Common Courtesy and Concert Etiquette

Last night, after a busy and stressful day, my husband and I sat down in anticipation  of an evening full of wonderful music.  Our youngest son was on stage ready to perform in his third concert of the year.  The students work towards this evening event all year long.  He was dressed in his performance tuxedo and the girls were wearing their long black gowns.  It is quite the formal event.

As we sat, the young child in the section of the theater below us began to fuss, make noise and chatter… It was not constant, but it was loud, and it interrupted every single piece of music all evening long.  This same woman has brought this same child to every concert for the past two years….and we have sat.  Each time the child begins to fuss we say to ourselves we should go down there and speak to the mother.  We hear the grumbling of the other parents around us as this woman and her child ruin another hushed part of the piece of music and no one says anything.

Last night, after watching this mother ‘play’ with her child through another piece, my husband had had enough.  Between bands he walked down and asked her to leave because she was ruining the evening for everyone.  The first thing she said to him was ‘You are a dickhead’…. She did not leave. The man sitting behind her stood up and told him to get out of her face and that was it.  After the concert, other parents came up to Paul and thanked him for saying something.  The band director said he was so angry about it during the concert but didn’t know what to do at the time, and our son’s friends were very upset by this fussy child.

All of these people were upset, but not one knew what to do or wanted to put the themselves out there and cause a confrontation or a scene.  Everyone was trying to ignore it, but it was ruining the concert.  My husband ended up feeling like the bad guy as at least two people came to this woman’s ‘defense’…

This is the problem with our society now… We need to stand up for what is right and not just let something like this slide by… Every musician had worked very hard to be on that stage and they deserved to perform without a child making noise throughout the show. And, every parent deserved to sit and listen to their child perform without the distraction of that woman’s child. If you are sitting by this person it is your  responsibility to politely say something… It is not easy, we have all been there… But for her and the people who were with her, the show was not about the students or the families who came to enjoy the evening… It was about her and her baby and what she wanted for herself…. In an auditorium of almost a thousand people, how can she sit there and think it is fine? What are you teaching your children and what message are you sending to the rest of the world?   When your small child starts to fuss at an event, GET UP AND WALK OUT! The end.

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