This morning I attended an orchestra/band assembly at the elementary school.
It’s no secret that I tend to cry when kids sing, but I figured I was safe at a band concert. Just music. NO WORDS!
HYPOTHESIS: If I attend an instrumental holiday concert, I will not experience water dripping off of my chin (from my eyes, obviously. I’ve got the drooling thing under control. Mostly.).
TESTING: The first few songs were totally safe. Choral of the Bells with the fifth grade violinists and the eighth grade string orchestra. Some sort of boogie thing that was nice and short. Something Scottish. I was strong and smiley and was actually one of the (very) few parents who enjoyed the show without holding a phone or tablet out toward the performers. (How many of these people will actually watch the concert again? Any of them? How ridiculous do we all look because we can no longer just enjoy something without feeling the need to somehow archive it? I am not free of guilt when it comes to feeling the need to prove that I attended an event or ate at a restaurant. It’s all so weird, isn’t it?)
The string orchestra finished up and the audience shifted focus toward the other side of the gym where the eighth grade band had set up. After a quick introduction of the instruments, the show kicked off with a medley from The Polar Express. I looked up toward the stage and made eye contact with Meredith. She opened her eyes and gave me an “Oh No!” gulp before whispering something to her friend. (What did she whisper to her friend? I’m guessing she whispered, “My mom has no spine and will probably start beating on her legs very soon.”)
It wasn’t long before I detected a musical segue into the When Christmas Comes to Town portion of the medley. I hate When Christmas Comes to Town. HATE it. Sadly, if I’m unable to turn it off and I hear more than 15 seconds of it, I have to start blinking like a frequent blinker and patting my hands on my legs and contemplating Whitey Herzog in order to fight off the tears. BUT: NO WORDS. This is just an instrumental! You can’t stop the band from playing, so you may as well just enjoy and DON’T THINK ABOUT THE LYRICS! I need to get coconut milk and avocados at the store. I should probably switch to a different moisturizer during the winter months. I really need to think more about doing unto others the way I want them to do unto me. AND, now we’ve arrived at the part about “Presents for the children, wrapped in red and green. All the things I’ve heard about but never really seen.” (Why do I even KNOW the lyrics?! I can never remember who provides our health insurance, yet I retain this sort of crap.) Damnit. Damnit. It’s happening, and no one will stop the song, AND: Tears jumping out of my eye holes, and me without waterproof mascara. WHITEY HERZOG! WHITEY HERZOG! (Here’s an actual photo of me taken after the assembly by one of the iPad moms.)
ANALYSIS: It doesn’t take much to destroy me, does it? AND, apparently it doesn’t even take the voice of a child to make me squirrely. Further experimentation will need to take place in order to figure out the source of the emotion. Am I stirred by all songs featured in motion capture computer animated fantasy films based on books written for children? Does a holiday song written in the key of E-flat affect me more than one written in the key of C? Do I have seasonal affective disorder? Epiphora caused by upper lacrimal drainage system problems?
RESULT: HYPOTHESIS REJECTED. Can someone please bring me a fluffy blanket and an avocado sandwich?