I’ve seen hundreds of stage productions. Musicals, comedies, concerts, dramas, ballets, recitals. Professional and amateur, and somewhere in-between.
Lots of exposure –to lots of stuff.
You might assume, then, that I’d make a pretty good arts critic, what with having seen the best and worst stages have to offer.
You’d be wrong.
I certainly have my favorites –A Chorus Line five times, The Phantom of the Opera, six. And those which I’ve sat through only in justification of the ticket’s cost –The Iceman Cometh cometh to mind. I don’t love every one, but with few exceptions, I like all of them. In each production, I find something to enjoy. I can never fully dis the bands in the house, the actors on stage, the singers under the limelight, the orchestra in the pit. I find some redeeming value in each effort, even if it misses the mark.
Same goes for most people I meet.
Mostly, a good thing.
If you ask ten people, nine and a half would probably tell you that they’re good drivers. Regardless of the number of accidents they’ve been in, contributed to, caused, they’ll swear that they are, nonetheless, good drivers. Likewise, most people claim to be good judges of character. Are often emphatic about it.
For the most part.
On the other hand.
Not long ago, a woman prophesized that someone would take advantage of me. A particular someone. She suggested that I keep up my guard, that I be cautious.
I mulled her warning. She might be right, I concurred. But then I decided that if the person was indeed taking advantage of me, it was my own fault. I’m a big girl and if I can be that easily manipulated, more the shame to me than to the manipulator.
This philosophy aligns to that universal belief in being a good judge of character. From instinct, experience and interaction, I’ve concluded that this is a good person. It follows easily, then, that she wouldn’t purposefully take advantage of me. I’m relying first on my skill at judging her character, but also in an overarching and sometimes blind belief in the innate goodness of most people. I trust myself. And I am trusting her to prove me right.
I could be wrong. I’ve seen glimmers to suggest that she’s less than perfect.
But I am a really good driver.