness, I, too, eventually ran out of ploys and relented to getting some culture. I surprisingly learned a few things along the way, built up my calluses of tolerance and reached an epiphany where I could actually relax inside museums, galleries and performing art centers. I gained intense levels of confidence, so effervescent, that now I feel comfortable sharing my newfound knowledge with people less self-aware than me.
No doubt, you probably lack cultural savvy. But that’s okay because I have created a list that contains examples of art and culture, accompanied by my in-depth analysis of each genre. I'll share this list in next Monday's post. After studying my inventory, you will be able to prevent embarrassing predicaments and poor decisions from ruining your evening. Only by truly understanding the arts can you equip yourself with enough cultural savoir-faire to make wise choices.
(next post: Blue Collar Ballet Part Two, with Venus de Milo and Gumby)
Labels: Arts and Entertainment