Theatrics, Drama and Karma

The Filipinos have a word…Maarte. It’s pronounced ma-artay.

If you look online you’ll find a bunch of interpretations for this word. Some say exclusively applies to women…some claim it’s in reference to women who are overly flirtatious (and yes, there IS such a thing). Personally, the way it’s always been used when I was growing up was to describe someone who was overly dramatic. Maybe overacting. In otherwords…an attention whore.

Why am I bringing this up? Good question. My answer may get me labeled as judgmental or overly critical…but I’m going to say it anyway. First, there’s something ya’ll should know about me. There are very few subjects I won’t discuss and I don’t really have that many pet peeves… But I do have them.

My first? I HATE tardiness. This stems from my mom and my childhood. As you guys know, I absolutely adore my mom…but she has one MAJOR flaw. She runs on Filipino time. (I know that people from Jamaica and the Bahamas have referred to this sort of phenomena as “island time”.) This basically means that if she tells you dinner will be served at 6, plan on eating at 7 or 8. We, as her children, have learned to tell her that events start an hour or so earlier than they actually do in order to guarantee timeliness. (I could tell you a bunch of stories about this…including how this habit of hers helped me to develop an eye twitch, but that’s for another time.)

My second pet peeve are people who do inappropriate things or things at inappropriate times in order to get attention. Yep, you’ve got it…I have an issue with people who are Maarte. I like to save my drama for the books I read or maybe watching a musical or play…rarely in the real world…and rarely for people over the age of 16.

It actually happened this year at our Christmas service. The lady who leads our singing is a very nice person. Yeah, she has her hyper moments, but so do I. Anyway, Sunday was the first time I’d ever heard her do a solo…and she sang “Mary Did You Know?” She has a lovely voice…in fact, it kind of reminds me of my mom. I also love this song…and I mean LOVE! Now in church, when you’re singing, it’s all for the glory of God. That’s how I was taught. So imagine my surprise when arms started flying outward and flailing the way you’ve seen performers at concerts do…except MORE…

I blinked. I wasn’t expecting that… I figured maybe I was overreacting and being a tad critical. Then came our Christmas eve service. On that night she sang 2 solos. The first one fell during a rare break in the group performance that let me sit next to hubby. As we were sitting there she stepped forward to sing “O Holy Night!”. She was accompanied by beautiful acoustic guitar. When the time for her to start singing began…the arm flailing began…

Still, I tried to shrug it off, fearful I was the one being critical…until hubby leaned over and whispered one of the very few Tagalog words he’s learned over the years…”She’s very maarte, isn’t she?”

I glanced his way and said…”Oh, good. It’s not just me.”

With a little smile he watched as she walked up the aisle, looking at some of our parishioners, hands dramatically pointing down as the words, “FALL ON YOUR KNEES” rang out of her mouth.

“No, Love, it’s not just you.”

At the end of her second solo…where she turned and started singing to the cross…she ended the song by saying, “Amen, Jesus!”

I guess that was her way of paying tribute to HIM.

I’d never seen anything like it….and I’ve got to admit…having hubby say what I was thinking in Tagalog gave me a big kick.

For those of you who don’t sing…or who’ve never sung…I’m going to dispel a myth. Hand waving and dramatic gestures of that general sort have absolutely nothing to do with the ability and quality of the sounds you create when singing. Now there are times where you may want to bring on a stronger punch to your tone…or a more powerful gesture in your voice…and because of that you will find your body responding in kind…maybe a fist to remind you to give it oomph. But it’s not really necessary…because the power for your voice…and sustaining notes…comes from your diaphragm and the way you open your mouth.

The second dramatic instance actually happened here. I don’t know the truth. I don’t have all the facts, nor do I care to…but someone who seemed to need a friend came on here and created an elaborate fictional life. Hey, what you want to do with your blog is YOUR business. If you want to write under a pen name…go for it! If you’re writing a story…go ahead! I enjoy reading well written stories. I love creative people! But don’t go reaching out to people with your made up sob story…and then drag a bunch of other people into your world of fiction. Real life is complicated enough. (In other words, it’s not cool to tell people you have cancer when you don’t…or any other life threatening issues… It’s disrespectful to the people who are truly dealing with these issues…and karma’s a B.)

So now you know my two biggest pet peeves….and maybe you learned a new word! What are your big hot buttons? I’d love to know so I can avoid hitting them… 🙂 Hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas… If Santa was good to you, I’d love to hear about that, too!

33 thoughts on “Theatrics, Drama and Karma

  1. ramblingsfromamum says:

    Hi hun ( I run and hide again as I’m known as a bit of a drama queen).. don’t hate me!! 🙂 I too dislike tardiness – we have some friends – yep be here 5 – you can bet your bottom dollar they will arrive by 7. 😦 Singing with arms flailing about – totally agree there also unless she was trying to fly at the same time? I also have a little whinge about those that won’t organise anything (I feel like I’m the social organiser amongst our group) and it can be frustrating! (Probably trivial but still gets on my goat) Hmmm trying to think oh and Santa bought me perfume Eden (my scent apparently) and tickets to Cirque De Solie(sic) and um (feel like I’m sitting on Santa’s knee here) lol and an Epilday (the gadget that rips your leg hair out)! So a mixture of pain and pleasure 🙂 Disgusting reading about someone who would create a ‘martyr’ blog for the sake of it. Yup that’s it. 🙂


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Ooh…flying. Never considered that as a possibility! I tend to be a bit of a social organizer, too. Cirque De Soleil sounds like a blast! Epilady sounds painful…and I’m sure Santa would’ve loved for you to be on his knee… 😉 (and I agree about the whole disgust over a martyr blog.


  2. CJ says:

    Oh Dear. I don’t think I can comment except to say…I’m glad I wasn’t there. Flailing on “Mary Did You Know?” and I’m done. That doesn’t represent the song. The song is pretty calm until “The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again”. In that I would want people to hear what I’m saying through intonation. People can’t concentrate on the lyrics when you’re “flying”!


  3. radaronelson says:

    Well you already read some of my pet peeves but I will say, timeliness is a big one. Spending 20 years in the military you are accustomed to being at a minimum 15 minutes early to any appointment or meeting so it annoys me when we are supposed to be somewhere say a dr appointment and people are taking their sweet time getting out the door or if we are meeting for lunch and they are walking in late. Be early or don’t go. Now with that said, if there is a good excuse like today weather was horrible it had been snowing then turned to rain and DC traffic sucks as is and that made it worse and you were late because of that then that can be forgiven but when it happens every single time, sorry plan better, leave earlier.


  4. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches. says:

    Hi Kitt – I must agree with the importance of timeliness. I too probaby picked this up from my mom. However, in the exact opposite way of your mother. My mother was a stickler for being on time for everything and that included meal time. My brothers and I often joked, if we weren’t home for dinner at 6:00 sharp, the only excuse that might pass was if we were dead. I’m not sure I could have stayed for the solos at your church service. I expect serenity and vocal power(s), not gestures in a house of worship (especially the type of gestures you described). And, for the third item–why is someone so desperate as to fake an identification on a blog? That makes no sense to me. Life can be too darn tough to have to make anything up.

    One of my all time pet peeves is seeing a dog tied up. It really bothers me. If God had intended for dogs to be tied up, in my opinion, they would be born with a tether near their neck. The same is true if individuals live in tiny apartments and insist on having large dogs that cannot have the appropriate exercise. These dogs have no quality of life and the life they have is shortened.


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Like you, I can’t stand any sort of harm to animals. I also agree about the importance of the size of the dog & the animal being proportionate.

      As for those solos…it took me aback. She’d never done anything like that before. I’m kind of hoping the pastor talks to her…


  5. lenwilliamscarver says:

    Punctuality is a must if not it is lack of respect for others. Flailing in church? I am Pentecostal we are VERY demonstrative in our worship, but to ‘fly’ during those numbers I agree was not right.
    If you have read my blogs at all you know I am not only a drama queen, but I can throw a pity party for one that makes red carpet celebrations in Hollywood look tame.the difference being I have never had to make up a single thing my life has just journeyed in those directions. So to the person ‘faking’ the blog for pity shame, shame, shame on you!! So much easier to tell the truth than lies you can’t keep up with.
    Hugs and love Kitt ((xx))


  6. prewitt1970 says:

    That’s wild, such a crazy visual. And the other thing that’s freakin horrible, especially for those of us with real life incurable illness. Sure a story is one thing but faking is just plain being a liar, shame!!


  7. Phil Lanoue says:

    When I used to live in the northeast United States we used to call it running on “Newark time”. This for Newark, New Jersey.
    Since I was frequently operating on a deadline, this was frustrating.
    In my own life now though, I’ve been known to run a bit late. 😳 🙂


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Ah, well…hopefully you do give a heads up to whomever you’re meeting so they don’t think they’ve been stood up. We’ve learned to tell my mom to that events start about an hour to two beforehand so that she runs on time. 🙂


  8. danger lightning says:

    I’m with you on the un-necessary drama issue
    some people just love putting on a show.. :-/

    and would you know it, we had a guy come up and sing “Mary did you know” at out carol service too, with similar fanfare 🙂
    he also sang to recorded music he had brought, when we have quite a good band that are talented enough…

    the eye twitch part is funny… 🙂 sorry.


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      LOL! Good to know I wasn’t the only one on the receiving end of musical theatrics… As for the eye twitch…it wasn’t so funny that it happened mere days before my wedding…I was concerned the minister might think I was winking at him…LOL!


  9. bensbitterblog says:

    Amazingly, those two are huge pet peeves for me, lateness and dramatastic people. In fact, I have people at work that combine the two. They are late and they make all kinds of excuses why they were just to get attention. Anyways, I do have another and that is when people don’t get sarcasm. I say they were born without sarcasm detectors. It makes it really hard to be witty when you have to explain everything to someone when they don’t get that you are being sarcastic. Great post!


  10. Kourtney Heintz says:

    Kitt I can’t stand tardiness. Especially selective tardiness like on time to work, but not with friends or family. Time is the most precious thing in life and squandering other people’s is not acceptable to me. Oh goodness on the maarte lady. I’ve never understood the flailing onstage either. But in church it seems really bizarre. 🙂


    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      Oh, yeah…that is very frustrating because you know they’re capable of being on time but choose not to. The message it sends to someone like me is that I’m not important enough in your life that I need to respect your time.


  11. wordsurfer says:

    Ouch. I’m kinda scared now after reading about the tardiness issue. I try not to be, and it’s nowhere near the level of island time, but friends have been known to tell me to get somewhere fifteen minutes earlier than everybody else. 🙂


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