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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Ralph and I went to our first opera of the season last night. And since I have already used the word opera, I am choosing another for today: DRAMA.

Because that is everything about the experience from the minute Ralph said hey, you wanna get season tickets to the opera?

I have the blog from April when I bought the tickets to prove it. Buying them was such a project that I almost abandoned it entirely and wouldn’t have gone, but many phone calls and visits to the website later, I succeeded.

Fast forward to about two weeks ago when I saw Pagliacci on my calendar and it occurred to me that I had not yet received any tickets. I dug out my confirmation email and it said the tickets would be mailed prior to the event.

Commence checking of mailbox every single day.

When no tickets were forthcoming, I called. It went a little something like this…

Who? What? When did you order? What’s the name again? Is there another name? I have no record of an order.

At which point I pulled up my confirmation email and read it to her. At which point she called another guy and then called me back and then had the other guy call me back and called me back again and two days later it turned out that while they received my order, they had not processed my order.

I think someone there fundamentally misunderstands how the internet works.

Fortunately they were able to resolve it, but it was too late to mail tickets so I would have to pick them up at the box office.

Crisis averted.

Fast forward to last night and I was ready to go. Had my parking passes, had my parking app, had my backup of the backup of the confirmation email just in case, was dressed and coifed and about to walk out the door, on time no less!

I opened the closet to get a jacket because they actually recommended bringing one, which is so unusual as to convince me that I’d better bundle up.

And the vacuum slid out and went crashing to the floor.

The contents of the vacuum went spewing out in a tumbleweed and a huge cloud of dust. I stood there. I looked at my shoes. I looked at the floor. I looked at my watch which told me that it was now one minute past time to leave. I stepped over the vacuum and the pile of dust so as not to contaminate my one nice pair of pants and walked out the door.

Crisis ignored.

But I was ready. I had the address of the theater. I had the car app that sends directions to my GPS. We were one minute past leaving time but there was plenty to spare, so there was no reason to rush. We got in the car.

This is the part where I take a short tangent and remind you how much I hate technology. Our car has driver profiles that are tied to your key, so that when you get into the car, it moves your seat into position and sets the climate control and puts everything the way you want it. The GPS is tied to your driver profile too, so that you can go to the app on your phone and send directions to the car, which will be active and waiting for you when you begin to drive.

Which is great. When it works.

When it doesn’t work, it locks you out of your profile and resets the seat position and changes the climate control and turns on the radio and turns off the GPS so that you cannot get your directions anymore.

And then you spend the next ten minutes futzing around with your seat and the angle of the steering wheel and the mirrors and the temperature and manually entering the address you’re going to.

This happens for no apparent reason and at no particular time. It hasn’t actually happened in a while. But I bet you can guess when it did.

T-minus-eleven, we were on the road.

Crisis subdued.

That might have been the end of it but when the universe is having fun like that, it’s impossible to get it to come inside for a nap. A 13 mile drive took us over an hour, the entire world was apparently burning down because every emergency vehicle ever manufactured was on the road, blaring sirens and whizzing by.

We pulled into what we thought was the parking lot and tried to scan the app to get our parking voucher applied but it kept saying ERROR, with zero helpful information, until I finally guessed that perhaps we needed to be in the parking GARAGE, and that seemed to do the trick, except the garage has an automatic gate that opens when you scan yourself in and shuts behind you, and neither of us could figure out, once we were in, how the heck to get out.

I was three seconds away from climbing the fence when Ralph found a buzzer on the side of the gate and we made our escape.

Crisis bypassed.

You’ll be happy to know that everything went smoothly after that, especially as the first thing I did before we so much as got our tickets was buy a glass of wine.

Our tickets were, in fact, waiting at the box office and I even inquired as to how we could get back into the parking garage given that the button for the gate was on the inside. We were helpfully informed about an elevator on the opposite side of the lot.

Our seats were front and center. The performance was excellent, helped by a second glass of wine. And we even, as season ticket holders, got to go back stage afterwards to drink champagne and mingle with the cast.

Then we swung by the cigar shop, had a few cocktails, and raided the best Greek food truck that ever existed.

It was not without drama, some of which I wouldn’t have missed, but then what would I have had to talk about? In spite of the nonsense, and maybe in some perverse way because of it, we had an excellent evening. And I even remembered to unplug the curling iron.

Photo: the stage, post-show, after the rabble had gone and only us special people remained.