NUR: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World Opens at the DMA
Though I loved absolutely everything about the recent preview party for NUR, I almost didn’t get there. Bill and I were working on a project and even though I’d reminded him, all day long, we had to finish up in time to get to the museum, when it was time to go, I was physically and emotionally drained. “Maybe we should just blow it off,” I suggested. Bill nearly fainted. He knew I’d really been looking forward to the exhibit and preview party, so he all but scooped me up and put me in the car.
In the visor mirror, I tried to get my reflection to look like something other than a windblown mess, but I don’t think I did much good. I was dressed right for the event, but I felt out of synch with the idea of having fun. Though I usually have an event’s schedule committed to memory and a plan for getting the most out of it, on this day, I wasn’t even sure we were arriving at the right time.
As we waited for the elevator in the museum’s garage, I asked Bill if I’d given him the invitation and membership card. He showed them to me and I took the invitation from him to look over the schedule. As I studied the card, the elevator opened and I stepped in.
Now I know that you should always let the people off the elevator, before you enter, but I was operating on auto-pilot. I’ve been going to the museum for after-hour events for decades. It used to be that no one would be riding the elevators down. Even so, I should have glanced up, right? You’re absolutely right, but I didn’t.
As soon as my foot crossed the threshold, I knew something was wrong. Some tardy alarm went off in my head, “People park down here for other stuff, you know!” I started apologizing before I even raised my head to see who I’d been rude to, but the offended party was already dressing me down for my faux pas – and in no uncertain terms, I might add.
You know when something happens in seconds, but you remember it in slow motion. That’s how this situation went. I dove into the corner to get out of the way as the offended party stepped out of the elevator. My husband and a couple of other people followed me into the elevator and the doors closed. Standing there outside the elevator was a mother holding a child, yelling at me. The mother had switched from English to another language for good measure and her child began to howl.
As if I hadn’t already felt bad enough, now I was miserable. I turned to the two strangers and tried to explain what happened. Their sympathetic faces suggested that maybe I hadn’t been the rude one after all. My husband, who is quick to point out the error of my ways, was red in the face. I braced for the lecture, but all he had to say was directed at the woman who’d been so agitated at me. When the elevator opened I asked him if he thought I should go back down and try to excuse myself for my mistake. “Don’t you even think about it,” he warned.
Things got better after that. We were late for what the invitation said was pre-lecture comments, but we did get up to the Founder’s Room before all the hors d’ oeuvres and wine were gone. As we admired the re-purposing of the old restaurant and enjoyed the view from the Founder’s Room Balcony, Bill and I reminisced about meeting one another in that very place over twenty years ago. The angry woman faded from my memory.
After a while, we moseyed down to see the exhibit and listen to the formal lecture and it was delightful. Here’s what I said about it on Yahoo: Islamic Art Shines in Dallas, Texas. I hope you’ll take time to see the exhibit, but please remember your manners or you might run into a little elevator rage.