Monday, October 24, 2005

Of Cultural (un)Awareness

Dear Jay,

As long as you're collecting tales of cultural gaffes — "Da Vinci" instead of "Leonardo" — try this one.

I'm 20 years old, ignorant as a post about classical music, but have been given two tickets to a concert by our local orchestra and figure, here's my chance to really impress a rather more sophisticated girl I've had my eye on for some time. I pop the question to her over the phone. Would she like to come to the concert with me?

"Perhaps," she answers. "Do you have any idea what music they're going to be playing?"

Uh . . . Furiously scanning both sides of the tickets for any hints, I try to sound offhand as I say, "Oh sure, I think they're going to be playing something by Mezzanine."

She laughed, but God bless her, she went on the date with me.

From Jay Nordlinger's mailbag.