Did I miss the train on this one?
Nearly every year since I was five, my father has given a concert with the classical chamber orchestra he conducts in New York City. At least one Saturday night a year for the last 23-years, I put on something nice, sat in my orchestra seat, and was to take in the sounds of Mozart, Bach, and whatever else my Dad had up his sleeve for the night with his orchestra members.
However, this particular night in 2011, became particularly memorable and I have certain families to thank for it.
During the first pieces before intermission, this family comes in late and I think nothing of it at first. They have a small child, and of course, I give the benefit of a doubt. Let’s all just get settled and enjoy the music.
Nope, looks like that’s not going to happen. This particular couple decides to unwrap candy for their young child throughout the entire first piece, the small child talking the entire time, and drinking a bottle of green juice with his parents not doing anything to stop any of it. After about 10-minutes of this bullcrap (with a few other people giving them scathing stares), obviously the stares weren’t working and I finally said it in plain English: “Could you stop that please?” (Mind you, I was sitting four rows from the front and my dad was literally in earshot of me). And THAT finally stopped it, the real out-of-mouth directions. You’ve got to be kidding me.
PS – there was a cafe’ area RIGHT OUTSIDE the concert doors. One of you couldn’t just take him outside?? no of course not.
If that wasn’t enough from little Juice Boy, the family in front of us had a boy of about 10-years-old with no excuse for why he was jumping up and down from his seat with his dad doing absolutely nothing to stop it….
I said it before, I’ll say it again … Did I miss the train on this one??
Now, my aunt told me the next day: “Oh, just wait until you’re a mom and then you’ll understand.”
… really? because as I understood it when I was little, I had to sit, be quiet, and listen even if I was bored out of my skull. Why? because it was concert etiquette, and I needed to follow the rules. Someone up there had worked their tucus off to perform an amazing piece and whether or not I wanted to listen, my job was to stay quiet and considerate until it was over. Period.
A recent article by Rob McNeill showed up on msnbc.com a few months ago, basically taking cue from the recent ban of children in a Monroeville, PA restaurant saying it was not because of a dislike of children, but because he had it with parents and their inability to cooperate. Also, LZ Granderson from CNN also ran a similar article about how even he, as a parent, couldn’t believe that some parents wouldn’t deal with their children despite their irrational behavior.
So here it is, plain and simple, since it seems that scathing looks just don’t cut it anymore and perhaps just directions are to be drawn up instead.
– THIS IS NOT THE MOVIES. You want to go to a concert? here’s a tip: don’t bring your child or if you absolutely positively cannot LIVE without going to the performance, TALK to your kid beforehand or sit in the back. I cannot start to tell you just how rude and inconsiderate it is to come in not only late, but continue to be noisy to the point where even the middle row can hear your kid snacking on that candy.
– don’t wait for the hairy eyeball either. I’m here to enjoy the music, and so is everyone else. If you choose to ignore the withering glances, trust me when I say karma is a bitch and if your own child is up there performing one day and someone decides to crumple their cellophane wrappers loudly and whisper to each other in the audience, don’t say I didn’t tell you so.
– This is fabulous in fair comparison to the complete a-hole that decided to whip open a newspaper in the front row and read it while the first act of the concert was going on. Literally holding it up, both arms, while my dad and the orchestra were performing onstage. RUDE! Go sit outside if you don’t feel like listening. The news in that paper isn’t going to change in the next 10-minutes, put it down and deal with it.