My Inner Hick and I

A few years ago I read an article that claimed people should only allow themselves ten standing ovations in any given lifetime.

I believe the reasoning behind this societal Nazism was that standing ovations, like Taylor Swift and the phrase “I love you,” are becoming overplayed—watered down to the point of being practically meaningless anymore.

It was just the sort of hoity toity snobbery I bought into back then.

During the ensuing months, and for the next few years, I brooded my way through event after event, feeling smugly proud of myself for remaining in my seat at the conclusion of concerts I deemed sub-par, while my neighboring attendees anxiously leaped to their feet in eager, hearty praise.

“Ignorant fools,” I thought to myself, “Don’t they know they should only give out ten standing ovations throughout their lifetime? Ten only, and they’re wasting one on this garbage?”

“No way will I stand up for this,” I rationalised greedily, “Who knows what spectacular shows I will come across in my lifetime? I must be exclusive!”

Image (and prime example of what I’m talking about) from here.

I became the strictest of critics, never enjoying any affair quite enough to grace it with my standing ovation’s presence…

…Until one day it struck me that in five year’s time I had not stood for a single performance I’d attended.

Really? Really, Camille? In five year’s worth of performances, not one has risen high enough to meet—let alone exceed, heaven forbid—your expectations? And when was the last time you performed for an audience? Would your own performance have been stand-worthy? Surely not. All talk and no action, that’s what you’re made of. Sissy.

I realised that my bandwagon snobbery was not making the world a better place. By refusing to stand for anything but the best—the absolute best—of performances, I was not at the forefront of a brilliant crusade for human rights or poverty stricken countries or anything that meant anything at all. The only thing I was accomplishing was looking like a total jerk.

And feeling like one, too.

Sure, the cultural life in Mayberry is different than what I’m used to from my life in Mesa. Different, though—not worse. I am fascinated by the work and dedication people in this little town sacrifice in order to keep the arts alive—and what’s more, thriving! When I have kids, will I stay up till all hours of the night sewing costumes for their singing and dancing and ice skating competitions? Will I strive, like my parents strove, never to miss a performance? For goodness’ sake, will I deign to offer my own children one of my oh-so-precious standing ovations?

Being a yuppie is a nice dream. Being rich and elite and better than you—a nice idea, in theory.

But in practice? It’s not worth having my soul sucked out of my brain through my nose like the Ancient Egyptians did to their dead kings before the mummification process.

Maybe I’ll start standing more, and maybe you’ll watch me from your seated position beside me and think, “Ignorant fool, she lavishes her praise so freely she might as well get a room and make a few bucks on it, the applause whore.”

Maybe you’ll think that.

But I guess there’s nothing I can do about it.

I’m hanging up my snob hat and embracing my inner hick.

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
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9 Responses to My Inner Hick and I

  1. Geevz says:

    I think setting a limit on ovations is silly. But I also think a standing ovation for every performance or because everyone around you is standing is equally silly. Of course this sentiment may make me a snob.

  2. As a mother I can assure you I shall stand up for any great achievement my child puts forth, I hope this happens more then 10 times in her lifetime : ) I have to say I recognize the great effort the people performing have put out, they are braver then me, being up there performing in the first place. I am not supporting standing up for everything, there has been many times I scoffed at the idea of the people around me doing so. I am proud of you for coming around though, 5 years is a long time to not stand up for what people are pouring their heart into. I certainly don’t think it even remotely makes you a hick for doing so either…

  3. maureen says:

    The best line I’ve read in months: It’s not worth having my soul sucked out of my brain through my nose…

    :)

  4. Alaina says:

    I think you should give a standing ovation now at everything you go to. Even church. You know, the preacher stops talking, and you just stand up and clap? I think it’s a new trend you should definitely get going :-)

  5. HeatherPride says:

    Nah. Just embrace your inner sweet, encouraging, glad-you-put-out-the-effort, self!

  6. Alexa Mae says:

    I never knew this. Dangit!! Looks like I only have a few left. hehe I’m going to save them for something great. Did you know I adore you? Well I do. And your writing. I loved the Taylor Swift sentence. So true. Get a move on girl…and let us know when you give your very first standing ovation. ;)

  7. Hm, I don’t think you can really limit standing ovations, but I do feel many are given too freely. For example, high school plays are rarely deserving and yet seem to get it all the time. I didn’t feel that “I’m so wowed I need to stand up to express this” at the end of Westwood’s “Les Miserables,” but I did at the end of Broadway’s.

    Then, there are also the ovations that are brought on due to the wowing at, not necessarily the performance, but the family member. Case: my niece’s dance recital. It was pride and excitement that caused me to leave my seat (of course, not with the entire audience).

  8. Cristin says:

    I feel like a lot of standing ovations are because a small group start it and then everyone feels obligated. Then again, what’s wrong with making people feel good?

  9. Shesten says:

    Guess I’m a snob. I’ve probably only given one standing ovation in my whole life… I still applaud, and loudly if it’s good, but I never get outta my seat.

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