Hubs and I will occasionally tape together enough dollars to go someplace Ridiculously Fancy. If given options, we usually aim for an evening at the Kennedy Center, watching whatever ungodly splendor the National Symphony Orchestra has planned for that weekend. We try to line up the dollar pile with a show that features a violin soloist (side note: this is how I collected my Tetzlaff and Ehnes obsessions. I regret nothing).
Our first extravaganza included the Friday night performance of the series with Nurit Bar-Joseph performing Mozart’s Concerto #4 in D Major with her orchestra. We piled on the special fabrics and the date perfume and the shoes-that-are-made-for-sitting, piled into the car, and trekked several hours upwards to our fancy fate. We set our music to a rando selection of other artists performing Mozart. The car ride scuttled by as we guessed who performed each piece and backed up our guesses with completely not vehement justifications. It definitely doesn’t matter that I was right most of the time. That’s totally not the point, ok.
We arrived early, and took the elevator up to Terrace Level because we’d heard a rumor that they had prime rib up there. We stood, stiff backed against the well-paneled walls of the lift, our feet resisting gravity so we didn’t crush the plush red carpet. I gazed at the light fixture that was easily as big as our only bathroom, and probably twice as expensive. I wondered how many elevators in that building had the same fixture. I thought about how many people saw those fixtures every day and weren’t even diminished by their proximity to them.
We floated through our dinner. I sliced butter soft bites of horseradished prime rib into my eager gullet while Hubs pretended I hadn’t dribbled steak juice all over my neck, purse, and, somehow, shoulder, missing my gown entirely. (It’s a gift.) We sipped the last of our wines, and made our near sated way to the concert hall.
Our tickets had been scored for us by a friend of ours in the symphony; they were second row from the first section divider. This meant that we were two rows from a metal railing and a larger aisle that ran the length of the hall. Our section was, like the rest of the hall, packed. Fortunately, our seats were merely three from the end, and I didn’t flatten anyone trying to pick my way to them. I think most of the folks in our row were friends of the symphony; they all seemed to be late twenties/early thirties, pressed khakis and crisp hair and eager faces. We sat, birds on a wire, as the lights fell.
I don’t even remember what the opening number was. As a matter of fact, I barely remember Nurit’s flawless performance (she’s always flawless). She’d swung easily into her first movement cadenza, the orchestra falling silent as she filled the hall with whim around Mozart’s unswaying genius. She was the only sound in the entire hall.
Then, crew-cut with pressed khakis from the ass end of our row decided to get up and stumblefuck his way over us. He’s trying to move quickly, but it’s not quiet, and folks from all over the hall are blatantly glaring. I was glaring. I was more than glaring; I wanted him to know that he was So Fucking Rude. I’m muttering in utter enraged silence at Hubs, who didn’t even bother to pacify me, when crew-cut arrives at my legs. I raised my resting murder face to his and very slowly shifted a half-inch to the right. Crew-cut flings himself over me and then turns and faces the row in front of us. I’m, at this point, assuming he is going to yell at me, because why not. The entire hall is still stare-glaring.
Instead, crew-cut’s shoulders shook, and he opened his maw to release a thick, eternal stream of colorful, chunky vomit all over the older lady in front of us. The entire audience, plus the entire orchestra (which promptly gave up pretending to be engaged in that cadenza), inhaled the most unified horrified gasp that has hopefully ever happened in that hall (or anywhere). I realized my jaw was in my cleavage and wondered, fleetingly, how many particles of crew-cut’s projectile festivities had landed directly in my mouth.
Older lady, stenchy glistening driplets traipsing from her hair, down her cheeks and forehead, and into the silky creases of her luxurious full length fur coat, said in a shaky, hurt, whisper-hiss, “Sir, would you please sit down so that doesn’t happen again!”
Then crew-cut stumbled over a few more people and fled out the door.
Nurit didn’t miss a beat.
When we chatted with our symphony friend about it, her first comment was,
“Well the last time that happened…”
So anyways. Now you know why wearing fur is ill-advised, version forever.