Like an ugly ornament that I cannot bear to throw away so is my 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 it did not end up like anything 'dreamed of' 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 weather outside was as the Christmas classic described accurately as frightful. 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.
Once downtown we soon learn parking on a friday night during the holiday season would not be a picnic. There was also a Christmas parade in progress near the theatre so we began driving in a slow moving car conga line consisting of a series of one-way right hand turns for about 30 minutes resulting in us parking about 5 city blocks from the theatre.
Once parked we began our Frozen Mecca to the Pantages Theatre where the air temp was about 2 below zero and wind chill 14 below. Oh by the way we were walking into this wind not with it. To complicate things for poor little ol me I was not wearing a hat, and my coat was was not a great coat for MinneFROZEta.
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 finally arrive about 15 minutes before the concert began. Shivering and frozen we bought a $3 cup of coffee from the cash bar in 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... enough for my lifetime. The Blenders are 4 guys I would guess their mid to late 30s in suits with choreographed movements like four Caucasian Temptations.
To add to the atmosphere there was a group of well dressed professionals filling a large block of seats in front of us. I am guessing they were part of a company holiday party dressed up in suits and dresses looking and ACTING the part of Type-A schmoozers. Kind of loud notice me types, that were .. not my type. Then during intermission they all stood in front of my wife making FULL use of the cash bar in the lobby and there was also one young good looking guy passing a flask with something that I am pretty sure was stronger than 7-Up.
After two hours of listening to A Capella Christmas croonings, were retraced to our frozen steps to our car and then headed back to our warm home free of anyone in my living room passing a flask and standing in front of my TV.
So to sum it all up .. We had dinner in front of a fake fire, participated in downtown traffic jams, crowded parking ramps, snow, ice, passed by topless & gay bars, all to sit behind loud drinking young professionals while being entertained by .. Minnesota Night with the Pips?..
While I do take pot shots at this Friday outing it is becoming simply.. 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 Larson type of Christmas which we spent 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 card game.. Rook. It was a great evening which included a mini-fight with flour while making cookies.
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 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 Blessings
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson