|I had to include this photo because it reminds me of one of those Humans of New York photos if the photographer (me) were more talented and owned better equipment.|
So about a week ago, The Caterpillar started coming home talking excitedly about her upcoming "Red Carpet Event." I had no idea what this meant. So I asked her:
"What kind of event is it?"
"It's a Red Carpet Event."
"Yes, but what is the red carpet leading to?"
"Is there a movie? Or a performance?"
"No. It's a Red Carpet Event!"
"Yes, but usually the red carpet at an event leads up to something at the event, right? What will be there at the event?"
"A RED CARPET."
She stomped away like a teenager who's just had to explain Twitter to her aging grandmother.
At the Mother's Day program at school earlier in the month, her teacher took some time at the end to make an announcement about the Red Carpet Event. Oh goody, I thought, finally I'm gonna know what this Red Carpet Event is all about. The Kindergarten teachers all talked excitedly about how we were to dress our children up for the Red Carpet and come back to school at a time when my kids are usually getting ready for bed. They were to come dressed in all their finery - or perhaps dressed as what they want to be when their grow up - and "walk the red carpet."
"You can purchase press passes and you can take pictures of your children."
I finally had to ask, "Yes, but what's the event for?"
"Oh yes," she explained, "This is our annual fundraiser for next year's Kindergarten field trip. You see, each year, we do something to raise money for the upcoming Kindergarten classes so they can go on a really nice field trip in the upcoming year. It pays for the bus rental and some of the admission costs. Your children's' field trip this year was funded by last year's fundraiser. Last year's fundraiser was a talent show. This year we're doing a Red Carpet Event."
I muttered to some mom sitting next to me, "Right, but what's the Red Carpet for?"
"So they can dress up and walk down it. Then we can take pictures," the mom next to me said smiling broadly. I'm pretty sure I detected her actively trying not to roll her eyes.
I seemed to be creating a problem where there was none for anyone else. So I finally shut up. I figured there had to be more to the whole thing than just walking from one end of the room to the other on a red carpet and us paying for the privilege of watching it. I'd probably figure it out eventually.
So the fateful night came and, still not really knowing why, but because we were told to, we dressed The Caterpillar up in her party dress, paid $15 in admission for us three spectators (you got a discount on admission price if you purchased your tickets the morning of rather than showing up at the door to buy tickets), and headed off to the school. I dropped off The Caterpillar with her class, we choose seats in the cafeteria and sat down to listen to the teenage D.J. who'd been hired and was trying desperately to work the crowd into a frenzy while we waited for the Kindergarteners to make their appearance and finally bring to light of day the whole structure of this Thing in my mind.
They finally filed in (twenty minutes late because some parents weren't there yet and they "didn't want them to miss anything") and all the Kindergarteners stood in a line. Some of them mugged for the cameras. Ahem.
Then, one by one, they were each introduced by the Emcee,
and asked to speak their names into the microphone.
Then they strode down the red carpet to the end. Some had clearly worked on their model's walk, some waved to the cameras, some blew kisses.
And that, my friends, was the entirety of the Red Carpet Event.
There was actually a tiny bit more to it where all the kids gathered at the end and sang a song, which was neither mic'ed nor audible, despite the fact that a sound system had been featured prominently in the previous portion of the evening. I still don't know what song they sang; and when I asked The Caterpillar after to sing it to me again, she couldn't remember the words. I couldn't hear well nor see, due to the number of parents standing and attempting to video tape the whole thing on their iPads, thereby creating several small JumboTrons to look at, but all of which moved so frenetically to follow the action it made me dizzy to try and see on one of their screens. People trying to see the thing with their own, you know, eyes, couldn't see around the hands and heads and screens to actually view the performance. We finally gave up and sat down. Email to Principal: I hereby propose that all iPad users at future school concerts be corralled in a single corner of the room so they can block each others' view and not mine. Thankyouverymuch.
Afterward, The Caterpillar came running up to me, ecstatic. "This is the best day of my whole year!"
"Mine too, honey. Mine too!"