15 January 2008

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, however there won’t be any celebrations until Monday because the Powers That Be took it upon themselves to move that day’s observance so that they could conveniently have a three-day weekend. They also do that with a couple other holidays. The result of this practice, which began sometime in the mid-90s, is that many people can’t tell you the date of these holidays because they are now celebrated on the nearest Monday that will produce a longer weekend, thus the date changes every year. Although I enjoy three-day weekends as much as the next person, I also enjoy a day off in the middle of the week. If King Day were celebrated on the original day, we’d still get two three-day weekends in every seven-year cycle. Why not do that with Independence Day or Christmas? Things are probably not going to change, so should I even waste my time talking about it?

Anyway, every year the Kennedy Center, in conjunction with a local university, organizes a program in tribute to the civil rights leader. This year I was among those invited to sing in the choir. It’s very exciting because when I was a kid I used to listen to classical concerts on the radio in which the announcer would often say, “Live, from the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC…” And next week I will be singing there! Tonight I went to the first rehearsal. We must learn four pieces well (and by heart) in less than a week. We will be singing two of the pieces with mezzo soprano Denyce Graves. How cool is that?

On the bus home from choir rehearsal I was working on my black cardigan. An older gentleman sitting across from me asked what I was working on. Then he asked, “Why not red?” The truth is that I already have a red cardigan and what I really need is an everyday black cardigan that goes with everything. I didn’t want to get into all that, so I told him that black yarn is what I had, so that’s the color the sweater will be. Then I asked him if red was his favorite color. He said, “No, but I like red on women.” At that point I thought to myself, “Well, I’m not dressing for you. Am I, Gramps?” Then he asked my name and what I had studied at university. Just as I was about to pull the cord to notify the bus driver of my stop, he told me his name and that he wanted to invite me to a French restaurant in Georgetown. When he saw me get up he said, “We’ll talk another time.” This little exchange illustrates the story of my life (or the story of my last ten years or so). The only men interested me tend to be under the age of 22 or quickly approaching retirement age. Those in their thirties and early forties seem completely oblivious to my existence.

On the upshot, if I were to take him up on his offer, I’d know what color to wear! ;o)

1 comment:

Two Cables and a Frapp said...

Happy belated Martin Luther King day to you. Next year I will also dedicate a post to him. Thanks.