Monday, January 24, 2011

Laugh and the World Laughs With You--Sometimes

The Lehi Ward’s long-awaited concert had the potential of being the finest cultural event of the year. The directors of it had arranged the program well in advance so that they could be sure of getting the best and most culturally-inclined talent that could be found in the community.

Because this concert was going to be a very “high-classed” affair, my quartet felt quite privileged when we were asked to be on the program. Unfortunately, however, our soprano was going to be busy that night; so the three remaining—Louise, Loretta, and I—hastily worked out two new songs in trio form so we wouldn’t have to by-pass the opportunity to sing.

On the night of the concert, everyone was dressed in his most appropriate concert attire, and someone had worked diligently decorating the recreation hall to make it look lots less recreational and lots more cultural. All in all, everything was set for a night that was long to be remembered. I think my trio will remember it the longest.

Eagerly the three of us girls sat behind stage waiting for our chance to show the audience what talent and culture really were, for, although we were quite unprepared, we still had lots of self-confidence and felt that we would add much to the culture of the night. As we waited, we heard a fine piano soloist trip lightly, then vehemently, over the ivory keys. Next, we listened while an expert string quartet played the dynamic “Fifth Symphony” of Beethoven. We had to admit that all the performers preceding us were really very good, but they were all older and had had lots of experience enthralling audiences like the one before them. We were relatively new at displaying our talents before others, but we were still confident that we would be the most enlightening part on the program.

When it was our turn, we walked on stage with our heads held high and stood proudly in our places. Having received our beginning notes, we began melodiously harmonizing “Stay As Sweet As You Are.” I must say that it was really quite lovely. We swelled and diminished together and every note was in perfect pitch. When we finished, we could sense the audience’s delight in their tumultuous applause. Not wanting to leave them starving for another example of our talent, we started singing the popular song “More.” It was going as beautifully as our first rendition until we came to the line “my arms long to hold you so.” For some reason, Loretta’s tongue got twisted, and her line came out “my larms ong to hold you so….”

I could feel inside of me a terrible tickling feeling that wanted to rush up my throat and out my mouth in an uproarious laugh, but I couldn’t let it—we were singing at a very dignified concert and laughter had no place there. I glanced over at Louise to see if she had heard the funny word “larms.” Woe, she had! As my twinkling eye caught hers and Loretta also realized what she had so unconsciously sung, we all three burst out laughing. Now twelve-year-olds might be able to get away with giggling during a performance, but seventeen-year-olds are expected to be stronger masters of their emotions. Unfortunately, however, age doesn’t always coincide with maturity.

After apologizing to the disgruntled audience, we desperately tried to get through the now not so popular song so we could get off the stage as quickly as possible. Four times we tried, each time breaking off in uncontrollable giggles.

We were getting very disgusted with ourselves and no doubt the audience was even more disgusted, but there was nothing we could do. Finally realizing that it was no use to keep trying to conquer the unconquerable, we gave up, muttered a few more apologies and rushed off the stage still giggling. We avoided the piercing eye of a lady in a beautiful formal who had to follow our childish act with an opera aria as we ran down the stairs and out the nearest door. The laughs now came in full force. We had shamed ourselves and had broken the mood of a potentially exceptional concert. But the power that often keeps us all from breaking into tears was in command, and we laughed ‘til our mouths ached and our sides begged for mercy.


Juliepoolie said...

I love your writing style, Liz. Your "fireside chat" comfortableness in writing is very inviting. Thanks for sharing your talents so freely. I also appreciate you for the sweet light and peace that emanate from you. You are a powerful example to me of one who is joyfully "about" her Father's business, building the kingdom and the esteem of others, one kind deed at a time! Thanks!

Tami Allred said...

LOL Wish I could have been there. Glad you're having fun.