Despite decades of progress and hit songs to the contrary, it is a truth universally acknowledged that any woman in possession of a job and her freedom must be in want of a husband. It’s "Pride and Prejudice" reversed, and with two centuries since Jane Austen and 50 years of feminism down the line, even strangers still feel entitled to ask, “Why are you single?”
Since the dawn of time, females have had little in the way of career paths except men and marriage, but the moment genuine job prospects appear, so does the cultural Kool-Aid. The notion that one day a prince will come has proved difficult to delete, and even if society does depend on dating and mating, it’s not supposed to inquire.
The no-holds-barred advent of social media has made intrusive questions the norm and unlikely to abate. Simply put, you can stand against the tide, but the tide ain’t turning back. But bear in mind even a freight train can be stopped if you pull the right cord. So the next time you’re asked, “Why are you single?” apply some social brakes with one of the following:
“They never could prove I killed those men.”
“Shhhhh.” (This has to be delivered "Prophecy"-style, a la Christopher Walken. Practice until you get his Angel Gabriel gesture just right.)
“Bill Gates is taken.”
“Luck. Simply good luck.”
“Robert Pattinson is taken.”
“They don’t allow conjugal visits in maximum security.”
“Your husband and I decided we were better off as friends.” (This is pretty much for a no-brakes runaway train.)
Just remember, context is everything. If an attractive man asks the question, disregard all of the above. Then the answer is “Ahoy, sailor.”
Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Beer & Beards
A postscript to single ladies — this is where the men are, count on it. Gulf Brew 2017 had them lined up outside waiting to get into Blackham Coliseum for the Acadiana Center for the Arts annual fundraiser. Sort of an Oktoberfest in July, hundreds came to sample craft brews and more, all to the tune of live Cajun music from Michot’s Melody Makers. The Dead Yeast Society was camped outside, celebrating over 25 years as the only nonprofit brewing club by making pale ale on the premises, while inside Covington Brewhouse, Abita, Nola Brewing, Bayou Teche Bière and dozens more artisan breweries poured out samples of their wares. Other than the beer, the best thing about this event is the beards, and this year, we had to give it to Keith Peacock, of Covington Brewhouse, and Zak Ducote, of Abita, but all-around “Best Beer Pose” goes to Skip Angelle, hands down. Proceeds from the popular beer festival fund programs for the AcA throughout the year.
It’s Shakespeare, the next generation. The Summer Youth Shakespeare Ensemble’s 15th anniversary production of “As You Like It” opened at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. The culmination of a 16-day intensive performing arts camp, the play was cast with ages 10 to high school senior and staged with the help of professional staff from Acting Up. “It’s what got me really into theater and made me want to continue in college,” said soon-to-be Columbia University freshman Madison Andrus, who plays Celia, “the fair and excellent maid” with a passion for Oliver. The Youth Summer Shakespeare Ensemble is supported by a grant from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation and by Stage Backers.
Opening Night 2
Further down the street and a bit further out than Shakespeare, Vau de Ville Acadienne opened at Cité des Arts the rock musical, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” about a band fronted by a transgender East German singer. “This has been definitely one of my biggest, hardest and most challenging journeys,” said Seth Derouen, playing the lead role of Hedwig. “I have 45 pages I have to memorize where I’m completely on my own.” Musical director Miguel Ochoa seconded that emotion. “It’s been quite a learning experience, making it our own, creating and improvising.” In the works since April, the production echoes the androgynous David Bowie glam rock of the ‘70s. “We’ve had a lot of calls,” said director Gina Baronne.
Tanya Falgout’s Fine Arts Co-op opened an all-photography show featuring Amy Fornof, Tyne Brooks, Chris Cart, Jon Donlon, Susan Leger, Sonny Monteleone and Ralph Schexnaydre. Brooks brought her Culture Shock series starring her family, related to scarification and African culture, while Fornof featured her street photography. “I do street, mostly New Orleans,” she said. “I walk around New Orleans and let things present themselves.” We walked around out back and found local music legend Scott Alan Stagg. Old school’s still the best school, Scott.
Going the Extra Mile
The Junior League of Lafayette SMILES committee was busy on a rainy Saturday morning assembling school supplies for families battling cancer. The League donated $7,500 to the project through a year of fundraising, and volunteers put in the hours shopping for the more than 4,000 items at the Miles Perret Center. Getting their back-to-school groove on were Chairperson Elizabeth Lyons, Emily Svendson, Nicole Falgout and Perret Center Community Liaison Sherry Hernandez.