I’m a regular season ticket holder, but I have to admit, I am ballet’d out. It was a bit of overkill for me personally–nine ballets, ending with three ‘New Works Festival’ ballets comprised of ten brand new works commissioned specially for the 75th anniversary. I love dance, ballet, classical music, but I’m now over it. I even think I’ll take a break from buying season tickets next year.
It was the last program of the San Francisco Ballet’s 75th anniversary. In the above state of mind, I sat quietly at my seat, reading ‘The Undercover Economist.’ I was more engrossed in my book than I was looking forward to the season’s very last performance.
After the first dance, I clapped then went back to reading my book when the lights came on for intermission. Before the second dance, a much older man seated behind me touched me on the shoulder, “You must be a dancer, yes?”
“Uhhh, no. I just like the ballet. I have season tickets.”
“Well so do I. What did you think about the season?”
“Definitely interesting. There are always some good performances and then there are some horrible performances. I hated that one where people started singing…West Side Story. What was up with that? And personally, I think the majority of the new works were rather shabby. I did like the program last week, though, the middle one with the duets. And I absolutely loved the Monte Carlo ballet. I cried. I swear, I cried.”
He was smiling. “I think I would agree with you.” I guessed he was in his late forties or early fifties. Much much older than me. His date looked the same age, thinning hair. Very thin, gaunt almost. But refined like she came from money, or maybe she had worked for it. He looked equally well-off, with a black herringbone suit and shiny black shoes. He would have been attractive if it weren’t for the thirty extra pounds he was carrying around his waist and in his puffy face.
It was obvious they were on a date. Awkward periods of silence. A little too much nervous laughter on her part. I paid no heed; I was engrossed in my book. Ready and waiting for the season to be over.
After the second dance, I decided to walk around, stretch my legs. I got up, passed the bathroom, circled around the box seats, then sat along a window. I took the book out of my purse and started reading again.
“Allow me to introduce myself.”
I looked up at the same guy who had tried to get my attention earlier with his dancer comment. “My name is Derrick Best.” His date wasn’t with him. “Look, I’d love to take you out to dinner, the symphony, the opera, another ballet. You name it. Wherever you want, ok? I think we have a lot in common and would get along.”
I didn’t give him an answer, just stared at his card.
“Can I get your card or number. I’ll give you a call.” I opened my bag and handed him my business card. “Great, I’ll call you.”
When the program was finally over, I turned around for a quick exit to beat the masses. There he was, Derrick, with his date. He gave me a wink and blurted, “Take care, hope you enjoyed the ballet.”