• Jacqueline Gum

    Loved this story Susan…and the accompanying drawing are so wonderful! You never cease to amaze with all that talent and your ability to blend them. But the life lesson is the best! Not only did your folks teach you that the reason for being there was so far removed form your the way you were dressed while being there…but it opened your mind to a life changing experience. I always thought that I hated opera too. But I bent and took a friend for her birthday, as her husband refused to do it. Seeing Pagliacci changed my view on opera forever. Now I have it on my Ipod

    • Thanks so much Jacquie. Your very kind words warm my heart my friend. There were so many lesson in that whole experience. Learning about Opera and my love for it was only one. I do know who lucky I was to have the parents I did. Sadly, it took me awhile to understand that and all the gifts they bestowed. 🙂

  • I absolutely loved this story Susan! Your parents sound wonderful, and I can just picture you as a typical teenager, finding them completely embarrassing. I think we were all the same, not appreciating our parents and how they shape us. I’ve never been to an opera, but I think I would love it. 🙂

    • Hi Christine, They were and I now understand just how lucky I was to have had them for the time I did. 🙂

      Oh, and find a good opera and give it a try. I think you’d enjoy it. 🙂

  • Meredith Wouters

    I wonder if any of those dressed up patrons were looking down their noses at your parents’ clothes and sandwiches, thinking “what are they doing here?” When what they were doing was creating an experience for their kids that they’d never forget. Good for them! You’re right, we shouldn’t judge, and that goes for experiences, as well as people!

    • Hi Meredith. I am sure that is EXACTLY what they were thinking. However, as time passed, that really didn’t matter. It was the experience and what it did for me that was the most important thing in the end. 🙂

  • Oh yes! I have some really great music teachers to thank for my eclectic tastes in music which led me to explore the creative arts in many other forms.

    • Good teachers are such a special group of people, aren’t they Jeri? Because of them, you now have an appreciation for music way beyond the normal. That is cool! 🙂

  • Susan when parents took me to the Bolshoi Ballet I could not understand why. They were absolutely amazing and I so glad I was able to experience it. Gone are the days that you got dressed to the nines for the ballet, opera or theater. I thought it made it a special occasion. Then they took us to see the Moiseyev Dance Company. I never realized until later in life how truly lucky I was that parents exposed us to so many wonderful things. Your images brought back such fond memories. Loved your story.

    • How cool is that… someone else who has been to Bolshoi Opera… YEAH! I agree, we were both very lucky. It was so much fun getting dressed up for alive performance. Now-a-days it jeans and tea-shirt… sigh! 🙂

  • I have never seen a ballet or an opera performance or been to a theater show, yes I would like to go but have no one who would go with me and I don’t want to go alone.
    Oh yeah as a child I loved banana sandwiches, ok I still love them

    • Aw, that’s to bad Jo-Anne. May be someday… huh. Banana and peanut butter sandwiches were my mom’s all time favorite. 🙂

  • A great story and lesson learned for both young and old alike. There’s something about live performances. I’m yet to see Sol3 Mio Samoan singer brothers from NZ. They add their own spin on opera but very talented and entertaining to watch.

    • Thanks Heather. You must take the time to go see them. I know it would be an experience you would greatly enjoy. 🙂

  • maxwell ivey

    how great it was that you were raised by people who were authentic. they liked peanut butter and banana sandwiches and saw nothing wrong with eating their favorite treat on the red carpet. it also sounds like they lived in th moment something very few of us do much. glad to hear you know you are lucky. i think me and my brothers had different opinions on being embarrassed by our family. my brother michael hardly ever told people his family had a carnival. I nevr thought not to. if my dad needed to drop me off at school driving a flat bed pickup truck towing our generator i nevr thought anything about it. of course, its probably easier when you can’t see people staring at you. take care, max

    • Thanks Max… that they were. I can just see you and your dad pull up to your school in that flat bed truck. When you think about it, it really doesn’t matter. It’s the love that counts and that’s what we really remember. 🙂

  • Lisa Voncino

    I really enjoyed this vignette, Susan. How blessed you were to have bookish parents who exposed you to such a wonderful cultural experience.

    • Hi Lisa, Thanks so much. I really was and I’ve never forgotten how lucky I really was. 🙂

  • Hi Susan,
    First, I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches! Secondly, no wonder your parents waited so long to get the tickets. I’m glad you had a positive outcome of the opera. Have a pleasant week!

    • Hi Bill, I do too… LOL. 🙂 I’m so very lucky they did too. Without that, I wouldn’t have learned my love of the opera. 🙂

  • Thanks for sharing this fun story…it’s amazing how something seemingly simple can have a profound impact on us. Kudos to you for being present to the opera and letting it impact you (it’s so easy for teenagers to take a rolled eye, disinterested attitude to everything)!

    • Hi Michele, Thank you and that is so true. It could have gone the other way, but it didn’t and I’m the luckier for it. 🙂

  • Jon Jefferson

    It may not be obvious at times but I have always been a fan of opera and such.

    Sadly, at that young age we never seem to grasp the importance of the things we have an opportunity to experience.

    • Hi Jon, That is so cool. Another thing we have in common. I so agree, but somehow we muddle through and find our way. 🙂

  • Adrienne

    Hey Susan,

    I’ve never had a peanut butter and banana sandwich but I do eat peanut butter and banana together all the time. That’s funny that your parents took theirs with them but I can see me doing the same thing really.

    I’m not an opera fan I must admit but glad you ended up enjoying it and had a totally different outlook afterwards.

    Love this story.


    • It would seem more people then I knew love that combination Adrienne, all you need to do is add the bread… LOL. Where you enjoy opera or not, it was great experience all around for sure. :-)))

  • Sue Hines

    What a fun story. Your creativity with your images continues to amaze and delight me. I look forward to coming to your blog.

    • Thanks Sue…. Happy dance and thank you for all your support. 🙂

  • Wow, fascinating story. You are reminding me of someone I know well, who had difficulty with his parents. When you talk about the clothes and the embarrassing sandwiches … then you step away from your parents, and you see how wonderful they are. I went to see the Mikado once, probably with my mother. Can’t say I loved it. But I do love ballet! Those I could so over and over and over again.

    • Hi Leora. I think many can’t always see the beauty and the many gifts of what our parent offered until we step away. When we do, we truly know how blessed we are/were. I can’t say I love all Opera, but generally speaking, I do enjoy most of it. Ballet is the same for me. 🙂

  • Wonderful story, Susan. I was introduced to the opera by my 8th grade English teacher. She took a group of us to the Metropolitan Opera House. I can’t remember the opera, but I do remember two things. First, that I was enchanted and fell in love with opera. Second, she told us that we were not to drop anything on the floor because the Met cleaning staff would give our seat numbers to management and we’d never be admitted again. Gullible me. I actually believed that well into adulthood! I’m still always neat when I attend any artistic performance.

    • What a great story Jeannette. Isn’t it funny how impressions like those stick with us? When it comes to a good opera or operatic company, it’s a pretty amazing experience. 🙂

  • Krystyna Lagowski

    Susan, your parents totally rocked. In those days, it would have taken a lot of chutzpah to chow down on PB&J sandwiches at that very posh event, in their “professorial” attire. They were probably more into the Bolshoi than many of the fancy-pants glam types on the red carpet. You’re so incredibly lucky to have seen that performance, and to have had such amazing parents!

    • Hi Krystyna, Thanks.. It was an amazing experience. Sadly, I didn’t know that until way later. My friends did, and always want to be at our house. The good news is I got it as I grew, and I’m very grateful for all that they did for us a kids. 🙂

  • Lorraine Marie Reguly

    What a great story, Susan! It painted neat pictures in my mind, and triggered memories for me, too.

    I’ve never been to the opera, but I think I’d’ve loved it if I were there that night with you and your family! 😉

    • Thanks Lorraine, It pleases me that I was able to do that for you. You should give opera try sometime. I think you’d enjoy it. 🙂

  • Cheryl Therrien

    What a great story! I had to laugh when you mentioned how your parents looked and that they were probably oblivious to any differences around them. I can relate. LOL So glad it turned out well for you. Another lovely memory to store away.

    • Thanks Cheryl, It was something I will never forget on all fronts… LOL. The whole experience was life changing is so may ways. It took awhile for me to realize that. 🙂

  • Debra Yearwood

    Love that story. It’s amazing how small decisions can have such a tremendous impact on us. It’s a good reminder about why we need to stay open to ideas and opportunities.

    • Thanks Debra. I somehow knew you’d enjoy this story on many levels. Staying open to new things is so important, but not always the easiest thing to do.