I IS FOR TRADITION
In honor of ChefGrace's International Food Day, we did Italian dinner tonight. While we were waiting for the customary "green noodles" (Spinach Fettucini Alfredo), TinyTuna turns to me and says, "Are we EVER going to see Fiddler on the Roof again?
First of all, the question was totally out of the blue. Secondly, it was asked in a tone dripping with pathos and self-pity, implying that I had willfully disregarded the articles of the Geneva Convention and had been withholding this film as some sort of cruel and unusual punishment. I half-expected forces from both the U.N. and the International Red Cross to storm the restaurant with a videotape and box of Jr. Mints.
So, she asks again. It makes as little sense the second time as the first time. Oh. But then I wonder, could she possibly be bringing up, yet again, the fact that some four-odd years ago we left a high school production of Fiddler during intermission, causing massive wailing and gnashing of teeth? On the off-chance that this is not the case, I don't bring it up (because I don't want to hear it again), and I return to my pat response of
Finally, totally confused, I add, "but we have Fiddler on the Roof. You can watch it whenever you'd like. You can go home and watch it tonight if you'd like." She shoots, she scores! TinyTuna is happy! Home we go. Pajamas on. Cue the film!
TinyTevye starts in on the routine. Although we haven't watched this movie in quite some time, she is reciting lines as if this is the two-hundredth consecutive viewing. She and Tevye shimmy with outstretched arms and wish to be a "Rich Man". She does a solo interpretive ballet to "Sabbath Prayer". She joins the Russian dancers in "To Life", but somehow consistently massacres the word Lachaim even though I keep repeating it. She sits on the couch wrapped in her blanket and plaintively sings "Sunrise, Sunset" and then hops up to perform the perennial audience favorite: The pajama-clad version of the "Bottle Dance".
As she crawls into bed we discuss the more difficult issues of the movie. Why the Russian soldiers come in and destroy the wedding. Why people are mean to each other. Why the Captain warned Tevye and then turned around and became part of the mob. These are big issues for a little kid. I tuck her in and promise she can watch the rest tomorrow. She rolls over to go to sleep and I start to go, relieved that she hasn't busted me in the chops again for the Kindergarten-era transgression.
"I was really disappointed though, when we had to leave that play early," she mumbles as I reach the door.
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