Every once in a while you have to take yourself out of your comfort zone, dust off the good clothes, and budget yourself a night out. The Bull Run was featuring dueling pianos. I would tell you who the “pianists” were but the site removes concert info faster than I could get that tidbit. Suffice to say, they will not be featured on any late night television shows. I think I lost confidence when the rumor circulated that the jars on the facing pianos were for “tips” as it was an all request show. Pads of sticky notes and pencils were conveniently placed for diners to submit suggestions. In theory this is not bad. The recommendation that the tips accompanied by larger denominations of bills, would be considered first, planted a lingering doubt in my mind.
I’m going out on a limb here to say if I went to the show again, the songs would be the same. They upped the ante by “reading” a request for some sappy, unpopular or just plain raunchy song, starting it to the groans of the audience, then saying a “fiver” would get them to stop, at ten would be required the next time. The jars filled fast.
The crowd itself was a great study in public displays of bad behavior. There were several very large tables of middle-aged folks celebrating multiple 60th birthdays. These folks were singled out and the entire table was encouraged to do the Hokey Pokey. There was a LOT of audience participation. Have I mentioned? I don’t take part. I came to relax and BE entertained. OK, I will take part enough that you know I’m having a good time without having to get out of my seat. I acknowledge there are those who are “participants” and I am jealous of their bravado and lack of inhibition – as long as it doesn’t infringe on my space and happiness. These types of venue do tend to invite folks to let loose.
I’m sure many sat down with their morning coffee the next day and viewed their cell phone photos thinking, “Please God, let that not be on Facebook!” I, however, was with a wonderful band of hoodlums. Jen organized the evening. She is the confessional archbishop of my sins, a dear friend of many years. Hair and nails, life’s adventures and maturity build strong female bonds; Jen and I have shared a lot of life’s turns and twists as I sit in her chair before the mirror every month and literally “let my hair down.” I had not seen Jonathan or Steph since we met at a party honoring Jen several years ago. Jonathan rocked a brilliant peacock of a mohawk hair-style, Steph was tiny, and blonde. He has matured into a dashingly handsome guy. She is still tiny. Years of gossip from Jen about Steph’s unselfish acts of legally adopting her little sister and working hard to offer a better life for the two, has only increased my respect of her.
Robin, I had met at the shop many times and we always hit it off on comfortable subjects. When she and Jen showed up for the cooking demo, I was thrilled. They spent a good part of the day seeing my world and touring my town. When we met at the Bull Run that night, they were still babbling about their great day.
Jackie brought seafood lasagna to Ogunquit two summer ago when Jen and I rented a house. Jackie brings comfort food and comfort karma. Usually in a red, hot convertible. Miata.
I arrived first and settled at the table Jen had reserved. They filtered in; Jen and Robin, then Jonathan. We ordered dinner, which was surprisingly good. I went all out after not eating all day, and ordered the ‘Petite” prime rib. Jackie showed up and settled in next to me. Steph swooped in just as the show was starting.
Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and then, not quite step all the way back in again…expand that zone…