Thursday, February 14, 2013

Now That's Love...

In honor of Valentine's Day, I'd like to share a little love: love of my daughters and love of the musical Wicked.  This is a long one, but a great story.  About a year ago, I introduced Melanie and Belle to my favorite musical of all time: Wicked.  Since then, they have sung the songs almost daily.  It was even their costume theme for Halloween 2012.
"Pink goes good with green."

So, when we found out Wicked was coming to Tampa on tour, we became club members to get early tickets.  We got 4th row, nearly center! For 6 months, we waited patiently til Sunday, January 27th rolled around. The tuning of the orchestra always gives me goosebumps, and I couldn't wait for the girls to hear the first notes of the show.  I stored the tickets away safely.

We knew from experience, after attending the matinee of Mary Poppins a month earlier, we'd have just enough time to go to church, drive to Tampa, and grab a quick lunch on the way before the 2 pm curtain time.


We made great time, early even!  We pulled up around 1:10 pm. Chad and I could enjoy a cocktail before the show.  We even took the time to take some pictures to remember this special moment.

When we walked up to the doors, there was not a soul around.  I thought to myself, "Wow, we are so early!"  The attendant looked at us like we were in the wrong place, "Can I help you?"  "Yes, we're here for the show."  We walked in casually. No one was in the lobby.  We sauntered toward the restroom.  I saw someone green singing 'The Wizard and I' on the TV monitor.  I thought, "Geez, we're so early that they're still running through it on stage."  Another attendant said, "You can watch the show til they'll let you in at a scene change."



The show started at 1 pm, not 2 pm.

Bottomline, I've never peed so fast with 2 girls in tow in my life.  We ran to the entrance of our section and were seated by the beginning of the next scene.  

There were tears.  Lots of tears.  All mine.  

Thankfully, I lost myself in the show and forgot how disappointed I was that the girls missed the beginning (at least for a while.)  I kept telling myself that we only missed 3 songs, roughly 15-20 minutes.  The girls were fine.  They thought we were late because Chad drove too slow.

I know what you're thinking:
  1. What kind of an asshole doesn't even take a quick glance at a ticket she's had in her possession for 6 months for a start time?
  2. Who, other than someone who is habitually tardy thinks that 1:10 pm is "extremely early" for a 2 pm show?
  3. Why the hell would a traveling show that's been running in one city for 3 weeks straight need to rehearse before its last matinee?
  4. We would have only missed 2 songs instead of 3 if not for our photo shoot midway to the theatre.
Even after a traumatic beginning, the girls loved the show.  They wanted shirts to remember it. Chad went to the concession booth and came back with 2 $50 (a piece) t-shirts. (Rape, if you ask me, but nothing is cheap at these shows.) Anything to make up for the chaos of earlier.  The girls started planning their outfits for Monday incorporating the shirts. We left the show on a high thinking that maybe missing the beginning wasn't so bad after all.


It was early evening when we left Tampa for Crystal River.  We stopped twice:  once to eat, the second time to gas up.  The car was filled with trash from our ride down.  Chad can't stand clutter, so he cleared out all the miscellaneous bags and threw them out at the gas station.  When we got home and began unloading, Chad asked, "Where are the shirts?"


We scoured the van for the bag containing the shirts.  Nothing.  I burst into tears....again.  Typically, I'd toss out the "How could you...?" line, but I'd already screwed up enough earlier.  Obviously, the shirts were  accidentally thrown away.  How could we have completely ruined what was to be the most perfect day?  

Melanie asked, "Daddy, where are our shirts?"  It was now 7:45 pm on a Sunday evening.  Without a word, Chad picked up the keys and began the 45-minute trek back to the gas station to look for the shirts.  I can only imagine what went through his mind on the trip.  I only know that I emptied every ounce of fluid in my body through my eyes for the next few hours.

He was gone so long.  I thought maybe he went all the way back to the Straz Center to the evening show to buy 2 new shirts. But he only went to the gas station. Of course, 5 minutes before he got there, the trash had been emptied into the dumpster. 

So, he dove on in.

Items encountered in the gas station dumpster:    

1. A dirty baby's diaper
2. Cigarette ashes from a car vacuum
3. Our McDonald's lunch bag (this provided a slight glimmer of hope)   
4. Stale, day-old hot dogs
5. Dip spit

Finally, at 10:30 pm, Chad walked through the door...reeking of garbage...NO shirts.  There was little that could be said at this point.  He calmly picked up the computer and found a site selling the same shirts for roughly the same price.

Straz Center Club Membership: $200
4 Tickets: $ 400
4 t-shirts: $200
Trip to NYC so the girls can see the beginning of the show on Broadway: PRICELESS!

Melanie's biggest concern?:   "How will I prove I saw the show if I don't have a shirt?"

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