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February 15th, 2004

Miss Manners Cracks Me Up

I particularly liked these two today:

Miss Manners,

When is it "too late" to send a thank you card?


Gentle Reader,

When the person who was generous to you is dead, and you have to live with the knowledge of your ingratitude.


=====================================================================

Miss Manners,

I took my neighbor, a well-brought-up young man who recently moved here from a small town to attend college, to his first opera, "La Traviata."

During the first act, the couple in front of us discussed each duet, the costumes, and almost everything else. I tried your patented Miss Manners glare, but as they were in front of us, it had little effect. I tried a subtle "harrumph." Then a little bit less discreet throat-clearing. Nothing worked.

In desperation, just before the curtain was to rise on the second act, I turned to my guest and -- in a voice loud enough to carry to the front row -- said, "I can't believe some people are so rude as to speak during the performance. I am glad to see your parents taught you how to behave at a performance."

I then winked and nodded to the folks in front of us. He caught my meaning.

At the end of the second act, the loud man in front stood, turned around, and began to berate me for implying that he and his wife were misbehaving.

He become so nasty and belligerent, I roused myself from my dumbstruck silence and interrupted his rant by telling him to sit down and remain quiet or I would call an usher.

The man responded by grabbing my throat. Fortunately, my guest was quickly able to intervene and the man was removed.

These days, I realize people shout to actors on the screen at movie theaters, and one may talk on the phone at a concert with near impunity. However, I thought opera was the last bastion of civility.

What are we to do? How can we protect our institution from this plague?


Gentle Reader,

Opera, the last bastion of civility? Miss Manners, who attends alarmingly often, could have disabused you of that fantasy. This is not the first story she has heard of (attempted) murder at the opera in real life.

The original rudeness did not justify your encouraging further rudeness by denouncing these people in their and others' hearing. The time to call an usher was when he got your goat, not your throat.

Chillin...

I got up at about 10:00, and cooked some sausage for sausage biscuits. Yum.

I went to Third Place at noon to meet Chasman. There was a black guy there, but he was working on a computer, and wasn't looking around like he was there to meet someone. I had on my ibm.com sweatshirt to be recognized by him, but didn't have any information about him. I'm assuming he's black from one of his journal entries where he talked about "being the only black guy there" wherever he was. I didn't want to say, "Are you Chasman," for a couple of reasons: 1) that doesn't sound like a real name, and 2) I just did that to a guy when I met Steven, and it wasn't him. I left there at about 1:45 to meet a311renegade to workout. It's been a Live Journal kind of day. :-)

Steven and I arrived before the gym opened, but not much. Thank goodness I had my jeans on and wasn't already in my shorts, as it was "nipply." I had a good workout, and, as always, enjoyed the view. A girl was on the elliptical machine between the two available, was just starting, and offered to move over one so that Steven and I could be on two that were next to each other. How thoughtful. I love thoughtful people.

After our 30 minutes on the ellipticals, Steven and I had a good chat walking the track, and the mile flew by. Cool.

When I got home, I saw a posting from Chasman that he'd gotten paged. Good to know he didn't just blow me off. He asked about meeting later today, but it was already later today. I said I could, but didn't think there was much of a chance since it really already was later in the day. Oh well. We'll get it together yet.

I exchanged a couple of emails with Robert today, and chatted once on the phone with him. He seems to be having a decent day. No change with his brother.

At about 6:30, I got the urge to get out of the house since I wanted to park my car out on Kaplan anyway, in case the forecasted snow actually arrives this time. I went to the 7:15 showing of Runaway Jury at the Blue Ridge 14. I enjoyed the movie. It was suspenseful, and I thought, "this is so much faster than reading the book." And that John Cusak is easy on my eyes, too. Dustin Hoffman sure is aging. I waited until the very end of the credits as Dylan McDermott (absolute dreamboat) was in the opening scene of the movie, but not listed in the opening credits. Nor was he listed in the closing "cast of characters." Odd.

When I left the theater, my windshields were covered with snow/slush. I didn't feel my car slide or slip at all on the short drive home, and parked out on Kaplan. It was icy walking up the Hunting Horn hill, though.

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