Yesterday was not perfect. I had minor rushes and fusses, and in the afternoon I was told that I had a Policy Violation. After going through the typical stages — horror and embarrassment, affronted self-rightousness (“I didn’t do what that person did; how can they object to mine and not to hers?”), rationalization — in the last hours of the workday, I raced home to rectify the Violation before last night’s concert. The kitchen had not been cleaned and no grocery fairy had deposited anything in the refrigerator, so I had #2 son call around to find a pizza place that could have our meal ready in the available time. It could be done, one said, if we would go pick it up. I agreed. #1 son, I thought, could dash out and get it while I fixed my Violation and got dressed and made a salad, and I would still be ready for the performance in time.
#1 son refused. He was the same person who had failed to clean the kitchen, so I should not have been surprised.
I fixed things as fast as I could, dashed off to fetch the pizza, and zoomed back up to the door at 6:38. Ten minutes to eat, five minutes to leap into my concert black, five minutes to do something to make my face and hair presentable, and I would be at the door with two minutes to spare.
Let me explain about concert blacks. Female musicians have to wear black head to toe at concerts. I used to wear black a lot when I was young. When I hit forty, though, and had gray hair, Jensing told me to cut it out. She held up a black scarf to my face and said, “Severe!” She put up a blue scarf and said — well, I don’t remember. Something complimentary, I think. I don’t remember the compliments as well as the criticisms, I am afraid. The black scarf went back up. “Severe!”
She was doing a Beauticontrol color analysis at the time. Not just randomly attacking me with scarves.
It stuck in my mind. I quit wearing black. Except for concerts. Now, the last few concerts I have done have been in robes or Renaissance get-ups, so I haven’t worn my concert black for a year or more, but a musician always has her blacks somewhere. I assumed they were in the closet.
It was not until I raced into my bedroom to put them on and rifled through the closet that I remember that when I wore them a year or more ago, I realized that they were too big and that I looked schlumpy in them. I had thrown them into the Goodwill box and planned on replacing them with something more chic.
Well, I didn’t get around to it, did I?
I pulled them out of the Goodwill box, which took all the time I had set aside for making myself look presentable, and pulled them on. I was of course wrinkled and festooned with cat hair. I had also tossed my black shoes. I went and borrowed a pair from #1 daughter. She has only heels.
I skidded out the door just as La Bella drove up.
She was wearing a beautifully tailored pantsuit, reminiscent of a tuxedo, with a dark bronze necklace that toned charmingly with her hair. We looked like a “Dos” and “Don’ts” illustration walking into the hall.
My feet hurt from the high heels before the brass finished tuning up. I was still smarting from the Policy Violation dressing down, and cross with my rotten lazy son, and tired as well, not to mention the continued awareness that I was wearing shlumpy, ill-fitting clothes that had been in a cardboard box for a year.
Here’s the thing about music: none of that mattered. It was wonderful.
Today I have to be at a fair booth at 7:00 a.m. and I have computer work for the store to finish before that. Xanga is confused about my time zone, so it is going to be claiming that it is later than it is, but it is 5:26, so I had still better hurry up.