Along for the ride:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished-I am a Terrible Person

I have been cringing all week, ever since I received my invitation to a volunteer appreciation soiree. I was volunteered onto the Marketing Committee for an organization that trains docents to teach music in the schools. One of my more admirable friends has been working in the non-profit sector ever since I've known her. She has carried the weight of many miseries on her shoulders whilst running programs helping abused children and I have occasionally helped out. I filled and maintained flower-boxes to make the entry to a Boys Home more inviting and I have spent the day encouraging golfers to dig deep at a fundraising game. My Hubby has donated paintings for sale at the silent auction. 
Now my friend has moved into a happier section of children's' non-profits and we continue to support her efforts. The marketing committee meet once a month. It's the least I can do. The Summer fund-raiser will headline a very well known popular singer song-writer and is, coincidentally, being held in the gardens of one of my clients.
"All fairly innocuous so far, what's she whining about?" Ah, to the crux of the matter!
At Christmas time we went to a fund-raising performance by two beautiful sopranos. Once we found the country church in the dark and wind whipped rain storm and settled on the hard wooden pews we were entertained by these lovely and talented women, who had given of their time and effort to sing for us. So far so good.
THEY NEVER STOPPED SMILING! They smile whilst singing together, smile whilst looking at one another as each sings solo and, above all, smile their way through the saccharine sweet story of how they met at "singing college" and were so compatible and appreciative of one another that the only possible thing that could make them want to smile more was coming home and marrying two brothers. Smiling Singing Sisters, for ever.   
See what a horrible person I am? Who could find fault with that? 
I had not murmured a word that was anything less than supportive and congratulatory. I applauded enthusiastically and on cue. I am no savage, although maybe; deep in my heart; I am. When I read the evite detailing our get together I noted drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Fine. Followed by thanks and "speechy stuff". Par for the course; nothing I can't get through on a Monday evening.
Performance by Smiling Soprano Sisters. OH SHIT! 
Ever since, I have been battling with myself. I really really don't want to go. Once was really, really enough, thank you. Now that I have written this out loud I know that I will go. Friends support friends and the cause is the cause. I have been lauding them to all and sundry and will ensnare several new volunteers to go with me. Strength in numbers, a-simpering we will go!


  1. Dear English Rider, It is abundantly clear in this article that you are indeed a most terrible, downright horrible, ungrateful person; there is undoubtedly a dastardly punishment awaiting you in the distant future in the afterlife... of having to listen and watch for hours every day for eternity the smiling singing sisters, instead of heavenly angels. Shades of J-P Sartre's story "Huis Clos" (No Exit)... I think the famous quote from that play translates roughly as "Hell is other people"...

    Your enchanting writing here also reminds me of the movie "Babette's Feast", in which, as I'm sure you're already familiar, there are two lovely singing sisters... although they didn't smile so much as to be off-putting, as I recall. And I take back what I just said above, in my short experience I think you must be a wonderful person, and very shiningly human.

    So "Clever Clogs" is my new name... well, I guess that's better than "Smarty Pants"... in any case, I hope that is a compliment; well compared to what some people call me, it certainly is. I nearly purchased some clogs in Brittany the other day, was ogling them in a shop window, finally I took a picture of a church spire reflected in the window instead.

    BTW, I'd been meaning to thank you for your pertinent comment about the ruined chateau, you are right, all is question of presentation and marketing approach... I loved the "Tourettes de Tristesse" and "Rehab Hall" ; I think Amy Winehouse held her last party there... I see you have a talent for coming up with perfect names...

    Well, I'm rambling again. Bon courage for your next bout with the beatific singers...

  2. GREAT!! I think I'd hate them too!

  3. Gtart laughing now so you can be giggle free at the performance...or does Magic 8 Ball see a bladder infection in your future and an episode of frequent trips to the loo?? "It is decidedly so."

  4. Owen's mention of Amy Winehouse sent my imagination off to a place where the three would perform together. I will hold that incongruous thought and get through the evening without feigning the Piggy Sniffles.

  5. OK, OK, I am a sometimes smiling soprano....well, I only smile when the music is happy and it's worth smiling. The last duet was "Stabat Mater Dolorosa," so it did not involve any smiling.

    Maybe you could just close your eyes and pretend they are frowning??

    Frankly, even though I am a soprano, a whole bunch of listening to me would grate even on my nerves. The music would have to be extremely varied to be tolerable. Same with my not smiling duet partner. There has to be some variety...frowns, bass pieces, stuff like that.

    I like the bathroom trips. Something you ate just doesn't agree with you....?

    You'll go. And I even wager you will smile during the affair.

  6. Hi English R., am dropping back by this evening just to let you know that you have been nominated for a Kreativ Blogger award...please see details under title Kreativ Writing on my page... Congratulations !

  7. Holy Smiling Singing Sisters Batman! I have tears rolling down my face...

    SSS, married to brothers and Amy Winehouse thrown in with Piggy Sniffles...

    My husband is inquiring why I an laughing so hard...and i replied...."this woman is hysterical and bright and irreverent and I think I am smitten"...and he says oh great now youare reading blogs late into the night and now even later in life have become bisexual..

    So i just went to youtube and played....I just kissed a girl and i liked it !

    He's on the phone now with Monsieur Shark..he handles divorces too I presume? It is late and i am getting silly...sincere thanks for your delightful narrative and great take on life... ciao..

  8. Lily,
    Somehow I thought all comment updates went to my gmail. Not the case, obviously, as I am only now finding you have diligently read many of my past postings. I would have responded earlier. Sorry.