Sol LeWitt Opening

Last weekend M and I went to the opening of the exhibition he worked on for 6 months of this year. My cousin (thanks R!!) came down to babysit, and gave us her car to use to get back/forth to North Adams. So nice not to worry about kids or transportation!

I, as usual, left the clothing issue till the last minute. No dresses suitable for an afternoon art opening that morphed into an evening dinner/dance/Steve Reich performance with lots of museum patrons and old money and artists. I had a black dress I'd bought for some wedding over 10 years ago, and felt ill-at-ease in it. I had to feel comfortable. I went mad dress shopping with R the afternoon before we left, and ended up settling on a red calvin klein satin thing that was cute but not perfect. Red's not quite my thing, but the black version was a size too big. I got black heels too, as the only wearable shoes I had at home were navy blue pumps and there was nary a blue thing in my closet. Black shoes and a red dress didn't make me happy, but I was desperate.

Once I got up to MA, after leaving R with a fridge that wasn't working and needed defrosting (why this happens to us all the time I have no idea, but it does.) and taking forever to get out of the house, I was able to relax a bit. At this point I really started having issues with the dress. I knew my obession was driving M a bit nuts, but if you're a women who rarely dresses up, you probably know what I mean. I had to feel comfortable, sexy, and not too conspicuous. I'm not a stand out of the crowd dresser, but I don't want to be totally nondescript either. The red was too strong, didn't work with the shoes, and too formal and not funky enough.

So Goodwill it was. Saturday morning after my run (delicious to run familiar hills again, remembering what they felt like pre-marathon) we went to the Goodwill that I'd frequented while we lived there, and used for things like toys and kitchen stuff. It's small, and I didn't have much hope of finding something wearable and appropriate, but figured it was worth checking and almost anything was better than the red dress at that point. I prayed on the way over, and then started shuffling thru the racks. I found a couple things that I could bear to try on, but no real hopes. The all bombed out. I took one last pass thru the store, and on the end of a row of black pants found something that looked strange. It was a skirt, misfiled, that was almost floor length, black of course, and fitted with slits up the side. A bit of hope. Over to the tops rack, a couple different black tops, and I snuck back into the dressing room. It all worked, and I was comfortable! I couldn't decide between the tops, and so got both. At 2.99 apiece it wasn't hard. With an umbrella as it was pouring rain and we had none, the total came to 11.99. Not bad!

We grabbed a quick lunch and then home to change. I ended up wearing the semi-sheer top with it, as I actually had almost perfect underwear to go with it, and strapped on the heels and was ready to go. The heels took a bit of getting used to, especially on my beat-up-missing-4-toenails feet that were still a bit sore from the marathon. When we walked in the door I was SOOO glad I wasn't wearing the red. I felt perfectly comfortable, and except for some underwear slippage that I won't detail any further, it was perfect! (the red dress was returned yesterday, and I grabbed a movie and groceries with the refund.)

I don't have any pictures of the galleries as I didn't want to be burdened with the camera and forgot to bring a purse. They can all be seen here. Michael worked mostly on the scribble ones, and on a couple painted ones which you can see in timelapse here if you want, with lots of blurry Michael. We wandered around in the crowds, and he answered some questions as he was recognized due to his mustache and it's visibility in the installation video playing in one of the rooms. A few famous faces, lots of familiar ones, and seeing the work cleaned up and finished was a delight. They only served champagne, white wine, and water as any red wine spills would have been rather disastrous.

Then on to dinner, in a red-draped room full of the patrons, installers, and the museum/yale crowd. We were placed at a table with an art historian, some patrons, and I'm not sure who else. I had a ball talking to the lady to my left, whose kids were grown and who reminded me a bit of one of my aunts. We yakked for ages. I didn't have much to say in the art parts of the conversation, as that was Michael's territory, except for one comment that I couldn't keep in. One of those times when I have something to say that I have to get out before I forget, except I didn't know what I was going to say until I opened my mouth. I had the feeling, but not the words. That happens occasionally ... well often if you count the times I just babble, but this time I actually was able to describe something (the difference between Sol's work and someone like Miro) in a way that was succinct-ish and made sense. Perhaps the wine helped?

The food was good but not stunning, and before dessert there was a peformance by Steve Reich. I'm not fond of his music, but it was better in person than recorded. Incredibly repetitive, with slight variations, and a perfect match for Sol's work. My neck hurt from craning around in my seat to watch. He did a clapping piece which I enjoyed, and then an 8-bongo piece that taxed my patience.

Dancing came next, and while it took me awhile (and a trip to the bar) to work up my nerve (I'm SO selfconscious) I had a most excellent time. The cleared the tables, and I eventually decided I didn't care, felt the music, and ditched my shoes. I think I danced more than Michael, which is a bit of a miracle as he's a bit of a dancing fiend when he has the chance. He found the music not quite to his liking so he spent some time talking too. I managed to get his boss to come out on the floor for a few minutes which took a bit of convincing, and it made me laugh because he spent the whole time analyzing it instead of dancing, which is so me it was funny. I was able to enjoy rather than overthink it for once :).

Can you tell I enjoyed myself?! We both had an excellent time, and reconnecting with the friends we'd both made up there was great.

We didn't get to bed till very late, and had a hard time getting out of town the next morning as we went to get breakfast, picked wild grapes I'd spotted on my run the day before, returned keys to the free apt we'd gotten (!), found the left-behind sweater, resaid goodbyes as we kept running into people, and stopped at the farm to pick up raw milk and cheap maple syrup. We were pretty late returning the car to R, who had a long drive home, and hopefully she's gotten caught up on sleep herself. I haven't enjoyed myself that much in years I don't think.