Last weekend I went to the ballet or the first time in my life. On my way to the ballet it was dark and cloudy, then for a brief moment while looking out over the tops of the trees, I saw the most sumptuous magenta coloring outline the clouds, it was such an inspiring moment.
Even in the darkest of times, there is still something that shines beauty through it all.
That is how I felt about going to the ballet. So many sad things have happened recently, a few months ago I was broken up with, then I met a guy who was a total asshole, and then my step Grandma passed away, it was too much to handle all at once, I wanted to escape from how much pain was swimming around me.
Lets Go Out
It can be frustrating when you find yourself back “on the market” as we so eloquently call it. And after meeting Mr. Asshole and feeling like I was chopped liver or something, I just didn’t feel like I should have to get dates to do the things I wanted to. It hasn’t helped the situation that I am still finding it hard to make friends while living in Cincy. So I decided that I didn’t need a guy to take me out on dates, and I didn’t need a friend to go with me either.
I had been practicing by taking myself to Chipotle and instead of bringing my burrito home like I would in the past if I were alone, I sat myself down at a table and stayed there until I was done eating. The first couple of times it was so anxiety producing, my hands were shaking and I felt like everybody was staring at me sitting alone, all by myself. I wanted to run, but I didn’t, I stayed, I finished eating, and then I calmly got up, cleaned my table and left.
Such a good saying, but not always easy, is it?
Well after those first couple times taking myself out, and also taking myself to the movies, my nerves started to calm down. Then something inside me changed, and I actually enjoyed eating by myself, watching everyone else, instead of feeling like everyone was watching me. I started enjoying the music, eating slower, and I put my feet up on the opposite chair (btw, something you can’t do if your eating with another person sitting across from you), and bobbing my head to the tunes they play. Then one of the workers came up and while cleaning the table next to mind said “wow, you look like you’re having so much fun there, your feet are up and bobbing you head like that!” That made me smile so hard I thought my cheeks were going to bruise. And it was all true, I was having a great time! I had never experience something like that being out on my own.
So I took myself on a date to the ballet. I had been looking forward to this ballet since I saw a blurb on a poster about it when I went with B. on a ghost tour of Music Hall, that was June 15th, and a week before the show at the end of October, I determined that I was going to go, and if I was going to go I would get the best available seat, and so I bought my ticket, and landed a seat in the 8th row, eye level with the stage, and I ended up being surrounded by the most lovely people. Even getting a text message from Mr. Asshole didn’t rain on my parade.
On A Date
Well, what do you do when your going out on a special date with your special someone? Get all fancied up! And that’s just what I did. I treated myself to a sexy outfit, and make-up (which I never wear unless its a super special occasion). I got there early to walk around, put my coat in the coat check, take photos of people milling about, and other things here and there. I even got a photograph of myself with 2 ballerina’s!
Even before the show started I felt like this was a magical night, with wonders just waiting to be uncovered. I got to sit next to a 30 year patron of the ballet who told me a story about the art director, who he remembers watching in ballets. During the intermission I got to talk to the art director and told her this story, it was just such a cool moment.
I also was sitting in front of the mom of one of the dancers! During the first act I heard this whisper behind me “That’s my son” and so when intermission came, I turned around and asked who had said that, and we struck up a great conversation, she was also a dancer, and so were her other children. She has a dance studio back home and told a story about how her son decided to become a ballerina. After the show I was talking to her more, and got to meet her son, and he introduced me to the man who played the Mad Hatter, and brought me back stage to meet the women who played Alice! I got all 3 of their signatures in my informational pamphlet next to their pictures, and I also got the art director to sign it for me.
There was not a moment when I wasn’t happy to be there, surrounded by all these strangers, learning their stories, and enjoying the huge moment of being at the ballet on this special date with myself. I swear I told everyone I met that it was my first ballet. Even when I went to the restrooms, I struck up conversations while waiting in line. I’ve never just done that so easily and with out fear of rejection, being there really helped open myself to new possibilities.
My favorite scene’s from the first act is when the cheshire cat appears, the seen was spectacular, with a dark background that had shining stars and a beautiful full moon, and then when the Mad Hatter took over the stage and had his tea party the colors are vibrant and seductive. I wanted to get up there and play with them! The second act was just as brilliant, the caterpillar was truly a contortionist, something you would have to see to believe. And the Red Queen was ruthless and beautiful at the same time. I’m truly so glad I went out on this date by myself, I would surely have missed a wonderful opportunity if I only thought I could go out with someone else to enjoy the experience.
Cincinnati Ballet; Alice (in Wonderland): http://www.cballet.org/performances/1213/alice