ms. fresh fish

Vows, snakes and Babs…
October 16, 2006, 2:01 pm
Filed under: general

… what a weekend.

I was asked by the groom of Saturday’s wedding, over spilling glasses of wine on our bus-trip back to Montreal after the grand event, what would take precedence on the blog today: his wedding or Barbra Streisand? Ouch. As if he would doubt?! While the choice was, and is, obvious, he and his most lovely bride are currently lying on a beautiful Mexican beach (or going crazy at the breakfast buffet, I suppose), I am going to refrain from blogging about their wedding until they return. Suffice it to say, it was a beautiful day, despite the snake at dinner.

Now to Babs… oh Babs. First of all, disclaimer: I went for my sister. For as long as I can remember, my sister who is ten years my senior, has LOVED Barbra Streisand. My sister is the kind of woman who LOVES John Tesh and Delila and Love Songs at Night. Most of you won’t know what those things are, but those of you who do, now know my sister. She has fresh flowers all of the time and lets nothing into her house that isn’t pretty – function is a far secondary concern. Case in point: Her dishwashing liquid is in a beautiful red corked bottle that stands approximately two and half feet high. Ridiculous to use, but so stylish.

Her one dream has not been to get married; it wasn’t even to have kids (although she’s doing the former and has done the latter). Her dream was to see Barbra Streisand live. It’s funny how you begin to absorb the dreams of those people closest to you. It’s not that I wanted to go see her so much as I needed my sister to go see her – by any means necessary. Thank goddess she came to Montreal. 

Anyway, as many of you know, this is a difficult feat considering the woman never tours and hasn’t been in Canada for forty years (the only concert she ever performed in Canada was Winnipeg?!).  When the tickets went on sale, her fiancé did not hesitate. He secured two at an ungodly price and then pawned one off on me so that he could watch football. Clever, clever man.

What a spectacle. She is a true diva. She glided along the stage in gowns with beautifully simple hair and manicure in such a delicate and precise fashion and somehow convinces you that she probably does the exact same thing at home – the gown and all. She spoke between every song and apparently didn’t sing her most popular songs, rather those broadway tunes that she hadn’t sung since the sixties. She says things like “Can you imagine?” to rumours that she stiffs cab drivers. Then she laughs about how she doesn’t take cabs. Shameless. Hilarious.

She’s a democrat to the core, fighting, advocating and funding for programs and policies that promote equality and tolerance, and yet shamelessly charges an OBSCENE amount of money for her tickets and merchandise ($50 for a t-shirt, $25 for a mug), which people nevertheless mob for and buy multiple products (seriously, it was complete insanity). All of these seeming contradictions work for her somehow. She’s a diva with a conscience. She’s not going to slum it, or make tickets affordable and her music accessible. She’s going to have the most finely coiffed audience this world has ever seen, who LOVE love her despite her sigh of annoyance at having to do one… more… song.

But still, her voice is something else. Despite not knowing 90% of the songs, she is still enthralling and gave me shivers on numerous occasions. She inspires passion, as evidenced by the frantic people around me. The sweet guy next to my sister had bought a new leather jacket just for the show and was close to tears because the people behind us were unbelievably irritating and would not stop talking, until my sister gave it to them.

I am not sure that it was the cathartic concert of a lifetime that my sister bet I would find it and it surely was far more of a transcending experience for my sister than I, as it should have been.  Nevertheless, the woman puts on a great show and I now feel that I am a part of a new sub-culture, that is finely coiffed, cheezy, but essentially a group of die hard romantics and eternal optimists and really, doesn’t everyone need those people every now and again?

Because you know… people who need people… they are the luckiest peo… nevermind.


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