Dear Mother Maple: A compromising position

Mother MapleDear Mother Maple:

I know this is going to happen this summer, because it happens EVERY summer. I love Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, my girlfriend loves Mighty Popo. They’re doing separate workshops AT THE SAME TIME. How do we have a good time together without undercurrents of resentment?

BARK at the moon

Dear BARK:

I hope you’re worse than your bite!

Oh, dear me. This is a problem and no doubt about it.

As the festival season approaches, there will always be conflicts, whether it’s two of your own favorite performers in different places at the same festival, two festivals on the same weekend, or you and your significant other, as my grand-daughter told me to say, wanting to go in two directions but stay together at the same time.

I have two pieces of advice, one for the type-A people, and another for the more relaxed.

If you are of the organized persuasion, then sit down with your love and go through the schedule. Negotiate in advance and decide how much time you want to spend together. Then do the “If I go see Raghu Lokanathan and Buffy at their 11:30 workshop on Saturday in Calgary, then will you forsake Jenny Whiteley  in favor of Catherine McLellan?” tactic until you’ve come to an agreement. If necessary, notarize and countersign.

If (and I certainly hope this is the case) you aren’t like those people, then go to the festival, glance at the program, wander the site, and let the music take you places. Don’t be ashamed to get up and leave if something doesn’t appeal or the sound is not ideal; this is YOUR festival experience. Make the most of it. If your honey wants to fly to another flower for a moment, then let her go and arrange a meeting place to share a drink and talk about what you experienced. And be happy. None of us can spend every minute with our significant other— and we shouldn’t. Even short absences do make the heart grow fonder.

Do you have a question for Mother Maple? She’d be tickled to help. Just ask, dears! Mother Maple’s home-made advice is also available on The Twitters.


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  1. avatar
    Richard Flohil 12 July, 2011 at 15:39

    Attendance at any festival need not be a burden. My advice (and I go to five or six festivals every summer, and have done since 1965) is to find a stage, sit in front of it, and stay there. Let the artists come to you, instead of running yourself ragged running from stage to stage to stage. This way, you will likely hear who you want to hear, eventually, plus you will hear people who you didn’t know about (or maybe even didn’t WANT to know about) and you risk the grave chance of discovering wonderful new artists whom you will love forever. And, while your better half is at another stage, say hello to that nice blonde girl sitting next to you – yes, the one with the nice smile and the cute tattoo and the yellow bikini…

  2. avatar
    Richard Flohil 12 July, 2011 at 15:42

    Oh, one more thing, NEVER forsake Catherine MacLellan OR Jenny Whiteley. Nor, for that matter, Jadea Kelly, Shakura S’Aida, Alejandra Ribera, Andrea Ramolo, Ariana Gillis, or a few dozen other charming, smart, thoughtful, astute and utterly wonderful young women….

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