Concert Attire–Suitable for Whom?

I’ve had the pleasure of singing in the chorus of Verdi’s Requiem with two different orchestras this spring. Both of them have had performance dress codes. The first one was nothing more specific than “all black, from ankles to wrists,” across the board for men and women, given as a verbal statement by the choir director during rehearsal.

When I asked this director if my cap-sleeved choir gown from old college choir days would be acceptable (does it literally need to go to my wrists, or is that an expression?), he explained that, in his words, “As a boy teacher, I have very limited capacity to answer this question–in fact, I had to google ‘cap sleeve’. You’re probably fine, especially if you’d have to scramble for another option. The idea is that if everyone is in all black, there aren’t one pair of arms or legs to draw attention. My guess is that some of the college students won’t be entirely strict on this, so I think it wouldn’t be just you.”

 

As it turned out, plenty of the college singers and others among us had widely varying sleeve lengths, including some just like mine, so it wasn’t anything to be concerned about–and I very much appreciated the director’s attitude to the whole affair. πŸ™‚


 

Now, contrast that with the written instructions received from the director of the second chorus I’m singing with. This is word-for-word:

CONCERT ATTIRE

Men’s Guidelines: White long sleeve tux shirt, black tux pants, black tux jacket, black tie, black socks, black polished shoes.

NOT ACCEPTABLE: Plain white shirt, brown socks, brown shoes. No perfume or heavy hairspray or deodorant scents.

Women’s Guidelines: Please wear black concert attire made of dressy fabrics such as chiffon, velvet, or rayon. Wear a dress or skirt floor length or mid-calf. Dress pants are ok (polazzos). Black suits ok. Sleeve length should be three-quarter length or long sleeve. Please wear loose fitting outfits that are flowing and drape freely. Make sure outfit is black. Keep it formal! Keep it modest! Undergarments should be black if there is a chance of showing. Wear black shoes and black stockings. Peep toe is ok.

The following things areΒ NOT ACCEPTABLE: Garments made of heavy cotton, denim, corduroy, twill, leather, or chino. Low cut gowns or tight fitting slacks. Anything that is β€œsee-through” in nature. Purple, brown, or dark blue outfits. Heavy black belts with big buckles, jewelry made of twine, rope, or beads, extra large earrings. Sandals or clogs. Tan or beige stockings. Sleeveless or shortsleeved tops, tank tops, spaghetti straps, bare midriffs, bare shoulders, skirts above the knee. Plunging necklines. Long slits in the skirts front or sides. Long dangling earrings or excessively shiny rhinestones in either earrings or necklaces. Perfume or heavy hairspray or deodorant scents.


 

…You might suppose, given the level of detail this director supplies with regard to the women, that perhaps there are many youthful, body-image-confident college-aged women populating our numbers.

In fact, no such thing could hardly be further from the truth. I’d be extremely surprised if he actually believes any of the grandmas among this obviously very conservative group of ladies (judging from conversational snippets in between singing) have any inclination whatsoever to wear midriffs and spaghetti straps to the concert.

I do, however, have a bit of wardrobe advice for the author of this handout, as he seems to be in need of it:

misogyny is showing

At least this fellow didn’t think to google “cap sleeve”… well, not that it would have mattered, really. It’s been an extraordinarily tiring last few weeks, and I have already given all the bothers–including any that might have gone toward finding a second performance outfit that checks ALL the copious boxes.

But even if I had any bothers left to give, I probably wouldn’t, anyway, on principle.

I’d much rather stand on mine than his. πŸ™‚

Keep it gritty, lovelies!

–GM

 

I love my little garden!

Beautiful Grit

We had our first perfect spring day today, and, thus, a good handful of hours outside in the grit!

But this morning Eyes was still finishing up what appears to have been a 24-hour virus (fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy), so I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it out. By 11 a.m., however, his fever seemed to be gone. I figured any contagions he might still be sporting would have little impact on an outdoor play environment, so we packed into the car to run a couple simple errands (dropping off books at the library and junk at Goodwill) before snagging lunch from a drive-through (I should have made PB&J but, as is typical, lacked the discipline to economize on either cash or calories) and schlepping it to the park in the middle of town.

We picnicked on fried potatoes and chicken at a bench in the shade, which was enough to prompt Eyes’s appetite back to a semblance of normal (though still not quite; he only ate 2 nuggets instead of 3, no fruit pouch, and somewhat fewer fries than his norm). Then we clambered all over the wooden fun fort. J is making great strides in his leg strength, dexterity, and courage: he’s tackling the tire ramps all by himself, up AND down, with no help! He actually climbed on some that had no rails to hold onto today. I was very impressed–this is well outside of his comfort zone! I really feel that the dance class we did together was the kick-off point for motivating him to move and use his body in new and different ways that allow him to explore and discover his own physicality and that of the world around him. What a fabulous $30 investment! Anyway, I wish I had pictures of that, but I was too busy chasing Eyes around to think of it. I do have a few others of our playtime, though (from today mostly, but the first one is from a couple days ago when the weather was also nice, though not quite so perfect–there was a great little breeze today!):

Eyes and J on the tire swing

Climbing fun at the park!

Then we went to the lawn/garden accent shop and picked up some stepping stones for my little front garden plot. After I got them in this afternoon, they really just pulled it all together in the most pleasing way. I was so satisfied with it I had to take pictures to share:

new stepping stones!I love my little garden!

J also had a lot of fun trying to hop from stone to stone, or, more successfully, taking long steps from one stone to the other. Another great dexterity and strength exercise for him! Double win. πŸ™‚ And after I got the stones in, I transplanted three baby strawberry plants into some planters that had previously held a pathetic experiment in growing daffodils indoors. I took out the bulbs to give to a friend; I already have plenty daffodils in my garden plot. I also transplanted an indoor amaryllis I had and replaced it with a strawberry plant. J sorta-helped by entertaining himself while I worked (I did this mostly while Eyes napped), watering some flowers and a section of porch, and carefully not spilling much dirt when he asked to help dig. We got nice and grubby.

Speaking of grubby, this account would not be complete if I didn’t relate to you how, upon our arrival home earlier, I stripped Eyes down to his diaper before setting him on a chair and washing his hands at the sink (his clothes were filthy from the park). After the hand-washing, I figured I’d just change his (wet but not dirty) diaper while he stood there and played with a bowl of water in the sink. So I took his diaper off, ran to get a few wipes to clean the dirt off his bottom (which had fallen down inside the diaper), checked on his brother (who was in the bathroom doing his own business), and came back to find the expected: pee all over the chair, kitchen cabinet, and the floor.

Really, this would not be a Gritty Momma story without bodily fluids, would it? Dirt just isn’t enough. Eyes had to make a personal contribution. I don’t have pictures of this. πŸ™‚

Then Mimi and Papa came over for dinner this evening, and at one point the boys ended up on the couch with Mimi, all snuggled up watching a video on her phone. It was too adorable not to capture. I just love how Eyes plunked his chubby cheeks down on her tummy without a second thought.

J and Eyes snuggling with Mimi

That’s all for today! I hope everyone is having as beautifully gritty a spring as we are this week. Love,

–GM

 

Sometimes, food looks like poop

Last night I tried to make lava cakes.

I make cakes all the time, usually with decent success, and this is one of the simplest cake recipes I’ve ever used. It only had five ingredients.

But I think I misjudged the size of my mugs. I needed 10-12 ounce sized mugs, and I suspect these were rather less than that.

failed lava cakes

I told J that they looked like poop, and he protested that they didn’t… but that was before he saw them. Not that that phased him, of course. πŸ™‚

There wasn’t any lava to speak of, either… well, none that didn’t turn into the lava flow/volcanic rock you see here, at least. The centers were just moist cake, not at all gooey.

Oh well. The boys enjoyed it (we had let them stay up very late for the promise of the cake project I was working on… so I was glad they weren’t disappointed!)–we split one and gave them each half.

Hubby and I took a few nibbles, and we threw all the rest out. Just not satisfying.

I might try lava cake again someday… hard to fail worse than poop cakes, right? Only place to go from here is up. πŸ™‚

P.S. Of course, this failure happened *after* my sweet mother-in-law hauled those mugs over to my house because I didn’t have any oven-proof mugs of my own, and *after* my sweet father-in-law drove back to their house to get the cookbook with the recipe in it that I’d forgotten to tell her I also needed. At least they excused themselves from the party too early to witness the result… although history tells me they would have been indulgent. Even if the cakes were not. πŸ˜‰