Our final show for the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ 2017 season was a new version of John Steinbeck’s classic “The Grapes of Wrath.” I was initially looking forward to the performance. I had actually read the book, either in a college or high school literature class. I was familiar with the story.
But then I saw that it had a run-time of roughly 3 hours. Normally, I could handle that. But this was not a normal week.
Wednesday night we left St. Charles for Columbia so The Wife could attend a conference. Thursday I spend most of the day poolside with The Son, breaking only for food. Friday we returned home, did some pre-party prep, and headed out to the opera (The Trial — see above). Saturday: Joelfest. Sunday, hang out with the friends who spent the night, post-party cleanup, 3-hour opera. We don’t normally schedule 2 operas in 3 days, but we had to move one of our operas for a Cardinals game (see Baseball – Spawn of Satan) and Sunday night was the only option. I was not looking forward to capping off a long, busy week with 3 hours sitting in the frankly uncomfortable seating at the Loretto-Hilton Center (Leg room — invest in it).
Oh, and did I mention Sunday is also our wedding anniversary? I agreed to moving the opera to Sunday night in part to get out of having to come up with something to do for our anniversary.
So it’s now Saturday night and Joelfest is going swimmingly and The Wife’s best friend Christine is sitting across the room and I figure it’s time we began our dance.
“Christine, what are you doing tomorrow night?”
“Hmm, I don’t know Ron. No plans.”
“How would you like to go to the opera with Laurie?”
Now, here’s what you need to understand: Christine and I have this conversation 4 times a year, every year. It always ends with “Gee Ron, I’d love to go, but I think you should go. It would be good for you and you should spend the time with Laurie.”
So I’m all ready for that line and instead I hear,
“Sure. I’d like to go.”
Wait. What just happened? Did I just get out of going to the opera? Have I been drinking? Has Christine? I have a room full of witnesses that heard her say she’d take my place at the opera.
And so it was that Sunday, after the last of the Joelfest revelers had left for parts unknown, I took The Son to the pool (because Lord knows he deserved some pool time after the past two days) while The Wife went to visit her mother. That night Laurie and Christine went to some fru-fru place for dinner then enjoyed an evening at the opera (I’m told it was an excellent show). I spend the night on the couch, eating Little Smokies and chips and dip while binge-watching Parks and Recreation until I passed out.
Best. Anniversary. Ever.