Monday and Wednesday the Russian State Ballet with the Siberian Orchestra were performing at the New Theatre in Oxford. I’m a sucker for ballet, pretty much for all types of dance, and as soon as I saw that a Russian ballet company was going to be in Oxford, I immediately booked tickets last term, one for each night. Sounds a little crazy, but the first night was Giselle and the second night was Sleeping Beauty and the tickets were so cheap it was hard to turn them down.
Kelsi came with me on Monday night so beforehand she, Janosz, and I went to Jamie’s Italian where we were heartbroken when they told us they were out of this amazing sounding butternut squash soup. Positively heartbroken. So heartbroken, in fact, that we ended up all ordering something with truffles in it (okay, the two are completely mutually exclusive). Kelsi and I had these drinks called Rossinis which are champagne and strawberry puree.
The drinks at the Grand Cafe are better and cheaper. But it was kind of a splurge night so we figured why not?
Giselle was beautiful; Kelsi described it as sweet and could predict that I would like that ballet. Apparently I look sweet and would therefore like sweet ballets. Our tickets were the student priced, cheaper seats with a bar in the middle of our viewing field, making them “restricted view” and hence so cheap. But it wasn’t sold out and Kelsi found some seats in the front row of the balcony that no one had purchased, so we got great seats for the price of not so great ones. Score 😉 I won’t bore anyone with details about the experience of watching the ballet, but I will say that the ballerina who played Giselle had the most incredibly beautiful feet and clean footwork.
Sleeping Beauty was an entirely different experience. First of all, I went alone. That didn’t bother me at all; by this time I was freaking out and exhausted already and don’t know how great of a socializer I would have been anyway so it may have been a good thing to get some alone time. At least, until women starting sitting around me whom I could only describe as “middle aged biddies.” You know that song in The Music Man, “Cheep a Little, Talk a Little”? Imagine that constantly unless the ballet was in process. And because it was actually sold out that night, I couldn’t move seats to a better and nonrestricted view. The dancers themselves were not as good as the ones from the other night, though I did recognize a few and the girl who danced Aurora was lovely. It was definitely not the ballet I was expecting; it had a lot of walking around and people dancing these little duets that made no sense. Like one pas de deux was a pair of poodles. On pointe. Weird. I think I prefer Giselle.
Friday night, aka last night, was a night on the completely opposite end of the social spectrum. Yep, it was Crew Date #2! This time with the St. Peter’s Rowing Team who for some reason has a massive one-sided grudge/rivalry with Teddy Hall. I thought we were supposed to meet at the college at 7:30 so I walk there from Iffley…and no one is there. I wait about five minutes. Still no one. I get out my phone to call the girls, and realize that I don’t have anyone’s phone number. Not the brightest move on any of our parts. One of the guys ended up meeting me outside and he and I talked for about 20 minutes just the two of us while we waited for the girls to finally show up. We ended up being outnumbered 5 girls to 8 guys, leading them to be borderline insulting by asking a few random girls to come on the crew date with us. That continued through to at the actual restaurant, dropping them so many points so quickly.
I didn’t have the best time, to be entirely honest. Out of the 8 guys, maybe three or four of them were actually nice and/or funny, one of whom kept me laughing most of the night as he was practically a one-man comedy show and then he later GAVE me his tie (I did NOT steal it) but by the end of the night forgot to take it back and now I am in possession of another piece of men’s neck ware. I’m pretty sure that was his intention though because he has already texted me about getting it back. But other than that, the guys were kind of insulting. They kept trying to get me to drink, even after I made it clear that I wasn’t drinking and hinted that it may have been for medical reasons, and it came to them literally almost forcing it down my throat. They didn’t seem to realize that the more people pressure me to do something, the more stubborn I get and the less likely I am to do it. So thank to them, I ended the night completely sober, though I highly doubt that those particular guys would ever be able to put two and two together.
And that is kind of how those guys acted all night, pretty much ruining what could have been a fun crew date. They made fun of my accent, which I had my friends clarify today that I do not have an accent especially not the horribly imitated Valley Girl from “Cali” accent they tried mimicking, refused to believe me that I had an important academic call to make at midnight, one threatened to take away my phone so that I couldn’t make the phone call, they surrounded me and really pushed into my personal space to the point where I pushed them away, and then continued to make fun of me and make completely sexual comments that I am so not repeating here. I mean I know that they were drunk and that this was their poorly executed attempts to hit on me, but it was so unattractive and just…douchy. Other than those few cool guys I mentioned earlier, the highlight of my night was hanging out and chatting outside with this other guy who wasn’t even on the crew date. No hitting on me, no insults, no crudeness, just general conversation and apologizing for his jerks of friends. I wish he had been on the crew date. Him, tie-guy, and maybe one other and it would’ve been a fun night.
Maybe I was just spoiled after how amazing I thought the Keble crew date was last term, but I am really glad that I have more crew dates coming up to redeem the concept.
And yes, I made my call at midnight while wearing a tie.