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Single at the Opera

April 10, 2013

People say that if you’re on the hunt for a boyfriend/girlfriend, you should start hanging out at places where you will most likely meet people of the kind you’d like to date. For example, if you’d like to meet a guy who’s into Hemingway or Joyce, your best bet is to visit the nearest bookstore. Or how about an art junkie? Get a seasons pass to the AGO or the MoMA.

But let me share a piece of advice with you that I’ve learned over the past couple of months: if you’re looking for a guy who’s into opera, you most likely won’t find him at the opera. Seriously, nobody goes to the opera alone.  Well, except for me of course.

At the opera last night (and on previous occasions), there were couples everywhere I turned. Most were old, but there were some in their mid-to-late twenties. Everyone was all dressed up, and opera etiquette was certainly in place. Women were wearing long dresses with jewelry that sparkled in the light. The men were looking posh in their ties and suits.  During intermission, I was overcome with a sense of tranquility as I stood with my back to the wall observing people mingling with each other. (Sidenote: I should probably mention that I did not go to the opera to hunt for a boyfriend. I went because Mozart’s Magic Flute was running!)

Anyway, I wasn’t technically alone at the opera last night. I was with a friend from my music class, but it was almost as if I were alone. He had arrived just before the show was about to start, so we only managed to get a few words in. We were also seperated during the intermission. Hence all of the “back to the wall” observing. And when the opera ended, we parted our ways without many words exchanged between us.

When I arrived at the opera house last night, I was grinning from ear to ear. The Elgin Theatre is a magnificant place. The old architecture is stunning! Did you know that in 1935, the opera house’s chandelier was stolen? They are still keeping an eye out for it now! It’s really the kind of theatre you’d imagine King George VI and Queen Elizabeth frequenting.

The Elgin Theatre, Toronto.

The Elgin Theatre, Toronto.

So like I was saying, I arrived at the opera house early grinning ear to ear. I presented my ticket to a very nice lady, and she led me to my seat. When we got to the mezzanine, she pointed to my seat: the second seat from the aisle. I thanked her and went over to sit down. When I got there, I took off my jacket and put it, along with the programme, onto the seat to my right (the aisle seat). I had assumed that it was my friend’s seat and decided that once he came, I would take my stuff off the chair. Before I even had time to settle down, a very cute guy came to my row. I didn’t even have time to look up at his face and decide whether he was good looking until later on. At that moment, all I knew was that there was someone in front of me who needed to get through; I had assumed that his seat was the seat to my left and not the seat that was to my right.

I quickly moved my umbrella out of the way and said, “Oh, do you need to get through?”

He said, “Oh no. I’m just right here.” Then he pointed to the aisle seat.

I said, “Oh I’m so sorry. Let me remove my jacket.” I took my jacket away but before I had time to take my programme, he took it into his hands and started leafing through it.

Now I don’t know what possessed me to say what I did next; it definitely had the potential to make things awkward. And when I thought about it afterwards, I realized that it was a very uncharacteristic thing of me to do: to say what was on my mind to a cute boy whom I had just met. My usual self would have been too nervous to say what I did next. I mean, a cute guy was sitting beside me!! My usual self would have been thinking, Ohhhhh myyyy Goddddd. A cute guy just sat beside meeeeeeeeeeeee. Oh my Goddddddd. Awesomeeeeeeee. Got to write this in my diary tonightzzzzzz.

I mean, of course a part of me did think that, but another part of me was being more courageous and grown up than usual. I think it has to do with this video M sent me a couple of days ago. Back then, if I were in the company of a cute guy, I would freeze up and speak in a register that even I didn’t know I could speak in. Now, I’m much better. I have better control over my nerves, and my voice only rises an octave as oppose to two like it did before. Also, I’m much better at initiating conversation, which was exactly what I did last night. Though, the motive wasn’t really to initiate conversation. I actually really did want my programme back.

I leaned into him and said, “You know, that was actually my programme, but nevermind. It’s okay!” Then I nervously chuckled — more so at the fact that, for once, I was saying what was on my mind.

He closed the programme, turned to me and said, “Oh I’m sorry. Here you go,” at which point he gave me back my programme.

“Oh no, it’s fine. Really.”

“No, no. I’m not going to read it anyway.”

“Are you sure? Oh well, okay.”

Then I took it and smiled at him.

There was a moment of silence as I began flipping through the programme.

“So is this your first time at the opera?” he said.

But just as I was about to answer, my friend came. He started talking to me right away; I just couldn’t cut him off to answer the other guy’s question! Then the overture began and the lights dimmed. It just wasn’t meant to be.

The one time I meet a guy who goes to the opera by himself, and it doesn’t end with us living happily ever after. How tragic. My friend AZ once told me “Your life is like a chick flick. A romantic comedy.”

Tell me about it.

You know, you gotta love your friends. They’re the best! But sometimes… they can get in the way. You know what I mean?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2013 10:37 pm

    Oh man! That is some Grade A romcom stuff there. Also, how was the opera? I’m going to see it this weekend!

    • April 11, 2013 12:05 am
        The opera was superb! Mozart’s The Magic Flute is, in my opinion, one of his better operas. It’s comedic and is great for kids as well. I especially liked Colin Ainsworth, who played the principle role of Tamino. He had a lovely voice. And oh! Ambur Braid, who played the Queen of the Night was also excellent. Man, when she was singing the second aria, I was just blown away. The coloratura! I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂 The Elgin Theatre is also a fantastic venue for an opera — very intimate.

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