In an effort to distract from what it really is (torture), the school distract has obliquely named the concert in which we parents have to sit through 300 kids playing medleys of Lightly Row and Mississippi Hot Dog, “The Winter Strings.” Sounds a lot more whimsical that way.
My own son has been playing since he could toddle and listening to him is downright pleasant. I played cello for many years – toured even – and while I was never as good as he is, I was good. I could have been great. The concerts, though, let’s just say I invariably get stuck behind the kid who spends the entire concert taking a shit in his pants.
The concert itself was unremarkable, save for my son, who spent most of it scowling in my general direction (no small feat on a big stage). What had I done to evoke such ire? How had I offended thee? Had I punched a puppy? Kicked a kitten? Told him that I hated Facebook?
Aunt Becky: “What are you wearing to the concert tonight?”
Ben: “These [pleated][greenish][ugly] pants and this [yellow] shirt and this [green] sweater-vest.”
Aunt Becky: “Okay, so let’s go with these black cargo pants instead. The green pants don’t really go and they’re a liiiitle too small.”
Aunt Becky: “Um.”
Ben: “THESE PANTS ARE BETTER.”
Aunt Becky: “You look like a mini-Alex P. Keaton.”
Aunt Becky: “Never mind.”
Ben: “I want to wear these pants.”
Aunt Becky: “Dude, the cargo pants are cooler. And black goes with yellow and green better than these do. Trust me, you look handsome!”
Aunt Becky: “Okay, in that outfit, you need a briefcase and a Wall Street Journal subscription.”
Ben (thinks): “That would be good.”
Aunt Becky: “NO CHILD OF MINE WILL GO OUT DRESSED LIKE THAT.”
Ben (flounces off): “Fine.”
So now my son is mad at me because I wouldn’t let him go out dressed like a tiny member of the Republican National Committee. I’m pretty sure his rebellion will be to wear Dockers and button-down shirts.
Kids these days. Back in MY day, we pierced our eyebrows and shaved our heads and we LIKED it.
Maybe the kid will forgive me when he sees that I’ve gotten him a new sweater-vest/ascot combo. Or maybe he’ll just use this as fodder to put me in a bad nursing home. That seems more likely.