I have very high standards; these were once accompanied by high aspirations, but over time the latter faded while the former has not weakened one bit. I fully expect all conversation not pertinent nor constructive to the music at hand to be left at the door. At a choir rehearsal, I feel that one should be there to work through the music until problems are solved, comfort is found, and wonderful (dis)harmonies grow. I like focus. I like having gotten some damn solid work done during those two to four hours.
I wonder if this dislike of chatter, perhaps, a remnant of the discipline in my ballet days.
Combined with my sensitivity over my hearing, it makes Vespers rehearsals very, very difficult to put up with. As people talk ("I got 3 for 5 at Old Navy!") and more people join in, the general din grows and grows and grows.
It's exceptionally bad this year. People shout from the balconies, and tonight people were screaming and doing the Wave for a good five minutes. Even worse, I stand in front of some exceptionally irritating boys who spout off commentary with every breath they take.
Before the director talks, after the director talks, before songs, after songs, during songs; during every waking moment these idiots believe that they are damn witty. It's getting to a point where people have been asking them to be quiet and the soprano section leader demands silence. To this, they laugh and make yet more snide remarks.
Tonight was a bad night for me, as I still cannot balance my weight on my left leg. The knee grows increasingly swollen and stiff through rehearsal, and my right leg/hip inevitably gets tired of compensating for the other's inability to carry my pounds. Something large pops in my right hip almost every time I take a stride, which gets me mighty cranky after awhile.
Add to this my strong dislike for excess talk and the stupid boys, and confrontation becomes inevitable. I lost patience and another thread of self-control. I turned, snapped "Guys, be quiet," and faced front again in quite a mood.
The main instigator (hereafter known as Mr. Oblivious) was, surprisingly, silent. An entire song passed without some asinine word wasting! Alas that this was not to continue: Mr. Oblivious tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention, and started lecturing me.
He had the nerve (or just plain inability to perceive the situation correctly) to feel as though he was the victim in the situation. With appalling sincerity he told me that although he could "understand" my frustration (so why don't you shut up already?), there were nicer ways of telling people to be quiet.
I was quite incensed. People have asked nicely before, and yet they persist! I told him that given that sort of behavior, the only way to get our request across is to make it bluntly!
He also told me that just because I was upset, I should not make him feel upset. I told him that yes I was upset, and I didn't give a damn. (Really, as far as I'm concerned, at this stage in the game how he feels is irrelevant.) After that, I turned around and did not speak to him again. His chatter, of course, increased.
After rehearsal, a friend and I stepped aside with the soprano section leader to talk about the situation, to hopefully find a way to resolve it. We sat on the risers ... lo and behold, Mr. Oblivious waltzed up in front of us and stood there. I was utterly horrified by this ... he was correct in sensing that we were discussing him, but it was damned rude to just stand there as though he could listen in on what was clearly a private conversation! If he wanted to eavesdrop, he could have been subtle about it.
I lost another thread of self-control and rose to my feet. "GO AWAY," I said. "GO AWAY!! I DON'T WANT TO TALK TO YOU!!!" He did not seem to move, so by golly I did. I walked right out of that auditorium to cool my heels for a few minutes, away from him.
No resolution has been reached yet, but as I have choir tomorrow, I'm sure something will happen. I can't silence three hundred useless voices with duct tape, but if I can shut just one up, I will feel as though I have perversely accomplished something with this concert.