Teresa just had her very first dance recital this past weekend. She dressed as a dalmation puppy and in my opinion her group stole the show. And I swear I'm not a bit biased. While I was tickled to see her up on stage botching the shuffle ball change and looking cuteer than cute while doing so, I was mystified by the intense rabidness of many of the parents concerning the recital. I'm telling you for many people you'd think this was the kids debut on some national stage or something. We're neophytes and this was Teresa's first year in dance and we thought the recital was just a fun way to end the dance year.
WRONG, ALL WRONG!!!! And I'm so naive that I didn't pay attention to the signs along the way. First clue should have been the ticket sales. Can I just say....RIDICULOUS! I have paid for this child to take dance all year, sat in a crowded waiting room (worse than the ob/gyn, for crying out loud), paid an over inflated price for a recital leotard and I STILL have to pay for tickets! Sometime in March they sent out a form to say how many tickets you wanted and for which performance. I marked 4 tickets for Saturday night and thought "now that was easy." Silly me, that was just the ugly beginning. The following week I got called to the desk and was gently admonished for asking for 4 tickets. Didn't I realize I could only reserve two? tsk tsk tsk! Embarrassed I asked what to do if I want more than two and she said I'd have to come buy two more for that evening on the day tickets went on sale. That should have raised a red flag but I was still blissfully in denial and chirped an okay and forgot all about it. Ticket sale day arrived and my eyes began to open to what a sordid business this all is. Ticket sales started at 2. I arrived at the dance school at ten past and I swear to you I had to circle the parking lot several times before I finally just parked on the grass and prayed that I wouldn't get towed. The line extended out the door of the school. People were prepared with books, magazines, ipods and coffee. Some people had even lined up that morning. HELLO!!! This is not The Who, people!!! I waited in line for over an hour and forked over $52. Oh, and then there was the conversations while I waited in line. I overheard women discussing how in years past people got into arguments over seating and how people snuck in early under the pretext of getting their feeble grandmas off their feet and saved up rows of seats. I snorted and thought they were exaggerating. Still refusing to see what was right there in front of me. When I finally got to the front of the line and bought my tickets for Saturday night the ticket sales mom asked me two things. First she asked me if I wanted to be a Supermom. HUH?? She restrained herself from rolling her eyes and explained that the Supermoms keep the kids quiet and entertained backstage....and for this honor I'd get one free ticket. But...I'd be backstage, unable to watch the show, I tried to wrap my brain around this but gave it up for lost and declined Supermom status. Then she asked if I was going to purchase tickets for the Sunday show. I revealed the extent of my ignorance when I asked if I really had to bring her on Sunday too. Again with the mental eye roll she explained that Teresa was performing in the Saturday and Sunday show. I could just drop her off with the Supermoms on Sunday if I liked or I could purchase tickets. Flustered I finally decided I would purchase one ticket for me on Sunday on the day of the performance. She made sure I understood that the show could be sold out and I was taking a chance. So, I crossed all my fingers and toes and said a quick rosary.
Finally the big day arrived! I couldn't wait to see Teresa grace the big stage and was excited for her. I thought I was on to the whole thing and told Joe I would get in line (because yes, there would be a line) after I dropped Teresa off with the Supermoms and he could meet me there later with Sam and Kate. I was so smug I had figured it all out. There were signs plastered all over the doors to the auditorium instructing all parents to drop their children, LEAVE, LEAVE, LEAVE, and reenter through the front doors. I am nothing if not obedient, so I dropped Teresa off with her Supermoms and then went round to the front. I opened the doors and saw the line extending from the auditorium door down the hall. Yikes! I needed to pick up her pictures which were at a table on the other side of the lobby. And this was where it started to get ugly. People would not let me through the line to get to the picture table. I mean really, I'd try to squeeze between two people and they'd bunch up closer together. It was ludicrous. I know even after I got through the line and lined up (yep, another line) to get her pictures people kept their eyes on me, certain I was going to try and sidle in ahead of them. After picking up pictures I began traveling down the corridor to take my place at the back. Oh. My. God. I must have walked a mile before it finally ended. And this was an hour, AN HOUR!, before the show was due to even begin. You should have seen the excitement when the line began moving. I shuffled up those hallways towards the Holy Grail which took over 20 minutes. Obviously I wasn't getting a primo seat. I knew that and was fine with it. But I was shocked to find that people had completely ignored the directive of the school owner not to save entire rows. I, in all innocence asked one woman who was alone in a row in which all the other seats had camera bags, bouquets of flowers, jackets, and pocketbooks on them, how many seats were available. She was the only actual living being in a seat in that row. She said all but one seat was taken. Are you freaking kidding me??? I don't know what made me do it but I blurted that we weren't allowed to save whole rows. With my right hand on the Bible I'm telling you I thought the woman was going to punch me. She pointed out that she hadn't saved the whole row, there was a seat available on the end. I meekly moved along and finally found two seats in the middle of one row and two seats in the middle of another row and claimed them for my very own. Joe and the kids arrived and we settled down to watch the recital. Both Joe and I were delighted to tears to watch Teresa's dance, the second one in the first act, the second of over 20 dances.
Two hours later we clapped madly at the mini finale and prepared to leave. I told Joe I'd meet him in the lobby and began to make my way to the stage to collect my little dalmation. The aisles were mobbed with parents attempting to claim the littlest ballerinas. The Supermoms were only letting one child go at a time making sure the child was secure with a parental unit so it was a bit of a slow process to say the least. And then this woman starts trying to push through. At first she was all polite about it "excuse me, I just need to get through" No one budged and we all did that bunching up together thing I experienced in the lobby when trying to get my pictures. So she tried to physically push between people while saying excuse me. No one was giving it up and, no word of a lie, this woman started to get MAD! She started ranting that she had to go up their and get her cupcake. Her cupcake (that was the costume for another group...oh my god, were they ever cute!) was waiting for her and she had to get to her cupcake!!!!! We others linked elbows in solidarity and refused to let her through. No, just kidding with that one. When I finally reached the stage, I scooped up my puppy and kissed her all over and we went out for ice cream to celebrate. Now we just had to do this all over again the next day.
But this time I had a plan. I was not going to stay for the whole show, we had someplace else we needed to be so I was going to slip out after Teresa's number and go to the backstage room and collect her then. Easy, peasy. YAY! me, I'm so smart! I don't know why I continue to kid myself. The first part played out exactly as I wanted it to. Then I got to the backstage room door. And the Supermom who guarded it. She informed me that no parents were allowed in the backstage room except the Supermoms, was I a Supermom? I tried being rational and explaining we had a baptism to get to. She was not buying it. No parents allowed backstage except Supermoms. So you're not going to let me go in and get my daughter. Only Supermoms are allowed. I was reeling from the sheer craziness of it all. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!!!!! I think she recognized the light of madness and finally agreed to go backstage and bring me my puppy so I'd leave her alone. But not before she scanned the hallway to make absolutely certain I wasn't planning on allowing lurking non Supermoms in backstage in her absence. My dalmation puppy and I left, her skipping along and me trudging as I fully realized my ignorance and foolishness. I refuse to buy into all this rigamarole though. I just need to find a way around it all. Well, at least I've got a year to figure something out.