Monday, March 21, 2011


There are times in a relationship when you sacrifice for someone else.
Sometimes, that means giving up your favorite chair, going to the movie you didn't want to see, cooking a dinner you'd rather not eat. It just happens.

Other times, it's an art festival. One you really, really want to go to, and one your husband volunteers to attend . . . with gritted teeth.

Now, when I say Art Festival, I imagine it being sort of like the ones I attended in the Fondren District of Jackson, MS during my college years--great food, musical performances on every corner, awesome knick knacks and artistic creations. It was the most relaxing but energizing evenings. I went home with creative juices pumping and totally refreshed because, you see, there was still good, pure art in the world fed by starving artists. Aah, it was beautiful.

Sunday, the opportunity arose to visit the Winter Park Art Festival  accompanied by some members of the church small group I've started attending (I have one friend outside of family--ONE--and she's leaving for Indonesia in July so I have to start stocking up on spiritual growth and social graces . . . and people . . . I need people in my life . . . ). I was ecstatic. Oh to relive my Fondren days! To be engulfed in the creative spirit! When I told Chris my plans, he looked at me, sighed, then said, "All right. I'll go, too, but only because I don't want you to be alone." You see, my sweet husband knows my directional limitations and wanted to be sure I came home that night and wasn't abandoned beside a display of perplexing modern sculpture.

Chris's coming might not sound like a big deal . . . but the man is not into art. In his own words, he's "glad it exists" but his choice of how to spend a relaxing weekend afternoon? Not on your life.

What no one had told me was that Winter Park is not Fondren. I already know that WP is one of the wealthier (if not the most) area in Central Florida, but I did not know that this art festival drew the populous of Disney World on any given weekend. Walls of packed bodies all trying to go different directions. They've brought with them their grandmothers, mothers, great aunt mildreds, uncle howies, nieces, nephews, the whole lot. It smells of smoked meats and B.O. You can't talk about the things you're looking at because you're so busy muttering "excuse me" every ten seconds.
Then there's the art. Stunning, really, I loved the Terminator-resembling sculptures, the 2D and 3D combined art, all the wackiness, creativity, and talent that goes into creating something fantastic. But there are price tags. Lots and lots of price tags. Tags with BIG numbers on them. So many more numbers than I could imagine being attached to a piece of glass. Seriously?! That much?? Starving artists are a myth, I swear.  And, as you're admiring these creations, feeding on the inspiration, there's someone in the booth, a vulture, staring you down pulsing the message "Buy something, buy something, spend your life savings, now, spend it now, spend it now" so that you feel it's a sin to walk away empty-handed and with a full wallet.

After thirty minutes, Chris had had more than enough. Heck, I had had more than enough. But there was a problem: we carpooled. Our car was back at the church five miles away.  Chris finally poked me in the arm. "Can I leave? Please?"
"Sure, hon. I'll never ask you to do this again."
"No, you won't" he said, smirking. Chris is rather accomplished in the art of the smirk.
The young lady we had ridden with produced her keys. "Want these? So you can listen to the radio or something?"
"No, I'm good," he said, and disappeared in the sweltering crowd.

So I walked around with the group, looking at every single display. I did not want to see every display. I had seen enough pretty much the moment I noticed the price tags. That and I wanted to spend more time at some of the more bizarre displays and less around the ginormous beaded jewelry and pottery. See, pretty things are great, really, but you can kind of look at them and walk away. Other things--like the Terminator-resembling sculptors--you want to look at and study. I didn't really do that for fear of being separated. So for over an hour, we weave, huff, puff, wander, ooh and aah. Sweat's running down my back, my neck is hurting, my throat is beyond parched, my shoe is coming off but I can't stop and fix it for fear of being trampled or lost, I can feel my shoulders burning even through the sunscreen. Still, on I trudge. For the sake of art!!!

Finally, we're back at the car, and there is no Chris. No where. Not inside, not on top, not below, not beside. So I call him. Second try and he picks up. "Honey, where are you?"
"I'm at the car."
"No, you're not. I'm at the car."
"Sarah, I'm in my car."
"You're WHAT?!?!"
"Yeah, I'm sitting in my car, waiting for you."
"How did you get there?!"
"I walked."
"Yeah. I'm a fast walker."
"No kidding. Well, I'll see you there then."

Yes, it's true, the man walked his way back to his beloved old Mustang, past the crowds, the art, five miles down the road.  "New rule," he said when we met up, "Always, always, ALWAYS will we drive ourselves."

I couldn't stop laughing at him. Something about the fact that he hated the festival so much, hated carpooling so much, and wanted his independence that badly made me love him a little more, I think.

And no, I'm not going to the festival next year. I'll stick to museums. At least they're air conditioned ;]

1 comment:

  1. gotta respect a man who will walk 5 miles for his American independence encapsulated in a Mustang!


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