I just had a random memory pop into my head that made me laugh out loud. Now I feel compelled to record it.
When I was in my early twenties, I went to school in the northern part of Utah, and my older sister who had three little girls, lived an hour and a half away in Salt Lake City. My sister's home was always open to me. ALWAYS. And I traipsed through there with dozens of friends over the two years I went to school there. Always comfortable, always accommodating.
But even if it wasn't, I was madly in love with my three nieces and would regularly run away from my "real life" in college, to spend weekends with them. I'm still madly in love with them, but they's all growed up and I'm not the most awesome person they ever knew anymore. Oh yeah, and they live in England. Brats.
One weekend I was down there and saw in the paper an advertisement that a local school was performing Phantom of the Opera. I loved the show when I saw it in Oakland when I was 19 and I thought my 9 year old niece would enjoy it as well. I cleared it with my sister, made arrangements, and came back down the weekend of the performance. My friend T and I, all hyped up to see an $8 performance of Phantom, jumped in the car with Katherine and took off to the nearby high school.
We were immediately concerned when we walked into a makeshift theater, which doubled as a cafeteria and possibly a woodworking classroom. There were about 30 seats set out for the audience, and we were the first to fill them. I think probably 8-12 more people joined us before the show started.
It was nothing like the actual show. It wasn't even the same story-line that I could tell. We tried desperately to follow it, and rid our minds of our expectations and just enjoy the show. But it was impossible. The acting was much like my three year old trying to convince me he's not hiding anything behind his back. The acoustics were abominable. The storyline dreadful. AND it wasn't a musical either. No one was singing anything.
About 15 minutes in, it was painfully obvious that I had made a huge mistake. I don't remember when or where or why exactly, but T and I lost it. Probably more than once, we were laughing hysterically, trying to go unnoticed. Being two of 12 people in a cafeterwoodshopeater, it was difficult to be unnoticed. I remember Katherine laughing along with us, the ridiculous of my mistake, not lost on her. She was a relatively serious child, so this was particularly amusing to me.
We wanted to leave. We desperately wanted to salvage what was left of the night; but I just couldn't see us leaving without being horribly rude.
Katherine kept persisting, "When can we leave? How much longer do we have to stay? When will this be over?"
T, always with the quick wit, said, "I'm sorry, but this ain't over til the fat lady sings." We both thought that was so funny, because there was a very large actress on the stage, but there was absolutely no singing going on.
Then. The very very large girl started singing. It was totally out of nowhere and of all the characters who could suddenly turn the play into a musical, it was her!
It was then that my sweet, serious little 9 year old niece reached for her coat on the back of her chair and said, "So, we can go now?"
The only reason I know that T and I didn't die laughing that night, is because I'm typing this now.
I love my sweet little serious Katherine. She's still sweet, but now she's 6'2" and only serious when she has to be.