Monday, September 13, 2004

Kathleen's Basic Etiquette Rules

For all those expecting the blind date story, I'm very sorry, but you'll have to wait a little longer, because I have something much more important to discuss today. Basic Etiquette. I'm not Emily Post or Amy Vanderbilt, but this is something that every person will be able to follow. Trust me. Here follows Kathleen's Rules of Etiquette:

1) There are still some occasions for which you should dress up. I shall list them for you, to avoid any conflicts. I'll describe "dress up" for you all in a little bit.

Church, weddings, funerals, the symphony and opera. I'm sure there are others, but these are the five biggies in my opinion. Under absolutely no circumstances are jeans and a t-shirt appropriate for any of these venues. I don't care if it's your absolutely favoritest Harley Davidson t-shirt or not, just because it's black does not mean it's even close to Black Tie. NOT APPROPRIATE! And if you take those same jeans and pair them with a cotton short-sleeved shirt, it is still not appropriate symphony-wear, but at the freaking very least, iron the damn shirt. I will concede a nice pair of khakis (if I must), but not the same pair you wore to work all week!!! And press your shirt!!!! You would not believe some of the outfits I saw on Friday night. Appalling! No, you don't need to be dressed nicely in order to appreciate the music, but it shows respect for the people who are on that stage playing the music.

2) TURN OFF YOUR FUCKING CELL PHONE when you go to the symphony, opera, church, weddings and/or funerals. Some asshole who was apparently late (and there were many) and missed the request to "take a moment and turn off all cell phones, beepers or paging devices" had his/her cell phone go off in the middle of Carmina Burana. VERY NICE, fuckhead! My cell phone is almost always on vibrate, except at home, but I still turned it off for the symphony. It's really not hard.

3) BE ON TIME for said events. And by that, I don't mean show up five minutes before the symphony or opera is scheduled to start, because (this is where a little thinking comes in handy) if everybody shows up at 5 minutes to eight, then we have the poor ushers trying to seat thousands of clueless people who have no idea where their seats are, and guess what? The Symphony waits for no man!!!! Again, show a little respect for the musicians on the stage or courtesy to those people who were smart enough to get there early. I had people standing in front of me while Maestro Järvi was already conducting the Opening Weekend's national anthems (The Estonian, as well as the Star Spangled Banner). He probably started the Wagner at 8:10 and people were still pouring through the doors. Thankfully they do not seat people during performances, but all those inconsiderate idiots had to be seated in the minimal break between the Wagner and the Strauss.

And then the idiot who showed up AFTER the intermission in the middle of Carmina Burana? He came in the door to my right, walked all the way over to the left and then down all the way to the front of the balcony, so he disrupted just about the entire balcony. Other people who came in late from Intermission (and by that I mean one minute) were considerate and watched from the nearest open seats they could find. I wanted to smack the crap out of that shithead.

4) DO NOT TALK/WHISPER DURING THE PERFORMANCE. It's just not necessary, people!!! There was a woman three rows up and four seats over that whispered during the first few minutes of the Wagner until I turned around and gave her "The Look," along with the disgusted shake of the head. It worked until the beginning of the Strauss, where she once again felt the need to have a conversation. The constant sibilance was not an attractive addition to the orchestra's playing. Another person just begging for a good smack upside the head.

And for all those who were so desperately worried about my CD of Carmina Burana, I found it on Saturday. I categorise my CDs (Pop/Rock, Soundtracks, Opera, Classical, etc.) and I had filed it under opera for some reason. Dumbass!


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