It’s orchestral season and your urbane lenslinger is awash in Spring Recital splendor. Actually, I’m just another Dad holding down a plastic chair in the gymnacafetorium, but you get the picture. Yes, with an eldest daughter who's proving to be quite the cello player, I've got lots of these performances in my future and no small amount in my past. That's cool by me; after all a languid evening of middle school music far better suits my sensibilities than an afternoon spent locked in sideline coronary pantomime. There's only one problem: I have trouble staying in my seat.
And no - it's not the minuet that has me so jumpy. It's those damn cameramen. Okay, so they're only Dads with consumer lenses, but from where I squirm those little Sony's might as well as be hand grenades. See, nearly two decades of chasing the other guy to Collision's Rim has rendered me unable to view someone else taking a picture without figuring I could do better. Call it 'Lenslinger's Lament', I dunno - just understand that while my firstborn may be plowing through some 18th century dirge up there, in my head it's all 'Eye of the Tiger'.
Truthfully, I used to be worse. Hell, ther was a time I couldn't sit through a simple awards ceremony without blanching at the poor camera management around me. Were it not for my lovely bride digging her fingernails into my forearm, I may very well have ended up incarcerated for foisting my critique upon some hapless accountant who can't figure out why the screen's all black. "Dude! Your batteries aren't dead! Listen to me very carefully 'cause I ain't gonna say this twice... YOU GOT THE LENS CAP ON! That little black circle covering up the shiny round thing! It's attached by string for a reason...so it can dangle! LET IT DANGLE! So help me I'll come over there and get us all arrested if you don't remove the bloody lens cap!"
A-hem. While my blood pressure sinks back down to the triple digits, let me be the first to recognize things are getting better. I see patriarchs embracing tripods more than ever before - even if they are the size of chopsticks. Those who do eschew a leg-set wisely brace themselves against a wall, so at least their home-movies will outshine most post-game locker room interviews. In fact, if I could just crawl over these last three seats I could let that Soccer Mom know it's all right to leave the zoom button alone - otherwise her entire brood may upchuck on the rug once the solos start. I was just about to do so when I felt the white heat of six laser dots on my forehead. Looking up, I realize all three females in my life were staring at me, ready to pounce should I make the first loopy move.
Looking back it was the ten year old's stare that snapped me out of it. Unlike her older sister or my wife of 18 years, I'm still her idea of 'normal'. For now, anyway...