Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Day My Singing Career Was Shattered

John the choir director is in the dog house. Last month when I gave him his haircut, he asked me to step down from my duties as soloist for the Easter Triduum. He waited until after I was finished shaving his neck to foist this bad news upon me.  Men!!

Friends, I know I am getting up there in age, but my soprano is still as strong as ever. I pretended that the news didn't hurt my feelings, and acted very gracefully, but my feelings were hurt. Getting old hasn’t been easy for me, some days are better than others.  I came home from choir practice that night and I was so upset. I think the neigbors heard me crying since I forgot to close my kitchen window like I usually do when I practice my scales and my Gilbert and Sullivan Arias.

To make things worse, at choir rehearsal just last week, the teeny bopper  Kayla Savinski (who has it out for me ever since her Mom and my Betko were rival honor students in '62) made a comment to the entire alto section about how: "Maureen's breath is ungodly today," and boy did that really make me feel like two cents. I had forgotten my tin of mints, and Josie makes her pagatch with so much garlic, even one piece before quire practice turned me deadly.  Come now, my breath is always heavenly, but the kids today want to hold this one night of too much garlic against me in such embarassing and public ways!  I wouldn't be surprised to see it on youtube soon.  All the world would see my shame and dejection.  It would register clear on my face, and my tears would begin to flow. 

I notice a gradual decline in the respect I get from younger folk.  Maybe it's my cane?  Maybe it's my staunch high brow?  I don't know, but whatever the case may be, I took her aside at a rehearsal break and whispered some mean things to her, and concluded by calling her a little *bleep* (shit.)   It is so unlike me to use salty  language, and in Church of all places, but I felt so cut to the quick, that I had to become confrontational.

And then later on in that rehearsal, it was announced that she (not me) was going to be singing the solo this year!  So much for the jokes about bad breath!  Those paled in comparison to how I felt about  losing a coveted singing role during the services of Lent and Eastertide at our newly merged church St. Cunegunde's.

How could John-John do that to me in public? I have been the church soloist for at least 25 years, regaling everyone at St. Chmielowski's  each year with my rendition of He Shall Feed His Flock Like A Shephard from the Georg Frederic Handel masterpiece called The Messiah.  And then churches everywhere began to merge.  The least my music director could do is warn me beforehand with a phonecall, but he didn't. Of all the people to choose, he gave the solo to Kayla, who, to this day will never look me in the eye when she addresses me!  A thin slip of a girl with a bony neck and overbite who wears white shoes in December.  Now she’s the soloist and I’m not, and thy will be done.

But those haircuts for JohnJohn are going to stop.  With no other practical form of retribution available to me, I prayed to God that she would get laryngitis for her solo at the Easter Triduum, and lo and behold, she did!  I made sure to brush and floss for the service so my breath was as fresh as a daisy and beyond reproach, but when she sang her solo unto the Lord, Kayla Savinski sounded like sandpaper!  Thank you for answering my prayers, Dear Lord.

Yours too, In the Love of Christ,
Mrs. Walter J. Katsellas, Jr.

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