Bubbie at the Concert


So we went to a concert the other night.

It started out a bit stressful because as we descended St. Urbain Street, the traffic got thicker and thicker, and slower and slower. I was desperate not to miss the first piece and be forced to stand outside closed doors watching the monitor on the wall.

I had a feeling that the Place des Arts parking would be full, so I turned into a UQUAM underground lot (UQUAM = Université de Québec à Montréal). We descended into the belly of the university, found an easy spot, took the elevator upstairs, only to find an empty school and lots of locked doors to the outside.


It didn’t take long for the scene to remind me of far-too-many bad dreams where you’re stuck in a loop someplace you don’t want to be…

But, just in the nick of time, we found a door that did open and we rushed to the new Montreal symphony hall just down the street.


But Naomi and I still had to go the gents’ and ladies’ rooms. Would we make it?

We did!

Sitting in my father-in-law’s seats in only the 9th row (H) on the Parterre level. Not bad!

Just to my right, sitting on the aisle, sat an elderly lady, definitely someone’s bubbie (Jewish grandmother).

We were there to watch the Mutter-Bronfman-Harrell Trio (http://www.cami.com/?webid=2350), three very talented musicians on the piano, cello and violin.

We started listening to Beethoven in four movements, and when scattered applause occurred between the first and second movement (a classical music no-no), “bubbie” scowled at me and whispered loudly, “No!”  I leaned toward her and said sympathetically, “They couldn’t control themselves.”

“What?” she said loudly.

Oh, no!

I repeated myself.

“What?” she answered.

I repeated myself, a little more loudly. In the meantime, the trio nervously waited for the applause to stop. It was going to be a long interlude between movements.

This time, “bubbie” heard me and said in a loud voice, pointing to the stage, “Look at her dress,” meaning the acclaimed violinist, Anne-Sophie Mutter. “She’s sexy!”

Anne-Sophie was wearing a dress showing plenty of shoulder and cleavage.

I heard a chuckle from someone behind me.

After intermission, we listened to some mournful Tchaikovsky. I looked down into the notes: oh no, there were going to be many movements!

The playing stopped. No one clapped. “Bubbie” looked at me with a triumphant smile on her face; she looked like an old, very wrinkled potato.




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