Alas, it has come to my attention that this city is simply full of barns.
"Barns?" you say. "PC, you live in a bedroom community of Huntsville. Y’all aren’t allowed to keep livestock within the city limits."
Yeah, well, I’m now convinced that the 500+ people I spent Saturday morning with were all raised in barns. They may be pretty-looking and expensive barns, but for all intents and purposes, this is Barn City and everyone acts like it.
My rant stems from AC’s dance recital, held Saturday morning. Several hundred children and their parents, siblings, grandparents, and extended ‘come-here’ family members gathered to watch the little angels dance. I thought I was going to your basic dance recital—tutus, tap shoes—but I was sadly mistaken.
There were cell phone issues of course, which I will refrain from ranting about beyond saying that unless you are awaiting a liver transplant and must be reachable at any second, turn the damn thing off. There were the parents with their video cameras blocking the aisles and everyone’s view as they jockeyed for position. (You know, the dance studio is selling DVDs of the recital for a reasonable price. Buy one of those instead.) There were the parents who roped off ROWS of 15-20 seats for their families—families who couldn’t be bothered to show up on time and waited until the house lights went down to try to come in. This, of course, prompted MORE cell phone usage, with the lovely addition of those sitting in the seats standing up and waving their arms so they could be found. That’s okay, I didn’t want to see that part of the show anyway. There was the lady behind us that kept whacking DG in the head with the ENORMOUS bouquet of flowers she brought for her lil’ punkin (who you would have thought was dancing the Black Swan solo instead of being third from the left in “Wheels on the Bus”).
Spare me from the etiquette problems of others.
But that’s not what had me questioning the zoning laws of my fair city. Somehow, these Barn Dwellers mistook a dance recital for a soccer game. Or a NASCAR race. Some sporting event instead of the dance recital it was advertised to be.
Picture this—seventeen little girls in pink tutus file on to stage. The stage lights come up, and the darlings are blinking in shock at the size of the stage and the brightness of the lights. Then, from the darkness of the audience comes: “GO SARAH!!!” “WHOOO HOOOO!!! YAY MADDIE!!!” "YOU GO GRACIE!!! YEAH!!" This continues until the music starts.
First of all, the kids can’t see into the audience. This is noise coming out of a black hole. Of course, they’re trying to figure out where Daddy is, and end up missing their music cue. Or, better yet, it scares the bejeesus out of them and they burst into tears.
But that aside, am I the only person left who sees the inappropriateness of hootin’ and hollerin’ during a dance performance? That kind of carrying on is appropriate in certain places—the ball field comes to mind—but this isn’t a sporting event. There are finer rules of etiquette in place for events that take place in the theater. Appreciation for the dancers is shown by sitting quietly and attentively while they are dancing and applauding nicely (even enthusiastically) when they are finished.
What’s next? Cow bells and air horns? Rabid mom-fans rushing the stage and flinging flowers? Turning the orchestra pit into a mosh pit?
I’m all for encouraging children and showing how proud you are of their accomplishments. I’m also for teaching them that there’s a time and a place for everything. I’m for teaching them that different situations have different standards of expected and acceptable behavior. I’m for teaching them about inside and outside voices—and outside voices only belong inside during basketball games, rock concerts, and when someone is on fire.
I know DG and Mom are with me on this one. How about you? Are we in a minority here?