My roommate Jordan recently sang the German national anthem for the German Consulate’s party at Central Park’s boathouse. I think it may have been for German Unity Day, October 3.
As a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Development Program (and, like Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, and Ben Heppner, a winner of the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions), Jordan seems to get more singing engagements around town than I, with my two years’ experience in church choir during high school.
In any case, Jordan nearly left the apartment that evening wearing a brown tie with a navy suit. Doing the only compassionate and reasonable thing, I stopped him. He seemed to be under the impression his suit was brown, and after a confirmatory call to his girlfriend, realized I was, indeed, correct.
While Jordan searched for an appropriate tie, I realized that most of his ties were brown, so I pulled out a few of mine to show him. There was the conservative red-and-navy striped tie, the rather loud orange tie with light blue stripes, and the demure blue tie. He selected the last one.
The singing went well. Jordan’s fairly comfortable with German, so while waiting for food afterward, he struck up a conversation with some German girls. They seemed friendly, even flirtatious, perhaps not realizing Jordan’s girlfriend was waiting back at the table. One of them told Jordan she’d written a song with the English title, “Why I like German boys.” Jordan, thinking the conversation was taking an odd turn, smiled politely until they asked what part of Germany he was from. “I’m not from Germany. I’m American.” The girls were surprised.
Only later did Jordan realize that the girl’s telling him about the song, “Why I like German boys,” was a rather robust failure of an attempt to flirt. Not only did she not realize he has a girlfriend, the song’s title only confused him rather than clued him in to her interest.
The highlight of the evening for me (who wasn’t there) came when Ban Ki-moon himself complimented Jordan on his singing. My tie came within inches of the Secretary-General of the United Nations! I think Ban Ki-moon really wanted to compliment the tie too, but was too shy.