Friday, October 24, 2008

Pange Lingua Footses Hurtes

Oh, dear. Turns out that the shoes I chose to wear for tonight's concert (which, incidentally, I was well enough to sing in) were oh-so-wrong, in more ways than one.

The women in the chorale wear long black skirts and black blouses. We were told to wear black shoes (no open toes!), black pantyhose, and our $4 fake pearl necklaces. Please, no bling.

Right, got it.

Thing is, I've been sick all week, and the task of checking my sock drawer for black pantyhose was forgotten. Hell, even if I'd remembered, and realized I didn't have any black hose, I wouldn't have had the time or the energy to go out and buy some. So tonight, I figured I'd just ask for forgiveness later, and I slipped on the nude hose. It has to be better than nothing, right?

Then I looked at my shoe situation. I have a pair of strappy, open toe evening shoes. Too fancy, and they have the open toe. I have a pair of Steve Madden shoes but they're really clunky (not appropriate for the outfit) and they have the tiniest peep toe. I have black ballet flats with a big, sparkly butterfly design on them. Heh. I have black loafers that pinch my heels if I wear them too long--these are my interview shoes.

And, I have these (fig. 1):

I knew I'd probably regret wearing heels by the end of the night, but they were the most appropriate shoe I had, so I slipped them on and ran out the door.

I made it to call time in the nick of time, and walked to the soprano section. I went to the dress rehearsal last night but sat in the pews listening, rather than coughing all over the rest of the group. So when I got there, I had a certain ammount of confusion about where I would sit.

Before I could even figure this out, one of the ladies looked at my feet and cried out, "You have white on your shoes!" (Actually, it's bone, but really, who's gonna be picky, right?)

"They're all I had, and I don't have black hose, either. I'm sorry!"

Well, you'd think I'd just squated down and peed on the carpet. I was told I'd have to stand in the back (at all rehearsals, I've kept my short self towards the front where I can see and hear) so no one would see that my shoes have--gasp--white on them.

Keep in mind...I've been sick all week. Auntie Flo is in town. I haven't been sleeping well, and I'm pretty damned exhausted. I was starting to feel like I'd kicked her dog, or killed Santa Claus.

But then, my typical Leo arrogance kicked in, and I thought, "Waitaminute here. This is the lady that has us wearing four dollar pearls (fig. 2). And hey! That lady over there has open-toed shoes! Why am I getting told off like I'm a naughty little girl?"

Figure 2:

Needless to say, I had a leeetle bit of steam coming out of my ears. I resolutely found a spot in the front, parked my butt in my chair, and got on with it.

A few minutes later, the costume drama continued, as the lady in charge of things turned around and asked if I have something different I can wear for the concert on Sunday. I told her I'd do my best, but, "I'm a teacher, and this is what I have."

"Well, you're also a team player, so you need to find a different shoe."

I wanted to scream. If anyone pays attention to my shoe of choice, they're not going to gasp that it has a little bit of white on it! No one will be offended! It's a SHOE!

After our warm-up, we had time to sit backstage and relax. I marched into the back room, feeling, for some insane reason unknown to me now, near tears. I sat at a table and was soon joined by two other ladies. One struck up a conversation with me, and I whispered, "I just got told off about my shoes." She looked down, rolled her eyes, and said, "They're fine!"

We were soon joined by our costume lady, who made some sort of comment about my not having pantyhose...even though I did. A few minutes later, she came back to me, pointed at my choir bag, which is a bright green Snoopy tote bag, and asked if I'd be leaving it back stage.

The temptation to widen my eyes and reply, "No, I'm going to wear it around my neck for the duration of the concert--is that okay?" was huge, but I just smiled--a little tersely, perhaps--and said, "No, it's staying back here."

After talking with the nice lady for a few minutes, I calmed down considerably and realized that this is just how the costume lady rolls. And that I am NOT the only person to get lectured.

So Sunday, I'll be wearing different shoes. I've been meaning to buy some simple, unadorned black ballet flats, anyway (my previous pair were pretty trashed so I got rid of them), so it looks like tomorrow I get to haul myself to the nearest shoestore. As for the pantyhose, well, no one can see it, my skirt is so long!

And...just to be a rebel, I might wear my REAL pearls on Sunday.

In the meantime, I'm dragging my poor tired little doggies to bed. All this attention and discord has worn them out.


Miz Minka said...

Ah, yes, the Costume Nazi... Don't let her get to you. :) I bet she would have had a conniption fit if she had been in charge of Master Chorale costumes a few years back: for the spring concert, one of the sopranos didn't wear a pearl necklace -- no, she wore a large, very "flashy" mother-of-pearl necklace. I think the Nazi would have fainted on the spot. :D

In any case, you're definitely going to want some comfortable shoes for Sunday's concert as there'll be no chairs. (We've had people faint from standing too long!)

Meg said...

Faint? Yikes! My biggest problem last night was that my toes went numb during the Brubeck. I was finding creative ways to shift my weight from one foot to the other without moving my upper body (I was behind the piano).

I just bought a cute (and comfy) pair of flats for tomorrow. I've been meaning to buy a new pair anyway. And they're ALL black. So our costume lady can't object!

Miz Minka said...

Yeah, I think we've all done the numb-toes-wiggle-your-legs-but-don't-move-the-upper-body belly dance at one point or another... :)

No, really, they don't make us stand until we faint. The only fainting I saw was by a lady who was undergoing cancer treatments at the time. Otherwise it was just some of the really elderly singers who suddenly had to sit down, or they actually might have fainted. One of the older altos fell down as she was exiting the stage last night right at the end; fortunately it didn't happen until she was kind of behind the riser, so it wasn't too horribly embarrassing for her.

Meg said...

Ooh, I hope she's okay! At least she was hidden from the audience. I've fallen in front of people before and it hurt my pride more than my body.