I've been meaning to post about an experience I had on Thursday.
The nice lady who funds the scholarship I received wanted to have me, my parents and my favorite math teacher and spouse to dinner at her house. My mom was unable to come on account of she had a raging toothache, so my dad and I piled in the car and went to her house. Most of the dinner was uneventful and the conversation friendly, but at one point the conversation rolled around to people with disabilities, and I mentioned Kyle.
Now, before we advance the story any further, allow me to pause and describe the person at the dinner who I haven't mentioned yet. The nice lady has a widowed adult daughter, I'd say about 50, who lives with her. (The nice lady is 81 and still going strong, it should be noted, so I don't think her daughter lives with her to help her out - she could most likely manage on her own.) This daughter is a bit of an odd duck - once when I called while trying to arrange a day, she answered the phone, and when I asked if it was $nice_lady's_name, she said "No, this is her adult daughter." I found it curious that she needed that adjective "adult". I'm sure it's not my place to speculate, she might have a perfectly valid reason, but there you have it.
So, when I mentioned Kyle, and said that he's really our best tenor (having perfect pitch helps, am I right?), the adult daughter said that oh, he can't possibly be very good, because he can't watch the conductor for broadened phrases or tempo changes.
If you want to get my hackles up, badmouth one of my friends. Especially when he isn't there to defend himself, he has a disability, the criticism is completely unfounded (and furthermore, there is no way you could know whether or not it was founded in the FIRST place), or any combination of the above three.
Managing to keep my cool (but I think everyone noticed the steam coming out of my ears), I explained that Kyle is studying to be a music theory teacher, tutors musicianship classes at the college of music, and has a fantastic ear for when a phrase should turn. I further noted that I've stood next to him in any number of performances and never heard him miss a beat, drop a word, come in early, or hurry a phrase. She then said, "Well, that must be because he's listening to you - there's no way he could catch it when it's just happened, and so he must be a little bit behind everyone."
Ooh! I!! Grrr!!! See previous note about how to get my hackles up!
I put on my best icy smile, said "Be that as it may, he still has the best musicianship of any of my tenors," and promptly changed the subject before she said anything that would cause me to throw asparagus at her face.