Friday, November 6, 2009
Creating A Memory
I'm going to interrupt the travelogue tonight.
Last night I took my 87-year old dad to see the Broadway South performance of South Pacific. He had to make a seventy-five mile drive to get here, and for the first time in his life expressed some concern about making the drive. About a year ago, he got caught in a horrendous thunderstorm on his way home from the beach, and hasn't been back since. But he drives around town every day, to the office, to Rotary, to church, to deliver Mobile Meals (yep, he delivers Mobile Meals!). It made me sad to hear him talk of limitations; he's always been proud and independent.
I debated how to handle the night. I wanted it to be special. Times are bad, though, and he's always been a conservative spender. I imagined the phone conversations that would take place today if the evening felt too extravagant to him.
I decided to go for the best. We went to one of my favorite high-end restaurants. He ordered an appetizer and water; that was okay. And when we got to the theater, I realized that our seats were on the third row. Good, you might say, but the price was on the ticket stub, and I worried that he thought it was too much.
The musical was amazing. My father loves music; he had to have the latest in stereos and musical equipment. There was always something playing in the background at our house. I knew every word to every song of South Pacific even though I've only seen the musical maybe twice. And because he exposed us to so much of it, I recognize classical music but couldn't tell you who the composer is to save my life.
It's crazy to still care what your parents think about you and your lifestyle choices at fifty-seven years old. But I do. I really do. And as much as I thought I had planned something he would like, I waited for his email today so I would know what kind of time he had. He writes us all--children, grandchildren, cousins--every week day. He thinks it's a bunch of drivel, but we love it. Here's what he said about the night:
I just got back from...a very nice visit with the Potters and going to see a Broadway production of "South Pacific" at the Raleigh Civic center. The performance was excellent and you can take that from someone who has probably heard that music more than 99.9% of the people on this planet. It was the first vinyl record I owned and I believe my children are all familiar with the play from hearing that music daily for quite a while.
I didn't know it was the first vinyl record the owned. No wonder we listened to it over and over!
I had a great time with him. Whatever the cost, it was worth it.