Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Opera(ting) Alone

I just bought meself a ticket to see Lucia di Lammermoor at the Kennedy Center in two weeks. I really do like opera - not universally, not to the point where I forgive its many shortcomings or can say that I "love" opera - but to the point where I don't want to miss a world-class performance of an opera I've never seen if it's reasonably convenient for me to go. The last time I went to an opera (The Marriage of Figaro, and I loved it deeply) I felt like I'd run a marathon when it was over, so if I'm not exactly excited, I'm pleased and looking forward to it. I got a (shitty) orchestra seat, and I like being able to see the faces, so yay.

I only bought one ticket. Matt's father is sometimes my opera buddy (his wife and my husband are not so much fans of it, so this often works out), but I thought it would be just too much trouble to coordinate both of us going, and I wanted to go ahead and get a ticket before they were gone.

I don't mind going to things alone. The first time I did this was when The Little Mermaid came back to theaters in 1997. I was a teenager. At the time, Pixar had not yet made animation cool, and I was so embarrassed by my desire to see it on the big screen (hadn't seen it on its original release when I was seven) that I didn't even ask any of my friends if they wanted to go with me. I just went alone. And I had the most marvelous time. I wasn't the least bit ashamed of going by myself because I'd enjoyed myself so much.

I've been to lots of movies by myself since: Y Tu Mama Tambien, The Royal Tenenbaums (I walked out of that one, and if I'd been with somebody I probably would have suffered through it instead), This Is It, Bridesmaids. I went to The Lion King rerelease a few weeks ago by myself; Matt wasn't interested. I'm explaining this at length because it seems like the normal thing in America is for movies to be a social event, and I don't always see it that way. If I go by myself, I can enjoy the movie without self-consciousness, and I can leave if I don't like it, and I can sit wherever I want to. For me, the only negative, honestly, is that I can't go to the bathroom because I have nobody to tell me what happened while I was gone. But I think it's pretty awful to go to the bathroom during the movies anyway, since you're drawn out of the experience - which is virtually the only advantage the cinema has these days.

Anyway, I have no real problem going to the Kennedy Center by myself in two weeks. I had Matt with me the last time I went there, a few months ago for a strange dance concert, and I'll miss his company during intermission, but I don't want to subject him to Lucia di Lammermoor when it's not really his thing.

I didn't write last night. It's over a week now since I worked on the Greenland book, which makes me feel guilty and anxious, but my life kind of collapsed on itself in the last two weeks, and I'm having to pick through the rubble and do things like laundry and grocery shopping that didn't get done while I was imploding. I'm coming out of it with a new Thursday night yoga class, which is good, and a lot more optimism about what's ahead. But there's a good deal more rebuilding to do.

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