Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Observation of the Mind Getting Super Pissed... and then Laughing it Off

Last week my man-friend and I went to see the "Slutcracker" at the Somerville Theater. That's right, a burlesque take on good ol' Tchaik's "Nutcracker." I heard it was good, so I went ahead and bought a pair of tickets.

We arrived at the theater and the place was completely packed. We found a couple of empty seats up on the balcony and plopped ourselves down. In front of us was a walkway separating "our" portion of the balcony from the rows in front of us. This means nothing now, but later it will. Now, the purpose of this blog is not to give "Slutcracker" a bad review, but I must mention that I was an unhappy customer. Anyway, a few minutes before the show started, a woman sat down in front of me (across the walkway) who happened to have huge hair. I started to roll my eyes, telling myself, "Of course she sat right in front of me...right in my line of vision." The show started, and I realized there really was no way around this mass of fuzz. Man-friend and I switched seats and it was slightly better. But of course during this I start mentally comparing her hair to the un-felted wool I use when I needle-felt... wondering "Why can't she just pull it back, I mean doesn't she have ANY IDEA that her hair is a huge annoyance??"

Okay, so that was just the beginning. After I got over having this negative fantasy about dryer-filter-like hair, I started to pay more attention to the performance itself. Although it was difficult for the first 20 minutes due to the fact that many audience members arrived late and kept walking around the aisles asking "IS THIS SEAT TAKEN???" Anyway, the performance was...well, silly. The choreography was not very interesting, it wasn't "sexy" (as reviews said), and the dancing was okay at best. Going down my laundry list (while I'm at it), I may as well mention that the show was predictable, pretty boring, and not even sort of "shocking." What I did not quite understand at first was that the audience was loving it. They were hooting, hollering, and doing the whole bit. After all there were boobies of all sizes, pasties, dildos, and humping going on. Now, I'm no prude, but there really wasn't anything very interesting about these particular "raunchy" things happening on stage. Basically we felt totally out of place; we were definitely not a part of this "in" crowd that seemed to somehow manifest as its own separate part of the performance. Again, I'm not writing in order to review the show, but mentioning my dissatisfaction with everything is important.

Alright, so this whole thing was set up so perfectly for me -- a recipe of crap to allow my brain to feast on and chatter negatively about. During intermission, which we stayed seated for, man-friend and I shared our thoughts about how stupid everything was, how the audience was so ridiculous.... and how two men seemed to strategically place themselves right in front of our faces, giving us a grand view of the derrieres. That's right, middle-aged-man-ass right at face level. Total cake-topper.

Of course the mental chattering stew of negative experiences continued as I asked myself, "Why do they have to be so ignorant of their respective places in space? I mean, can't they be more mindful about where they put their butts? WTF? What is WRONG with people? This whole production, the audience, the big fluffy mass of hair..."

And then I caught myself. I noticed that my breath had become short and restrained. My neck was tense. All of these things occurred simply because I had been attaching myself to the plethora of my negative thoughts. And for what reason? Well, none. I took a deep breath, looked around at all of the smiling faces, which were stilled partially blocked by two pairs of butt-cheeks, and I reminded myself that these people were having a good time. Even though I did not agree with them or like their behavior, they meant no harm. And it was not very skillful of me to let my thoughts get the best of me.

So at this point of realization, I was able to laugh at myself and the whole experience. The ass cheeks became sort of funny. The fuzz-ball-head-lady became just a goofy lady with big hair. The performance continued to suck. OK, big deal!

We left before the end of the show (we gave up on it... and trying to navigate through a post-performance crowd didn't seem like it would be particularly enjoyable) and made our way to Orleans for a much-needed glass of wine. After our drink we attempted to exit the restaurant but were blocked by a couple of gentlemen. And who were they? Why, the same two ass-men who had just graced us with their booty-licious presence at the theater. Of course! What a perfect ending to our evening...

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