Sunday, March 24, 2019

A Lady's Imagination is Very Rapid

Let's start with the walk.

It was noon and sunny, completely dead in places and abuzz in others. The primary groups I saw were cars headed to brunch and cars headed to the river, a fact I know from several conversations I overheard thanks to rolled down car windows.

Walking down 5th Street on the weekends is always a bit worrisome because of the things I hear parents telling their children. Last week, it was a mom telling her kids  that the building on the hill was the governor's mansion. When I discretely explained that it was, in fact, Ethyl Corporation, she shrugged and said they'd never know the difference.

But why lie?

Today it was a mother and son discussion after she insisted on holding something of his while he rode his bike down the fairly steep hill, especially for a 7 or 8 year old boy. The entire time he was inching down the hill behind me, he was reminding his mother not to hold "it" too tightly. She'd reassure him that she wasn't but he'd repeat the warning again. After the 4th or 5th exchange, she put on her Mother voice and said, "Don't make me sorry I brought you!"

Calling Dr. Freud. Who says that to a child?

After the deluge Thursday, the river is back to full roar, but walking the canal walk meant having a cyclist do a series of S-curves around me, while saying, "Great hat!" I like to think that's because I washed it last night so it looked particularly fetching in the sunlight.

Walking up Broad Street, I spotted a young woman in the kind of embroidered wide leg jeans (in that worn blue color) I haven't seen since the early '70s. The silhouette was similar to  a pair of sailor pants except shorter  and not belled, then with quarter moon pockets and all the embroidered flowers falling out from there down the legs.

When I told her how evocative (and adorable) they were, she lamented that she'd gotten them in Japan and never been able to find a similar pair. Just looking at them, I could tell how comfortable they were and she confirmed it.

In the parking lot of the Richmond Dairy building (where my Richmond grandfather worked, it should be noted), a guy had managed to wedge a good two feet of a parking lot median between his front and rear tires, so he sat there straddling it, trying to back up over the thing.

The whole time, the car is reacting by making horrible sounds and all I could think was, this had to be harshing this guy's sunny Sunday mellow big time. Not my problem, so I moved on.

All of which followed on the heels of last night's outing to Secco, then VMFA to see Quill Theater's "Pride and Prejudice."

Secco's patio was nearly full when we got there, not that we were eating outside. Mr. Wright and I had the same fabulous grains and petit greens salad we'd swooned over two weeks ago, plus roasted vegetables with goat cheese and an entree of rockfish over spaghetti squash pancakes with Romesco sauce, the latter a collection of things I enjoy eating, but would never make for myself.

Pru and Beau made a meal of an earthy mushroom soup, duck rillettes, vegetables and a cheese/charcuterie board that belonged in a still life. Beau and I both finished with a wedge of chocolate chestnut tort over orange marmalade, although I paired mine with Burmester Tawny Port while he got his buzz on with coffee.

On the table was a discussion of Pru's upcoming birthday, not just where and when, but how best to celebrate. How many people can an introvert stand in one evening? Or would it be better just to send out "Save the Date" cards for her next big birthday which is almost a decade away?

Those of us extroverted birthday celebrants never have to go through such machinations to celebrate ourselves.

Over dinner we discovered that not one of us seasoned theatergoers had seen a theatrical production of "Pride and Prejudice," which naturally led to talk about the film versions and then other Austen films.

Colin Firth, Alan Rickman, Richard Grant, how quickly we went down the British actor rabbit hole.

Walking into the VMFA theater, we found a good sized crowd and looked for seats. Explaining to my posse (and not for the first time), I said that I like to see the actors spit. Coming in from the left side, we settled in fourth row center seats, not bad for later arrivals.

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.

It's no wonder a 196-year old work is still being produced now given how strong and well-written the Lizzie Bennet character is. Even without the context of early 19th century Regent period mores, Lizzie's determination to wed for love not money is role model worthy.

There are few people whom I really love and still fewer of whom I think well.

And of course, a play about parents eager to marry off their five daughters, one that's full of quick wordplay and laugh-out-loud-worthy dialog, is going to appeal to a word nerd who's one of six daughters.

Joe Pabst impressed us all playing Mr. Bennet, his willingness to buck his wife's requests as well as his support for his daughter holding out for true love making him seem like a thoroughly modern man. Irene Kuykenall shone as Lizzie, as content to read a good book as socialize at a party and what reader can't relate to that?

Me, I always enjoy a good love story, especially between two strong personalities with confidence to spare. Where I overlap with Lizzie is that I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.

Because like Lizzie, I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.

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