Like an ugly ornament that I cannot bear to throw away is the following retelling of a Christmas Concert from just a few years ago.
In December of 2007 my wife and I went on a Christmas date to get the season started off right, but I am not sure it was anything depicted by Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.
We started the evening off with a nice dinner at a local steak house in front of a roaring (gas/fake) fireplace as the temperature outside was moving down down down that Minnesota winter night. After dinner we were off to downtown Minneapolis to the Pantages Theatre to listen to an A Cappella group called the Blenders for their Christmas concert.
The Weather Outside? frightful & freezing..
Did I mention it was cold out? It was as my protestant friends would put it.. “BLESSED COLD!” and parking was not a simple task. There was a downtown Christmas parade in progress so after driving in a slow moving automotive circle/parade consisting of a series of one-way right hand turns for about 30 minutes we completed what was in affect a 360 degree oblong circle where we parked about 4 blocks from the theatre.
Then.. we began our Frozen Mecca to the Pantages Theatre walking into the wind. Air temp was about 2 below zero and wind chill we heard (and felt) was about 14 below. I was not wearing a hat, and my coat was was not a great coat for MinneFROZEta. So the weather outside was as the ol Christmas song goes.. FRIGHTFUL.
Along our walk we passed by several downtown establishments.One was a gay bar and then we passed a club advertising topless girls, with the words.. hot, hot, hot over the topless ad.
Now this is where I was tempted.. not to see topless girls.. but I asked my wife since they were hot maybe we could go in for a moment and warm ourselves by the heat. Ok, honestly there was no temptation here for me, just an excuse for me to share another bad pun with my wife so she could roll her now frozen eyes at me.
Pantages here we go..
We arrive about 15 minutes before the concert began. Shivering and frozen we bought a $3 cup of coffee from the cash barin the lobby which my wife and I took turns holding it to keep warm. When another couple entered the theatre and sat next to us visibly cold too, I offered to let them hold my coffee for $1 apiece. They both laughed, but I did not see what was so funny.
Let the Show Begin..
So inside we go and the concert begins. The Blenders are very good and for me, one evening with an A Cappella group is enough. The Blenders are 4 guys I would guess their mid to late 30s in suits with choreographed movements like four Caucasian Temptations.
professionals on parade..
To add to the atmosphere there was a group of well dressed professional looking people taking up a large block of seats in front of us. I am guessing they were part of a company holiday party. That was fine.. I GUESS.. but this brought back bad memories of when I was part of a now defunct consulting firm that liked the look & style as only young professionals can. All in suits and dresses looking and ACTING the part of Type-A schmoozers without their ritalin. PLEASE PASS THE BUCKET. Ooops, sorry.. I guess I wrote that.. OUT LOUD.
Being what I would describe as a blue collar person trapped for years in a white collar job I find that I loathe this kind of behavior. Shallow, notice me people that stood at intermission in front of my wife and I til I found myself again appreciating my departure from corporate America to my world of people wearing stripped shirts (not prison inmates, but referees)
For those of you in corporate America.. let me offer both my apologies for my biased views, and my condolences for you being a part of it.
Let's have a drink.. NOT
Then to add to their festive corporate schooze, was the booze. Besides the cash bar in the lobby there was one young good looking guy dressed and acting the part of this corporate love fest passing a flask with something that I am pretty sure was stronger than 7-Up.
My Night in a Nutshell..
So here is my big Christmas night out with my wife.
I may make fun of my Friday evening out, but that is what I do. I am Christian who SMIRKS. I did have a good time with my wife.. I was cold.. but to be with the woman I love and to take time to be with her and appreciate her was a great way to start Christmas.
The next night..
was more low key as we spent it with our son Nate and his then girlfriend Kendra, and our daughter Erin with her boyfriend. We listened to Christmas music, made gingerbread cookies, and played the protestant approved game of cards.. Rook. It was a great evening which included a mini-fight with flour while making cookies.
IF.. IF by chance anyone from that corporate America party in 2007 reads this email about my great Saturday night making cookies you can thank God instead for your night out schmoozing sipping from your flask, with NO gingerbread cookies, flour prints on your $300 suit, or gingerbread crumbs stuck in your cleavage while donning a black backless & low cut dress that you bought special for this occasion and certainly NOT from the local JC Penney.
Merry Christmas to all of you TOO who were on display at the Pantages Theatre Saturday night BLOCKING MY ‘BLESSED’ VIEW OF THE BLENDERS!!!!
Jeff (frozen in the back pew) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson