PREVIOUS LETTER ||
Dear Breakup Girl,
Six months ago, I started taking voice lessons. I chose my teacher after
him give a master class on voice production. He was a gifted communicator and
a great singer who had the same ideas about voice production as I. (He also
wore chenille jumpers and had a sexy bass voice, which didn't hurt.) I got his
number from a friend of his who's in my choir, and he gave me an audition and
agreed to teach me. My teacher, "Mr. Sexy Bass," has improved my
and technique, and I can now hit notes that I could only ever dream of.
So what's the problem, I hear you ask? Simple. I find myself thinking and
dreaming of him all the time. I look forward to our classes; I practically skip
homewards after them; and I've kissed him in my dreams. He's been married once
before and has been with his current partner for 11 years, but their
seems to be shaky. He's also almost double my age. (I'm 30; I think he's in
his mid to late 50s.)
I honestly do not notice the age gap at all. He looks younger and has a
young manner, and he never talks down to me; he treats me as an equal. He
in me during the summer that he and his partner were breaking up and that he
needed to find somewhere else to live. We spent most of that class talking,
and he only charged me a fraction of the normal charge. I was going away to
work somewhere and asked him if he'd like a postcard, and he said he really
Well, I felt so sorry for him that I wrote him a letter, cheering him up and
telling him why I picked him and that I found him an inspiring teacher. (I am,
all modesty aside, a very good letter-writer, as I have had years of practice
writing to various penpals.) When I got back, he mentioned it and said that
it was very kind of me to have written to him.
Since then, he has been very warm towards me, but he hasn't moved out and
hasn't mentioned looking for somewhere else to live. Should I just assume that
they have patched it up or would I look an idiot if I asked him about it? He
may be embarrassed if they have patched it up. But if they have patched
it up, why do I get the impression that he's as attracted to me as I am to him?
1. He always kisses me "hello" on the cheek, and sometimes
too. (Theatrical type, perhaps?)
2. He really makes me laugh and we spend half of the class talking
rather than singing.
3. When I had to do an audition for the "Messiah," he gave me a
lesson to learn the audition piece. His charges are high, so this was not
I was expecting. (He was the auditioner, so it was a farce anyway, because he
knew I could do it.) He loaned me an antique rare edition of the score so I
could learn it on time, which shows that he trusts me. Also, at the audition,
he sang the other parts standing beside me, which he also did for everyone
but he held my hand (for about 20 seconds, just to put me at ease.)
4. He calls me "love," "sweetheart," and even
on occasion. Now, he says "see you later, mate" to male friends on
the phone, so he's just that type of person, but I do think "darling"
is quite strong, don't you? I mean, two weeks ago when I phoned to arrange a
class, I said, "See you Friday" and he replied, "Looking forward
to it, darling." Is that normal for one's teacher?
5. He rang once to cancel a class, and my Mom gave me the message. Usually,
that's all we do if one of us has to take a rain check, but this time he rang
back the next day to explain that he had a sore throat and was saving his voice
for his next gig. He also asked me if I'd come to the gig. When I asked if I
got a concession for being his student, he said he'd buy me a pint afterwards.
I never got to go because something cropped up, so I don't know if that was
an offer of a date, of sorts.
6. He doesn't have a reception room, so if two classes run over, the second
person has to sit on the sofa for a few minutes while he finishes with the
I was the first person one week, and I heard him say to the second person that
I was a great laugh. (This was in response to an unheard remark made by the
We've now bonded over my record collection, which my Mom was recently left
by her Uncle. It's got lots of operatic rarities on it, and he'd love to make
CD copies of them. My Mom says he can have them one at a time, to make sure
we get them back. I'm giving him a Kathleen Ferrier record to copy next week
and I am so tempted to gift wrap it, even though I can't give it to
him outright as it's not mine to give. Would that be too dorky for words? Could
this all just be transference because he has helped me to extend my range? Or
do I secretly have an Electra complex?
-- Moonstruck Mezzo
Dear Moonstruck Mezzo,
Well, can't say for sure about his usage of
because, well, up here we don't say "jumper" or "mate" in
the same few paragraphs unless we're talking about some sort of
But I do understand that you two make some very live
music together. And Moonstruck, I might caution you to leave it --
enough -- at that.
Why? Because there are a few voices here -- the age
his rough patch or rebound -- that form a small greek chorus chanting
the maiden!" I'm not saying this guy's an automatic Dies Ira; it's just
that: look how much you have already; look how much you have to lose for
who -- even if he is officially single by now -- has got to have
an unfinished requiem in his rolltop. He won't be fully available to you until
he's, well, even older.
So in the meantime, yes, look what you have. It's kind
of like what I say about living with a crush in the
or on a friend. Is the crush draining -- or, indeed,
fortifying -- the relationship/your performance? In your case, it seems
to be adding big chords, high notes, exaltation. "Electra complex?"
Who cares? Sing your best for your king of kings -- maybe cut down on the
in class? -- but look for a darling mate in the kingdom of this world.
PREVIOUS LETTER ||