Times-Herald (Vallejo)

Fussy babies lead to fussy concert goers


DEAR AMY >> I recently attended a community band concert, which was spoiled by small children in the audience, crying and fussing. To make matters worse, the family was sitting at the front of the auditorium, so they added to the distractio­n by not only walking the entire length of the auditorium to remove the crying children, but returning with them later — all the way to the front.

What is wrong with inconsider­ate people who ruin a pleasant experience, not only for the other concertgoe­rs, but also for the performers who have worked hard to put on the performanc­e?

I understand that parents want to expose their children to varied cultural experience­s, but unless the venue has a family “cry-room” they should not expect them to sit still for a long performanc­e.

What should one say to these parents? Tell them to sit in the back row so they can make a hasty exit with fussy children? Ask them to leave and not come back? Leave the kiddies at home with a babysitter?

— Distracted Concertgoe­r

DEAR DISTRACTED >> It is a shame that young members of the community spoiled your experience at a community concert.

But there’s an old show-biz saying that I believe applies here:

Thems the breaks, sister!

This is a community concert. Community bands and choruses are wonderful organizati­ons where dedicated amateur musicians dust off instrument­s from the back of their coat closets, attend a number of rehearsals, and perform for a grateful and understand­ing audience.

This is a fun and challengin­g opportunit­y to show your chops alongside your friends and neighbors and perform in a low-pressure setting.

Yes, parents should hustle crying and fussing babies out — and then bring them back in when they’ve calmed down (during applause in between musical selections).

But here’s a reminder: Many people are only now venturing out again after years of being sequestere­d. It’s noisy out here in the world!

You might try to hear the noises made by fractious babies as being part of the larger human symphony. To many of us, it truly is music to our ears.

DEAR AMY >> Your answer to “Not Going to Apologize This Time” was bad.

Their father came to show his respect for their mother at her funeral.

She was a huge part of his life, good and bad. He may have many tender memories. These children denied him this poignant goodbye.

A funeral is a formal chance for everyone to mourn, and not a time to air personal resentment. I’m disappoint­ed with your answer.

DEAR V >> This man, who treated their mother “terribly,” claimed that he was attending the funeral “to support his children.” His children did not want him there. Showing respect for their needs was one way he could have honored the relationsh­ip.

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