Marriage is a game and two can play it
The Column: 03.17.23
BANK STOCKS SKID was the scary headline days ago sending shivers of 1929 and old newsreels of breadlines on Wall Street and Dorothea Lange photographs of migrant women and naturally the thought of a Crash makes me think we need to go out for entertainment, of which New York has plenty.
Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks are playing at Birdland, a 12-piece band reliving Twenties stomps and blues with Vince’s bass sax honking at the head of the formation. The New York Phil is playing Messiaen’s Turangalîla symphony. There’s an Emo Ball with DJs playing disco hits and an All-Night Singles Party at which ladies drink for free. (How do they make sure you’re single? Or a lady?)
The Met is doing “Lohengrin,” so you could sing along (“Here comes the bride, big, fat and wide”) and then go to a club that offers Afro-Caribbean dancing from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Friday night. Four hours of German mysticism followed by euphoric dancing and then go out for waffles and sausage: what better way to get financial distress off your mind?
The Missus and I will be going to the Phil for the Messiaen, which is 80 minutes long and has an enlarged orchestra with maybe eleven percussionists. I married up, she’s a professional musician, and she loves Messiaen, and I will sit quietly and write in my program:
The composer O. Messiaen Caught the measles and almost was gone But was saved by physicians To compose compositions That go on and on. And then on.
She also loves to look at art, which I can take or leave and mostly leave. I go to museums to overhear conversations between couples, usually the woman telling the man, “You don’t like it, do you” and he says, “It’s interesting,” and she seizes on his lack of enthusiasm for the splashy canvas he’s looking at, thinking “I could’ve done that,” and she says, “If you’d just take the time to learn something about art, you’d enjoy it more,” as if this is a personal failing on his part.
The guy majored in economics, he’s on track to become a vice president at Amalgamated Linguini, they vacation on the Cape, the kids are in private schools, and suddenly she wants him to be an art critic and talk about ambience, brushwork, and chiaroscuro? And she walks on to the next piece as he follows her like a dog on a leash.
I find this more interesting than anything on the walls, the competitive aspects of marriage. Women’s ace card is the eye roll; they learn this by the age of 14 and use it on their mothers, and then on the husbands.
My sweetie has an eye roll that makes the room spin. Due to the fact that I’m an author and have so much on my mind, I have a hard time finding my glasses and keys and phone, even shoes, and she rolls her eyes and I have to sit down and put my head between my knees until I can see straight.
I go to the Met and am naturally drawn toward sculptures of naked people, some of which the Met places near the entrance so as to pull in folks from the Dakotas and Wisconsin where nudity is rather rare, big Roman figures with proud buttocks and muscular thighs and naked women standing tall and proud, but I only give the statuary a sidelong glance as she leads me toward the Egyptian pottery exhibit. She is fascinated by it. I am fascinated by her and the fact that she is interested in things that bore me to tears. Such as myself.
I’m rather tired of myself, if you want to know the truth, I’ve heard all my good lines dozens of times, but a few days ago when I stepped out of the shower and had to go to the hall closet to get a towel, she walked in and saw me and smiled. This was a smile you could take to the bank and it showed interest on her part, maybe not 100 percent but more than 7.5. “You’re dripping water on the floor,” she said but she said it softly and she didn’t roll her eyes. She didn’t rip the towel off me and hurl me onto the bed but she was very nice to me the rest of the day. That’s all I can say for now. Wild horses couldn’t drag the rest out of me.
DRIVING ACROSS COLORADO
GARRISON KEILLOR TONIGHT!
FOR TICKET INFORMATION - CLICK HERE
March 28 Parker, Colorado
March 30 Beaver Creek, Colorado
March 31 Grand Junction, Colorado
Yes, we all know the Met is the Metropolitan, but the Phil???
Thank you that was a great piece.