I warned my friend (who has attended the opera with me for the past 20 years) that THIS would be the night. She's followed our blog--but I could tell she had mixed feelings about actually appearing in public with me wearing the coat. :) Still, she's a good sport, and loves an adventure.
I slipped the coat on as I left my office and walked down the street to the car, watching out of the corner of my eye for reaction. None.
Walking from the car-park to the Opera House, I watched out of the corner of my eye for reaction. None.
I asked my friend to take some photos near the reflecting pond in front of the Opera House.
We walked into the lobby and up the grand staircase. Not a head seemed to turn. Over to our favorite refreshment counter for a light supper. Nothing. I tried to maintain a pleasant, open expression: in the event someone thought about making a comment, I didn't want to seem off-putting. Nothing. Nada.
If we hadn't encountered two groups of friends (who said NOTHING until we brought it up), it would have felt like a complete bust. Oh--NOT the coat. The coat's marvelous. And "The Barber of Seville" was great fun, as always. No, just my excitement over the coming-out, and my fantasies of people ooh-ing and aah-ing. Silly me!
You'll chuckle over this: I'd even printed out, at the last minute, a little blurb to give to anyone who asked, explaining that Kaffe Fassett was the designer, that these were the original yarns for a design from the 90s, and that the full story could be seen on our blog.
I truly thought this would be the perfect venue, but maybe it wasn't. Perhaps the coat was just too over the top for the staid, traditional folks who attend opera. Maybe people were even a little embarrassed for me. This is ever-so-nice Seattle, after all.
THANK HEAVEN for one of the ushers who said, as I went by, "Your coat is FABULOUS!" That was the only unsolicited comment of the entire evening, in a full house that seats 3000. I could have hugged her!
Here's the good news: the coat was NOT swelteringly hot. In fact, it was very comfortable, and I never took it off. Because the neckline is open, and the coat fell open as I sat, it was never too warm. And my arms didn't seem to notice a bit all those pounds of wool and mohair surrounding them.
Anyway, I've made up my mind: this coat goes to the opera every January. But I also need to think of a better place to wear it--somewhere more artsy, where people will see the fun of it and not be embarrassed for me. Maybe our First Thursday Art-Walk. Maybe up on Broadway, or Fremont, or the University District.
Then again, maybe this just isn't the right town. Lulu, I hope you're making good progress on your Long Leaf Coat, because by next winter, I'll be ready to make our grand tour of Cities of the Frozen North: Montreal, Stockholm, Moscow (with detours to see all our wonderful friends who've been cheering us along).
So knit on! Buffy