one date…ruined for life

15 12 2008


Best Boy’s voice on the other end of my cell phone, “Can I take Nana on a date to the Symphony?”  With my heart in my throat, I chirped out a response.  It catches me up short when my kids come up with such tender ways of expressing their love.

We brought her up to our place for Thanksgiving week.  It was her first time away from her place in a long long time.  I was a little concerned about the timing since the concert was to be the same evening as we got back up here. Would it be too much?  Would she be too disoriented?  Would she get too tired?

Thinking ahead to the occasion before we left her house,  she was lamenting that she didn’t know what had happened to her “good” winter coat.  Having learned a thing or two from stylist Shop Girl, I went to Marshall’s and brought six coats home for her to try on.  We settled on two – one an everyday sort of deal and another nice Italian wool full length gray. I decided to top off the whole splurge with a cute little jacket she could wear with a blouse and black pants to make an “outfit” appropriate for the occassion.

She is a simple woman.  High school educated – hard working…but was never able to make a priority of the cultural events that she longed for.  I remember one Christmas when the Dr. and I were either still dating or just married, she had arranged for tickets to The Nutcracker in Chicago for the four us.  It was a treat that I’ll never forget – mostly because of how miserable Billy was the whole time.  We were never allowed to affect the family with our personal snits (think: hormonal girls)- but boy, there was a time or two in his life that he sure got away with it!  I can still see him slouched down in that seat like he was at the dentist’s with no novacaine. Poor tortured soul.

Anyway, Best Boy is refined beyond belief.  He can do things up right.  He’d gotten some of the best box seats in the house.  The Dr. was too jealous at hearing that we’d missed out on an opportunity to hear Beethoven’s Ninth and scrambled to get some great floor seats for the two of us.  I didn’t mind being on hand should she have an “incident” and leaving Best Boy trying to figure out what to do.

At the intermission, we stood up to see if we could see where they were sitting.  Sure enough she was grinning down on us and yaking the ears off some strangers about God knows what.  

This weekend, back at home, she was to go to another symphony.  So I called this morning to get an update and it started with, “Well… it wasn’t really a symphony!” Now I realize that Grand Rapids is hardly on par with the New York Philharmonic – but she was comparing Grand Rapids to a county symphony orchestra.  It was a Christmas Pops concert and she enjoyed it…but can’t stop comparing it to the night she was on the arm of a tall, dashing grandson.

But this one did include an incident.  Since she had her walker with her (there is a God in heaven – she remembered!), when things were all over someone showed her small group of friends over to the elevator.  It was an exciting night in LaPorte for the police and firemen to respond to a gaggle of ladies stuck in an elevator at the Civic Auditorium (circa 1930).  She said that when they finally got them all out – it seemed that the entire concert going crowd was gathered ’round for their grand exit.  And a good time was had by all.