A Night at the Opera

by Louise Yeiser

Last month, I saw the Pittsburgh Opera’s performance of Billy Budd. You would think that after having seen such a hauntingly beautiful opera, which tells such a profound and poignant sad-story, I would have something more relevant to write about other than the fact that I could sneak a whole jumbo-sized package of peanut M&M’s into the theater in my purse, and eat them, one by one, without crinkling the plastic wrapper, without rustling my purse, without squeaking my seat, without scrunching my body sideways, without chomping, and without lip-smacking, unlike my neighbor across the aisle who crinkled, rustled, squeaked, scrunched, chomped, and lip-smacked during the last half of the first act, and the entire second, turning heads and inspiring quiet tsk’s. My mother would have been proud, once she scraped herself off the ceiling at the thought of one of her daughters actually eating a snack in the theater during a real, live performance. “It simply isn’t done,” I can hear her say in my ear, her voice dripping with benevolent disapproval. Oh, well. Life is full of little trade-offs.

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Louise Yeiser, author of Sparkles, is a published writer and student of creative nonfiction who likes to sing passionate arias to her Mastiffs (who pay no attention whatsoever).