Cautionary Tale (A rant) – Bethany Hensel

Saturday's performance was beautiful, hypnotic, and perfectly executed.  At least, according to my friend.

I cannot say the same thing. 

Want to know why????  Well, it wasn't because I wasn't there.  Oh no.  I was there.  Orchestra Left, Row L.  Seat 5.  I love the Orchestra Left.  Not extreme left, mind you.  Left Center.  

I digress.

Going back to the show, I was there, I was present, and I was very excited to see the performance.  I am a big fan of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, ever since I first heard Joshua Bell play it on his Mendelssohn Violin Concerto/Beethoven Symphony cd.  I couldn't wait to hear what the formidable Chee-Yun could do with it.  

And Dvorak and Mozart are two of my favorite composers.  To say I was excited about hearing a NEVER BEFORE PERFORMED symphony by Mozart was like saying World War Two was just a little "skirmish."

So what happened?  Why could I not enjoy the show, like my date did?  Very simply, it was the lady next to me. 

OH MY GOD.  Never before had I been so bombarded by a perfume.  It was so stunningly strong that I couldn't even tell if it smelled good or bad.  It permeated the air.  My eyes started watering, my nose started running.  The top of my mouth got very, very itchy. 

What's a girl to do but start sniffling.  Well, you'd think I had took out a sawed off shot gun and shot someone for all the STARES and DEATH GLARES I was getting, the most severe of which came from Perfume Lady herself!  She fidgeted in her seat, inching away from me as if I had the plague.  She tapped who I can only assume was her husband on the arm and whispered in his ear.  And yes, I knew they were talking about me.  
I got up to grab some toilet paper to use as a tissue.  I came back to my seat moments later and, eyes still watering, nose still running, I blow my nose.  

Well, I might as well have run naked through the Vatican.  

Embarrassment colored me red.  The show started minutes later, so I tried to coordinate my sniffing as best as I could with the music.  Basically, when it got loud, so did I.  Still, people heard me. I was so uncomfortable knowing that I was causing a scene and sitting so close to the stage that I couldn't even concentrate on what I was hearing.  The opening number was totally lost on me. 

Major La Poo, considering the opening number was the Mozart piece I really wanted to hear. 

Darn you lady with your perfume!  Darn you to heck!

Intermission finally comes.  Thinking I'm oh so clever, I suggest to my friend we move seats.  He agrees, bless his heart.  

And guess what?  It was like moving from the pan to the fire.  

People, please!  I know that you're going to the Symphony and I know that the Symphony is a very nice place that deserves your respect.  I wrote a rather large post on it several months ago, in fact.  One day, perhaps I'll post it.  Anyway, please remember though, that you are in an auditorium.  A beautifully decorated auditorium that still does not have any open windows or air vents.  (At least, none that I can see.)  Please remember that the quarters are close; you are sitting elbow to elbow with a row of strangers. 

And please, I beg of you, remember that a little bit of perfume goes a very long way.  And a lot of perfume just makes people sick.  



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