Last night, we went to the Nashville Opera to see Bizet's Carmen. Carmen was my first opera 24 years ago, when I was 16 years old. (I chose the opera as a reward for having the highest grade in Spanish 2 class. How, I have no idea. Please do not ask me to say anything in Spanish.) Last night, while watching the story unfold on the stage, I realized just how much that performance 24 years ago impacted me. Carmen is a force of nature. A free spirit who has no use for rules or convention. That dark haired gypsy girl is mesmerizing. When she sings "if I love you, you're playing with fire", you know that she means it. But you also know that her warning is pointless because everyone fell in love with her the moment she walked onto the stage.
That smirk on my face is the answer to a conversation that had been happening on this rooftop before the opera. The sun was setting behind me, a plastic cup of wine in hand. I told my husband that this moment was going to be my favorite memory of the night. Not the expensive dinner that we had eaten previously. Or the opera that we were getting ready to see. He shook his head and said 'You have got to be kidding.' And my answer is on my face. Nope. You can take a girl out of the country, and plant her in the middle of a city, but you can never rewrite all of the details that make her who she is. I love visiting art museums. Listening to the symphony. Attending operas. Concerts. But if I never got to do those things again, barbeque and wine in a plastic cup while watching a sunset would suit me just fine.