Last week, my oldest daughter and I attended a concert of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, or as we sophisticated people call it, the LA Phil. The specific concert was titled, “Tetzlaff Plays Dvorak,” which as it turned out, was not a tennis match after all.
You may be surprised to learn that I did not attend orchestral performances growing up in Paragould, Arkansas. We had our share of drama, sure, but not much orchestra. The closest I came was purchasing the soundtrack to Close Encounters of the Third Kind on vinyl.
But who knew, if you purchase a ticket and have a beautiful date, “LA Phil” will apparently let pretty much anyone into the crazy cool Walt Disney Concert Hall.
I really did enjoy (most of) the performance, but my cultural unsophistication did allow my mind to wander to less-than-cultured places from time to time. Like whether the guest conductor also played Captain Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation. And how one particularly animated violinist looked like a marionette under the influence of a tipsy puppeteer. And how two gentlemen with a remarkable resemblance to Stephen King and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy were playing an unidentifiable instrument that made them look as if they were smoking fancy grenade launchers.
But the best part of the evening came shortly after intermission when a woman in our general vicinity began to painfully unwrap a piece of candy, which in that hall of hushed reverence sounded like she had trapped a squirrel in a bag of potato chips. The surrounding patrons were silently livid, which my daughter and I discovered to be the funniest kind of livid to watch.
Much more seriously, as we sat side by side listening to classical music in Walt Disney Concert Hall, it occurred to me how far Erica and I have come in our precious years together. I did not feel smug in this thought–as this essay shows, I remain far too ignorant to feel arrogant. And yet I did not feel out of place either, even though that was obviously the case. Instead, I just felt happy . Happy at the honor of allowing such beautiful music to wash across my soul in that spectacular venue in this magical city with such a lovely young lady that I have been privileged to walk alongside for all these years.
I never imagined an evening like that one. I wonder what other evenings I have yet to imagine?