Spending the kicker, part one…

Tonight, I took my daughter to downtown PDX and spent a nice chunk of change creating memories for her. While I was at it, I created a budding gourmand, a crystal connoisseur, a praise-aholic and a groupie. And to borrow a line from that oft-quoted MasterCard commercial, well – the end result was priceless.

See, two years ago, I took my then-seven year old to see The Nutcracker. And although she had a great time then (complete with the fist in the air and the chanting of ‘Nut-Crack-ER! Nut-Crack-ER! during the encore) – she didn’t really feel like going back for a repeat this year.

Yet I wanted to do something special with her for the holiday season – and, thanks to the kicker check I got yesterday, I was prepared to put a little cash down to make it happen. My kids get things all year round, so I’m not really into gift-giving or getting more ‘stuff’ for them. And then there’s that whole pesky ‘Jewish kids don’t really celebrate Christmas, don’t you know’ bit. But there’s no escaping the Christmas onslaught, really – so I settled on taking my music-loving kid who’s in her school chorus and adores Stevie Wonder to see the Gospel Christmas concert tonight with the Oregon Symphony. (I’d wanted to go to this annual event myself ever since I got to PDX, as I’m a long-time gospel music fan and even used to host a gospel show on college radio back in the day, so I was glad she agreed to go with me, actually.)

But, first – we must dine in style! So off we went to Southpark, where we sat in the bar area, ordered an assortment of small plates, and the kid discovered that she likes manchego cheese, steamed clams, and Singing Pig greens, hold the gorgonzola (I already knew the assorted olives and the accompanying fruit on the cheese plate would both be big hits.)

Next, it was off to the Schnitz, where my pale Jewish child got her praise on in a way that, well, wasn’t quite like the evangelical Christian counterparts we were surrounded by in the upper balcony. She thoroughly loved it, much to the delight of our neighbors – but let’s just say I didn’t divulge the fact that her groove thing wasn’t necessarily shaking ’cause she was moved by the spirit!

After that? Dessert, of course (school night be damned!) So off to the Heathman we went, where the girl ooohed and aaahed over the crystal chandelier in the fireplace room, behaved herself amidst all the adults, and got her assortment of ice cream while I sipped a bourbon and snagged her biscotti.

And the cherry on top of the whipped cream on top of the sundae? Happened when the conductor Charles Floyd walked into the room just as we got up to leave. Of course, my not-shy child walked right up to thank him for leading the show. Of course, he had some kind words to say right back to her.

And with that, I pulled my floating-on-air and too-full-of-ice-cream kid out the revolving doors of the Heathman and into her waiting chariot to drag her into bed already.

Yep, it was a splurge (six fifty for ice cream? buying symphony tickets for a nine year old?). And it was Worth. Every. Penny.

3 Comments so far

  1. McAngryPants (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 7:58 am


  2. Mick (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 8:25 am

    Wow! Nice job!

  3. Jennifer Heath (unregistered) on December 10th, 2007 @ 9:56 pm

    This post tickles and delights like the Nutcracker ballet itself.

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