The untold true story of my daughter’s dance recital!
June 1, 2009
“Hell is other people’s children” 😉
Spent Saturday afternoon at a dance recital featuring my youngest daughter, Lily. It also featured about eighty million other kids. And their parents and grandparents. That meant we had the never-ending pleasure of witnessing about 25 different performances, emphasis on never ending.
Look, I know children and music are a beautiful thing. I am not a complete cynic. But when you combine dancing, the soundtrack from countless Disney musicals, and a slew of other people’s children you’re pushing my buttons. No offence to the little ones, but the fact that it so chaotic and they are so mediocre makes for a looooong afternoon.
The first few passels of wee ones, overdressed in pricey “screw the recession’ costumes, fumbling about and missing their marks is undeniably cute. But it doesn’t get cuter; it gets- what’s the opposite of cuter?
Another thing that gets me are the dance instructors. They always interject their own dance numbers into the program, as if the two hours needed padding, as if anyone in the audience cared one bit about seeing a gaggle of somewhat talented teen-agers showboating their burgeoning skills and bodies. Granted, I appreciate relieving my boredom fantasying about the one or two beauties among them until, that is, I realize they are about five years older than my daughter. Ugh.
Of course my daughter was the best performer of the lot, combining good looks, radiant smile and spry for-her-age maneuvers into a magical performance. This is a given. Unfortunately, her 2 minutes and 20 seconds of amazingness came at the 80-minute mark. Honestly, this is a no-win situation. Had she come on immediately we would have basically spent the rest of our afternoon pretending to give two shits about other people’s children.
Hell is other people’s children. Thank God they have loving parents and assorted friends and well-wishers. Thank God we all do. But if you really want to know why Hillary Clinton’s “It Takes a Village” sentiment can never work attend a few recitals. You will want to commit hari-kari or murder. Somewhere during the third Phil Collins’ song the fight or flight mechanism turns unbearable. You become rabidly annoyed and a threat to your better-behaved family (read wife). You imagine pulling out of the parking lot and racing home to a Cubs game and your favorite beverage.
And then you realize you’re going to lunch with another family and their adorable children. Next to dance recitals there is nothing I enjoy more than a big family meal with other people’s children.
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