I want to confess.
The other weekend I took my daughter to one of my favorite musicals, Les Miserables. I received the tickets as a birthday gift from my spouse. However, that same spouse forgot we had kids and that he needed to coordinate a sitter. He suggested two kids’ meals and the car windows cracked open, but I wouldn’t have it.
My five-year-old, Eva, got to go with me instead, which made for a nice evening of girl-bonding. Two glamorous girls (she says “geelz”) … dressed to the nines … sipping fancy drinks from tiny straws … munching M&M’s … living large!
She was behaving tres bien throughout almost the entire first half. My heart swelled up larger than the Eiffel Tower watching her happiness and excitement. She kept her voice to a whisper, which for her, was a blessed miracle. She’d asked me, very quietly, a few questions about the plot (I never realized how hard it was to explain prostitutes, orphans, and convicts to a pre-schooler). Meanwhile, the person behind me repeatedly kicked my seat and exhaled breath that would have killed a moose at twenty paces, folks in front of us kept standing up to let people in or out of their seats (what part of “late arrivals not admitted” did you not understand?), someone within germ distance sounded like they were suffering the latter effects of tuberculosis, and yet another couple nearby discussed, not sotto voce, Victor Hugo’s rampant symbolism and the menial acting abilities of the cast … during the entire play.
Then, our evening took a turn for the worse. A thirty-something man in front of us, out on a Friday evening with his parents, took it upon himself to turn around and tell my daughter to quit talking, quit breathing, quit existing, etc., etc. (Not verbatim, but you get the drift.) He did this not once, but TWICE!
The mama-bear in me came out full force. It wasn’t pretty. I told him to turn his skinny *bleep* around and face the *bleep-ing* stage before I had HIM ejected from the *bleep-ity* theatre for bothering me and my daughter, and didn’t he feel *bleep-ing* proud of himself for taking out his frustrations-in-life on a mere child, who was behaving better than most of the audience? (That was verbatim, at least an edited version). His father opened his big yob to enter a comment, took one look at me, and turned back around. Good thinking.
As the play went on, this guy kept giggling with his mom and sneaking crusty looks at me. It was so high school. Still, the people around me kept talking, coughing, standing up, and exhaling. I stewed. I could’ve cooked a pot roast with the heat I was generating. By the time we made it to the criminal Jean Val Jean’s death scene, I was contemplating some criminal acts of my own.
Here’s my confession. (Yes, there’s more.) When the play ended, I poured the rest of Eva’s soda down the back of this guy’s shirt. I then ducked into the exiting throngs of people, ran (laughing maniacally) in my high heels to the car valet, past the octogenarian security guards, carrying my sleeping five-year-old.
Another proud moment for Mom.