Not Ready for Prime Time

June 3, 1975
The boys are not ready for culture. Today was Jeri's ballet recital. This year they performed in the theatre of the Veterans' Memorial Building, complete with stage, curtains, lights, etc. Jeri's class had a longer part this year too.

 As time for us to leave drew near, all the boys started coming down with mysterious maladies--Ned had a splitting headache, Paul was about to throw up, and Tom and David just plain didn't want to go. I finally allowed Ned and Paul to stay home and went off with Tom and David. We spent about 20 minutes waiting for the show to start, and for Walt to arrive. In that time, both Tom and David managed to get their feet stuck tight in the seats, both screaming in pain and Mommy unable to free them.

 While we were sitting there waiting, Natalie MacKenzie came to sit and chat with us. Soon Walt arrived, and with him Ned and Paul, who had made a marvelous recovery. Just seconds before the show started, Malcolm MacKenzie joined his wife, sitting next to Ned. Ned brightened and yelled, "Hey! You were in Yeomen of the Guard!" Mal gave him a kind of "yeah, kid" response and turned his attention to the stage.

 Ned, who was very bored at one point, grabbed Malcolm's hand and refused to let go. Mal looked very embarrassed as I tried to pry Ned off...Ned just wanted to touch a local celebrity. But he was so obnoxious with Mal that I said something I never dreamed I'd ever say to a child--"Sit up and act like a gentleman." Ned finally leaned over, after showing obvious boredom for quite some time, and said, "I can't help it; I'm a Vulcan...I don't know what ballet is."

 At each set of dances, David would whisper, "when is Jeri going to be there?" and when her group finally got up to dance, the curtains parted and in the silence which awaited the opening notes of the music, David shouted, "Hi, Jer!"

 Once Jeri had performed, all interest in the ballet waned. David started by asking "will there be more?" and ended up with "oh no--not another one!"

 At one point a large group of obviously adolescent and pre-adolescent girls came out in their tight fitting leotards and Tom whispered loudly to Walt, "Some of them have nurses, right?"

 I was afraid to threaten the boys with not being allowed to come again if they didn't behave.


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