A Letter to Young, Theater-Going Parents

Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? A theater is no place for your three year-old, no matter how adorable or well-behaved you think he or she is. None whatsoever. Not even your six year-old, unless the performance is age-specific. You see, you may or may not realize it, but between birth and puberty—and then some—your child is intrinsically and irrevocably joined by the hip to Murphy’s Law. Yes, that precept that states something along the lines of “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

In a nutshell, this means that no matter how well behaved you think your child is. Or how much he or she has aunt Mildred’s eyes (and how that fact entitles him or her to your lap during a show beats the beep out of me). As soon as curtain call arrives, his or her formerly untarnished good behavior will instantly fail, very much in the same fashion as it will when you save enough dough to board that non-stop flight to Cancún to meet the new grandparents. And it will drive the rest of us batty, and pretty much sabotage the entire evening/flight for us. All the way from here to Cancún.

Nannies are somewhat connected to Murphy’s as well, and that doesn’t excuse you, either, should you experience unexpected nanny failure just as you are about to head out to the theater. Don’t make yourself miserable. Don’t make your child miserable! Stay home. After all, and thanks to the myriad morons who seem intent on capturing every second of the performance with their cell phones or tablets while one is trying not to be distracted by their bright screens and watch the show, you’ll be able to catch the whole shebang on YouTube the following day. (Rest assured, said morons get their very own letter in the near future…)

Yes, I’m probably going to burn in hell for saying this. I don’t care. Just in case they don’t have any live theater there, do let me enjoy my earthly live performances in peace. Movies, too.

Una Carta a Padres Jóvenes que Van al Teatro

Vayamos al punto, ¿no? Un teatro no es el lugar indicado para tu peque de tres años, no importa lo adorable o bien portado que pienses que sea. Tampoco para tu peque de seis, a menos que la presentación esté dirigida a dicha edad. Verás: aunque no te des cuenta, desde su nacimiento hasta la adolescencia—y más allá—tu hijo(a) está irrefutable e irrevocablemente ligado a la Ley de Murphy. Sí, ese precepto que dice algo así como “Todo lo que puede salir mal, saldrá mal.”

En pocas palabras, no importa lo bien que crees que se porta tu peque. O lo mucho que se parece a tu tía Sandrita (¿y eso qué?). En cuanto llegue la tercera llamada, su excelente comportamiento se desvanecerá instantáneamente ante tus propios ojos de la misma manera en que lo hará cuando logres ahorrar suficiente dinero para abordar en ese vuelo sin escalas a Cancún a conocer a sus abuelos. Y nos volverá locos a todos, y fastidiará la velada/vuelo irremediablemente. De aquí a Cancún. Sin escalas.

Las niñeras también están conectadas a la Ley de Murphy, lo que tampoco justifica que al dejarte plantada la tuya, te sientas con derecho a llegar al teatro con tu peque. No te arruines la noche. ¡No se la arruines a tu peque! Quédate en casa. Al fin y al cabo, y gracias a la bola de idiotas determinados en grabar cada segundo de la función con sus teléfonos celulares o tabletas mientras uno trata de que no lo distraigan sus brillantes pantallas al ver el espectáculo, podrás ver todo el asunto al día siguiente en YouTube. (No te preocupes, dichos idiotas también recibirán su carta propia…)

Ya sé que me iré al infierno por decir todo esto. No me importa. Por si no tienen espectáculos en vivo allá, mientras siga en este plano terrenal, por favor déjame disfrutarlos en paz. Y el cine también.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Bill Kelly says:

    Well, Paco, I totally agree with you about the juvenile ädults¨around me who constantly texted and taped and read their emails during the performance. I disagree with your generalized judgement about ALL children. The several around us {and yes, one of them was our dance student and another the young child of their dance teachers} were absolutely model audience members! It was a spectacular evening and I am sorry yours was marred by ´some´children….but most bad behavior around us came from so-called ádults¨!


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