Nancy Roman

Renaissance Woman

For a little girl who thought culture came from the tin-foiled rabbit ears on the big Sylvania TV  – after all, Ed Sullivan had ballet dancers as well as Topo Gigio – I somehow acquired fabulous Class.

I’ve now been to the ballet. (It was just like The Ed Sullivan Show, although no one spinned any plates.)

I’ve been to the Opera. Why, I even have opera glasses. And they are really cute.

In college, I not only wrote poetry, I went to poetry readings, and listened attentively while someone else besides myself was self-indulgent.  To be fair to poets (because I would like to be one again someday), I went to good poetry readings too; Anne Sexton even.

I went to foreign films.  Hint: When they have subtitles, it is always called a film and not a movie. I will confess to a dislike for Bergman, but I love Truffaut.

And classical music. When I’m not listening to James Taylor, or Zumba Cumbia, I tend towards Schubert and Debussy. When I first got married, I played beautiful adagios during Sunday breakfast. Somewhere along the  years, though, we abandoned Albinoni for my husband’s favorite Sunday radio program, “The Swap Shop.”

Early in our relationship, I was more persistent in my attempts to add culture to our lives. And since my husband was trying to impress me as much I was trying to impress him, we did classy stuff. We went to museums. He naively accompanied me to the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit at the Wadsworth Atheneum. I give him loads of credit for self-control. He said, “Very Intriguing” – instead of running screaming from the building.

Two years ago I took him to Boston for the Edward Hopper restrospective. He was very relieved.

I think the peak of my cultural success though, was enticing my husband to come with me to the Met, for “Tosca.”  And he liked it. Well, in his own way. His comment: “I’m so glad we went. I won’t do it again, but now I can say I’ve been to the opera.”

So last week it was his turn.

He took me to a cultural event.  An event that I didn’t even know still existed.

So I wore my skinny cargos in khaki green, with a powder blue long-sleeved tee – just slightly off the shoulder. With bronze ballet flats. I was adorable, classy, and ready for a thrill.

And I had a swell time!

At the Demolition Derby!


  1. Perhaps they crashed into each other cause they saw you and were distracted!! Maybe it was a car show! 🙂


    • I was certainly very well-dressed for the demolition derby!


  2. Yee-boy!


  3. You had me at Mapplethorpe! May I suggest a tractor pull? Hot dogs beer and a hoot!


    • Oh, we’ve done lots of tractor pulls. My husband loves the county fairs.


  4. Michelle Gillies

    That is the perfect Demo Derby outfit! Glad you had fun.


  5. Love to see you get back to poetry. I “got back” to it in 1987 (after leaving it when I had kids), found a critique group in ’90 and haven’t stopped since. I think it’s a form of therapy.


  6. You had me here: I went to foreign films.

    When a guy I’d known for a couple of years suggested we go to see A Sunday in the Country” all my girlfriends insisted I marry him. I did. We haven’t seen a foreign film since. Even when we lived in foreign lands.

    Nancy, you are classy no matter what you do.


  7. Laurie MacKellar

    One of these days I am going to go to a local demolition derby. They are big here


  8. I always knew you were classy. I wouldn’t mind the derby if it wasn’t for the roar of the engines and the parfum de gasoline. That didn’t distract from your enjoyment?


    • Ah, but the noise and smell are part of the ambiance.


  9. Now that’s what I call culture!


  10. This is another hilarious post – LOL! My husband actually loves the opera whereas I love bluegrass music. The opera is growing on me though. In spite of the screeching, it’s colorful. 🙂


  11. Cool and Classy! You that is.

    At least it wasn’t a Monster Truck Pull


  12. I love your outfit! I went to my 1st NASCAR race a few years ago. I wasn’t sure what to wear–I figured kinda tight jeans and a black t-shirt would do it. I doubt if anyone noticed. There were many females with a LOT less coverage.
    I also made my husband go to a season of symphony concerts. I think I’m still paying for that.


  13. Missindeedy

    You can pride yourself on the fact that you probably classed that Demolition Derby up a tad. The juxtaposition of James Taylor and Debussey is spectacular!


  14. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    We don’t have too much culture in this small town, but we do have a demolition derby. Fun!


  15. I bet opera glasses would be a huge asset at a Demolition Derby!


  16. I love it!! Its me And the hubby to a T!


  17. I’m not quite as ‘classy’ as you; however, I did manage to get my husband to a Cher concert once (I love her sense of outrageous style, especially at her age) and he reciprocated by taking me the (motorcycle) drag races the next summer. Ain’t love grand?


    • Oh, drag racing! My husband actually made his living in that sport. (advertising, not racing).


      • Mine used to race (long before I met him), so its sort of a nostalgia thing!



  18. Well, it IS culture! It’s always good to break out – in whatever direction (nearly always).


  19. pharphelonus

    I’m a big believer in trying anything once, and sometimes, the red neckier, the better, if only because the people watching is so rich. I never watched wrestling on TV, but when a buddy asked me to come with him to a wrestling show at Madison Square Garden, I went. It was the height of Hulkomania, and there were like 30,000 people there, including some not in the arena, but watching in the Paramount Theatre next door. Ridiculous excitement. Fun.



  1. Smart Is Smart | notquiteold

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