Sunday, December 12, 2010


In college, because students could get them at half-price, I purchased tickets to the Nutcracker for my boyfriend and me. This was before the Nutcracker got booted out of the Wang center and replaced by the Rockettes who don't even perform to live music but don't get me started on that.
For the evening I decided on a black dress (what a surprise); the one with the drop waist that I used to add the antique lace collar to. Tom purchased a new shirt and a paisley bow tie at Filenes.
On the night of the big event we met up outside the theater. He was carrying a small, brown, greasy paper bag.
"What's in there?" I demanded.
"They'll never let you into the theater with that."
"Sure they will."
On our way in I got frisked for cameras, Mr. Greasy Popcorn waltzed through.
Being a student got you discount seats but not, as it turned out, good ones. We were escorted to the nose bleed section, way up in the balcony, surrounded by restless children.
At the start of the second act Tom broke out the popcorn and passed it around among our young theater-going neighbors. He was instantly a hero among them. I was reminded of the scene in Alice's Restaurant where Arlo Guthrie describes having a groovy time with his new friends on the Group W bench.
But instead of seeing this as an incredibly endearing moment I remained mortified and indignant throughout the whole thing; staring straight ahead, refusing all offers of popcorn, and maintaining an air of "we're grown ups now, let's behave with a little more maturity," until I huffed out after the performance was over.
Later Tom changed his major from physical therapy to education, and I learned to lighten up.

song: Popcorn • artist: Hot Butter

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