Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Cringeworthy: Part deux

When I wrote the original “Cringeworthy,” I had lost the scrap of paper containing my cringeworthy memories. But I knew, I just knew, there were three of them. And I finally remembered the third one.

While in college, I once attended a classical guitar recital with an acquaintance of mine. He had to go to it for his music appreciation class; I went for the joy of hearing the music. I had never been to a classical guitar recital before, and this one was not very well-attended. Still there were maybe forty people in the audience.

I enjoyed myself, and at the end of the first song I started to clap, but no one else was clapping. “Oh, it must only be the end of the first movement or something,” I thought, and hastily stopped my boorish clapping. I had been embarrassed in the past by clapping at the wrong moment during an orchestral concert, and didn’t want to repeat that error.

So each time the musician appeared to finish a piece, I readied myself for applause, but waited for someone more knowledgeable in the way of classical guitar music to start us off. No one did. “I guess you just don’t clap till the end at a classical guitar recital,” I thought, and joined in the smattering of applause when the guitarist finally finished his last piece.

But now, looking back on it, I realize that the poor guitarist was actually getting more and more upset as he finished each song and not a single person in the audience clapped. Not one clap. Nothing. Silence. I don’t know if everyone in the audience was also waiting for someone else to start it, but I do know that the guitarist had a very, very bad night.

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