Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 3 - Swan Drought

I mentioned that doing things on a cleanse that you don't necessarily associate with drinking is a good idea because it keeps you busy without having to endure an empty wine glass waving in front of your nose.

So on Thursday, my husband and I went to the ballet for the first time - to see the world famous Mariinsky-Kirov ballet performance of "Swan Lake". (I started taking adult ballet lessons this year and my husband got the tickets for me for Valentine's Day. I know - he's a keeper.)

I dressed up in my sexy, black tuxedo suit and put out a good suit for him, too. We decided to take the subway because it's a busy part of town and on a cold night you could wait for eons for a cab. We got there only a few minutes early because for a change we wouldn't have to seek out the bar for a drink before the performance, as we usually do when we go to plays or other performances with intermissions.

We checked our coats, got a bottle of water, my husband got a Starbucks coffee (Starbucks is everywhere, which is good - cuz if there's anything my hubby is addicted to it's the java from Bucks!), and took our very nice seats in the orchestra.

I didn't "miss" going for a drink beforehand at all. We wouldn't have had time anyway, so that's another good hint if you're going out to a performance you might personally associate with a little tipple beforehand (after all, we might be the only peasants in the world who don't drink at the ballet; maybe you've never seen a ballet sober in your life!). If that's the case and you're cleansing, leave less time before the show so you don't have to stand around twiddling your fingers without a drink. Hit your seat and read the program, that way you'll know what the hell is going on when the curtain goes up.

I couldn't say enough about the ballet itself. The music for "Swan Lake" was composed by Tchaikovsky and performed by the Bolshoi ballet (the predecessor of the Mariinsky) in St. Petersburg more than 125 years ago. Although other ballet companies have performed the piece, the 250-year-old Russian ballet is renowned worldwide for its superb rendition. And I can see why! It was spectacular! The costumes, the staging, the dancing itself. Breathtaking! Flawless. Tears came to my eyes several times. (Incidentally, just a couple of nights before, Adele brought tears to my eyes with her performance. So it ended up being a great first week as it turns out! I definitely recommend awe-inspiring outings when you're cleansing!)

But there are two intermissions in "Swan Lake" which would normally mean that my hubby and I would venture out into crowded lobbies and up packed staircases all in search of those too-scarce catering tables snaking with long lines full of other well-dressed, but antsy guests waiting for a splash of that cheap vino poured by unemployed actors who probably apply sunblock faster than they pour a glass of wine. With two intermissions we would've had to do that twice - all for that unimpressive 4-oz glass of second-rate drek they usually serve. We probably would've been rushed, especially if we needed to pee, which we would have if we had a drink beforehand, so that would mean we'd have had to slug down the wine quickly, hit the lineups for the can, then get back to our seats probably late and definitely out of breath - twice. I can't tell you how many times I've been caught with my panties down in a stall somewhere while the gentle "bong" for the end of intermission started getting louder and angry. It's a drag!

Instead, the hubs and I stood up to stretch our legs and stayed close to our seats talking about the performance, which even he loved. And he's a hard sell. I didn't miss making a b-line for the bar, even though many years ago you couldn't take me so much as shopping without booking a pit stop every two hours for a drink. Otherwise I'd get in an irretrievably bad mood and there'd be a fight. But that's the way it was when I was addicted: I needed a drink not just to be happy, but to feel normal.

But I did NOT miss drinking that night. Not in the least! I didn't feel loagy or foggy-headed afterward either, which can happen when you've had a couple of glasses of wine in a hurry with a long wait in your seats in between. Plus I didn't have to deal with a post-wine energy crash at the end of the night. On the way home, we were fresh and clear-headed, if a little vicariously drained from just watching those dedicated dancers on the stage.

It was so pleasant not having to fight the crowds for the bar that I'm not sure I'd even have a drink next time we go when I'm not cleansing.

Though I probably will. :)

But it'll be interesting to note the overall difference in the experience next time. I'll keep you posted - though I honestly don't think it could've been better. Besides, with only a few regular sips of water instead of all that wine, I didn't have to use the busy bathrooms once! Another bonus that gave me time to read the program. If you ever want the synopsis of "Swan Lake" let me know: I've got it down pat.

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