A Picture’s Not Worth 1,000 Words

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - May 28, 2008
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I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but our 11-year-old daughter is a performer. She’s a talented hula and Tahitian dancer, if I do say so myself, and belongs to a well-known dance troupe. Every year, her hula halau ends the school year by performing at Ala Moana Center’s Centerstage.

The performance is literally packed with viewers as it’s a great show to watch not just for parents, relatives and friends, but for the shoppers and tourists. My wife assists the performers backstage, so I get to seek out a good seat in front of the stage to watch.

The one problem with that is since my wife can’t see the performance, she wants me to take pictures. The group is actually having the show professionally made into a DVD, so I don’t understand why I have to take photos of the event. It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine.

You see, I want to experience the performance. I don’t want my memory of it to be the stress of getting pictures and taking all the right shots of our daughter. I want to enjoy the performance in real time and not later from a piece of photo paper.

Any-hoo, my wife doesn’t see it that way, thinking I just want to get out of the inconvenience. She’s actually half-right, and I’ll tell you why. So I snag a front-row center seat on the ground fronting the stage. There’s about eight feet between me and the stage, and I have an unobstructed view.

The show starts and I whip out my wife’s digital camera. Suddenly the 8-foot clear zone becomes inundated with camera snapping mothers, blocking my camera view. I knew they were mothers because if my wife was available, she too would be in the picture-taking mob.

You see, men will not go in front of other people, obstructing their view and say that they are taking their child’s picture. It’s only a mother’s God-given right to do so. Of course, I found this out the hard way as I politely asked the women to sit down so that I could enjoy the show.

Bad move on my part, as I was then labeled quite loudly as a selfish, uncaring person who apparently doesn’t have a heart. They actually made me feel guilty for even asking, although everyone else who couldn’t see was probably silently cheering me on.

After the show, my wife told me that some of the mothers were complaining about some idiot who wouldn’t let them take pictures. I put on my best face of innocence (eyebrows lifted) and said, “I actually feel sorry for that guy, whoever he is. For all you know, he just wanted to see his daughter perform.” My wife looked at me and said, “I never said it was a guy.”

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