Sunday, December 8, 2013

Anatomy of a Surprise

So, The Wife had a piece premiered by the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. It's a neat little arrangement of Rock of Ages, a traditional Hannukah-type song that they graciously agreed to perform. The performance went quite well, although I think that the dress rehearsal went somewhat better:

YouTube Video

There were a couple of other cool things that happened as a result of The Wife's piece being performed. The first is that, with the assistance of the conductor, Walter, we had a very cute moment of the three boys running up to give (silk) flowers to their mom after the piece was concluded. The levels involved with that:

1) getting the time to sneak the boys to Michaels to pick some appropriate flowers without arousing suspicion;
2) stopping at Dunkin Donuts on the way home to erase the memory of buying the flowers. The boys talked about donuts when they got to Grandma's house, not flowers. (Daddy level up);
3) figuring out how to get the flowers into the concert hall, while riding in the same car as The Wife, without her knowing. In this case, I hung my hat over the stems sticking out, figuring (correctly) that she wouldn't question why my hat was resting a solid six inches away from the rest of the bag;
4) grabbing Walter in the pre-performance chaos to find out which side of the auditorium in which to sit, so the transition would be easier;
5) having enough adults and coloring books available to keep the kids quiet and well-behaved through the first half of the concert, when they were playing selections from The Messiah;
6) getting the right flower to the right kid, getting them pointed at their to her, then getting them immediately offstage so a cute interlude doesn't become cloying.

Mission successful. She was surprised and pleased.

The other deception involved with the concert: her quartet mates telling her that they had stuff to do and couldn't come to her premiere, then showing up, surprising her, and spending a good chunk of the night at an after party singing. I had a minor hand in that: letting them know that tickets would be available at the door, helping sell the deception by expressing disappointment, then promptly "forgetting" about it so it would be a cute surprise.

The boys were not as well-behaved as I would have preferred, but to be fair, they have been sick and exhausted for a few days, as have I. They played their parts with their normal flair and complete lack of self-awareness (i.e. stage fright). Still, they cooperated getting in the door and to bed at home, allowing The Wife to go to the after party and stay as long as she liked.

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