West Side Story, Wedding Etiquette and Writer's Block
Yes, I’m afraid it has come to this.
With today’s blog, I’m going to “pull a John Shore” (hey, friendly blogger neighbor … his blog home is just eight names away from mine – check it out). It’s going to be that random and deliciously wacky. Because … well … that’s all I have left in me at this point in the day.
Just days ago, you’ll be happy to know that I had a wonderfully jam-packed weekend, starting off on last Friday night with a performance of West Side Story by Lyric Stage (a wonderful, local theater company).
I had not seen this musical on stage before (just the 1961 movie, starring Natalie Wood, Russ Tamblyn and Rita Moreno). It’s basically a knock-off of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet which I JUST NOW figured out after all of these years. Seriously.
The musical premiered on Broadway in 1957, and the best thing about it is the music. Leonard Bernstein is a genius, and it’s his moving, get-stuck-in-your-head melodies that will stay with you long after the story has left you (and that’s a good thing, ‘cause the story is really not very inspirational anyway). Think “Maria,” “America”, “I Feel Pretty”, “Tonight” and “Somewhere.” Even if you don’t think you know this music, I promise you you’d recognize it if you heard it.
Moving on …
Saturday evening found me at a wedding. I wasn’t actually the bride. Or a bridesmaid. Or a guest. And no, I didn’t crash it. My church choir was asked to perform three anthems at this particular ceremony, so I was in the balcony of my church in my choir robe. (But I had on shorts and flip-flops underneath. Quelle rebel!)
The traditional wedding took about 30 minutes, and so during this time I tried to focus on what the minister was saying. I really did. But at this point in my life, I have heard this charge to the bride and groom at least fifty gazillion times. So I doodled. Quite nicely, I might add. I sketched the church’s ornate light fixtures to a T on my wedding program. I think I might have a future in luminaire design now.
But that’s not the highlight of my wedding story. No. It’s what flickers of light were going on down below on the sanctuary floor during the service. That’s the real story.
Sure, the wedding photographer (who I waved to, since he is a personal family friend) was taking his shots (with the flash on). But also, what to my horrified eyes should I see but people in the audience holding up their cameras, too. Way up in the air. Arms extended above heads. Taking pictures. With flashes. DURING THE CERMONY. I’m not kidding.
So when I got home, I quickly looked up the meaning of etiquette in Merriam-Webster’s:
Main Entry: et·i·quette
Pronunciation: ‘e-ti-k’t, -‘ket
Etymology: French étiquette, literally, ticket
: the conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life
So, is it just me or is the taking of pictures by people in the audience at a wedding not good breeding? And maybe just a little tacky? Or has it been too long since I’ve been to a wedding? I’ve never seen this before. Perhaps it’s now socially acceptable, and I missed the memo. I mean, I know parents do this at school musicals and graduation ceremonies and all. But during a wedding ceremony?
Moving on …
After experiencing about a week and a half or so of writer’s block (this is not conducive to promoting excellence in one’s job should it involve words), I have come to realize that not even Hurricane Ike could bust through and cause the thoughts and ideas to spill forth on the blank page.
Believe me, Ike did nothing to inspire me this past weekend (nor did Geraldo Rivera's "heroic" reports on FOX News during the storms). It only caused mass destruction and chaos in many states (whose residents we should all be praying for as they deal with the aftermath).
But then today, something happened. I prayed and asked God to help me with my writer’s block. And he did! He reminded me of the good (and random) things that I had to share from this weekend. And so here we are.
West Side Story. Wedding etiquette. And writer’s block. Three topics you probably never thought you’d ever come across in just one blog. But you just did.
So thank you for reading! And please come again. Please. I need the page views.