New weblog tour question:
What is the biggest faux pas you’ve ever committed? What happened? Did you ever correct the mistake? What did you learn from the experience?
I learned that teasing is in the eye of the beholder.
This isn’t the worst faux pas in my life, but I’m a walking social error so it’s tough to pick from the buffet of Bad Actions.
This was shortly after I’d discovered classical music, so I didn’t “get” the whole cadenza thing yet. If you’re similarly clueless, the cadenza is a place in a concerto where the soloist gets some really tricky material to play alone, for showmanship. I have to admit, it’s not really my cup of tea because most of them are so unmelodic to me. You have this otherwise gorgeous orchestral piece where the composer pretty much stops. the. music.
Play one note.
Play another one.
Play note so high that only dogs can hear it.
Play two notes together.
It took a while for me to connect this to something I understood. Guitar solos and drum solos in rock music are actually guitar cadenzas and drum cadenzas. In all fairness, I don’t really like those either.
So my Patient Husband and I were joking around about how the music stops and nothing happens for a while, and then it starts again. And he said, “Yeah, yeah, we admire your mojo. Let’s keep listening,” and I laughed. And here’s the social error:
Patient Husband, in a deep voice: “Hey, baby. Wanna hear my….cadenza.”
Me: Well, you know what they say about string players.
PH: What’s that?
Me: That they’re assholes.
It’s not so bad until you realize that my favorite violinist was standing right there.
About two hours later, he said to me in private, “String players are assholes?”
Ah-heh. I scrambled around in my brain for a way to escape from this gracefully. You’d think I’d know better because I’d told violinist jokes before and they hadn’t been appreciated, but no. I might as well have a big cement block on my shoulders for how often I use my brain in social situations.
I said, “I’m sorry. There was no excuse for that.”
He forgave me. But he shouldn’t have had to, and since then, I’ve tried to do two things. First, be more aware of how other people react when I joke about their jobs, because although most people I know take some good-natured ribbing, that crossed the line and was no longer good-natured.
And secondly, if you don’t understand the big deal behind cadenzas, shut up and listen. Maybe someday, I’ll even get them.
http://wryexchange.com/ Wry Exchange
http://fatgirlartist.blogspot.com/ Amy Rose
http://www.drunkenhousewife.com/ The Drunken Housewife
http://divine-misse.livejournal.com Shotochick (only readable by those that have a livejournal account)
http://sisterlilbunnythecorpseflinger.wordpress.com/ Lil Bunny
I hear you on the concrete block being more useful. I have a very dry sense of humour, and always want to be the peacemaker or helper. That’s why I try not to drink at social events, although maybe it would give me an easy way out. I’m doing a virtue a week, like Ben Franklin (details on my own blog). I’ve looked at several lists, and only Ben lists silence. So, either it’s not as valuable as we think, or those who make lists that are quoted don’t struggle with it, or it’s so difficult that no one bothers to list it.