Review: My Son Jeremy’s Violin Recital

By Ari Mostow and Nathan Mostow | STAFF WRITERS

Last Sunday, all I wanted to do was have a relaxing evening at home. I sat down at the TV with a glass of warm beer and some unsalted pistachios, and turned on the Big Game.

“Dad,” I heard a nasally voice say. I looked down. It was my son, Jeremy.

“What do you want?” I asked, waiting impatiently to return my attention to the Big Game.

“It’s time for my violin recital,” he replied. “And you have to take me.”

I was shocked. I knew that I had a son named Jeremy who lived in my house, but I had no idea that he played violin. I was further dismayed to learn that the recital was not in the living room (in which case I could continue watching the Big Game), but rather at a concert hall about 20 miles away. This was going to be terrible, and I was very angry with my son for ruining my plans. Little did I know that the night would only get worse.

“Make a left here,” said Jeremy, as we turned into a parking lot. Immediately, he grabbed his violin case and ran into the building, leaving me virtually stranded in the parking lot to make small talk with the other parents.

“Hi, you must be Jeremy’s father,” one of the mothers said to me. “Your boy is so talented!”

“He better be,” I thought.

***

I went inside and took my seat. I was not excited for the show, but I was hoping that it would start soon so that it could end soon so that I could go home and get back to watching the Big Game. Dan from work would surely be watching every second of it, ready to come into the office tomorrow with clever quips about the ball players – and I would be left in the dust.

Finally, a woman walked onstage and introduced herself. “Hello, my name is Ms. Christine and I am the violin teacher,” she said. Other parents applauded politely, but I kept my hands fixed on my upper thighs as I glared directly at her. She did not seem to get the message, because she continued to prattle on for several minutes about how “proud” she was of the kids, even though she’s willing to teach any kid whose parents pay for lessons.

Before Jeremy got his turn onstage, I was subjected to a cacophony of torturous “musical” performances from a series of children so unskilled that I knew I would resent them well into their adult lives. The experience cast further doubt onto Ms. Christine’s already dubious claim that she was proud of ALL of her students.

[Q]uite frankly, I was not paying attention at this point, as I was trying to stream the Big Game on my phone.

By the time Jeremy mercifully got to perform, my expectations could not have been lower. I have little to say about his performance – quite frankly, I was not paying attention at this point, as I was trying to stream the Big Game on my phone.

On the way home, Jeremy had the nerve to ask me if we could stop for ice cream, as if he had somehow earned himself a treat. I sternly reminded him that if anyone was deserving of a frozen dessert treat, it ought to be me, as I just lost an evening. To get my point across, I stopped at his favorite ice cream parlor, ordered the rainbow sherbert he requested, and ate it in front of him on the way home.

Final grade: 1 ½ stars. You can afford to miss this one. ♦