45 minutes before the show was to start, I found street parking along Connecticut Avenue and hoofed my way to outside the theatre.
Texting my friend, I discovered they were walking from dinner and still at least ten minutes away.
Which would normally not be a problem.
But I’d just sat in rush hour traffic for an hour and a half.
And, well, I had to pee.
And my ticket was leisurely walking past the National Zoo.
And the event organizers had put out a freaking red carpet.
At the end of which stood a photographer, snapping pics of everyone who walked upon it.
(I did not want to be such a person.)
(I especially didn’t want to be such a person who got turned away at the door and had to walk back down the red carpet.)
Thankfully, the theatre had two sets of doors, so I oh-so-casually walked up to the right set and pulled, only to discover they were locked.
I then oh-so-casually pretended to not be trying to break into the theatre and frowned at my phone, as though to suggest to viewers that some event organizer had told me to check the doors and wasn’t that person silly.
I awkwardly hunched outside, as it was also a cold night and I wasn’t wearing stockings. Or a winter coat. Or socks. Or a hat or scarves or a dress with material that wasn’t thin cotton.
(In my defense, I stole the dress from Skye, so who’s really to blame here?)
Then I girded my loins and strode for the red carpet, where I figured it just looked like the photographer was memorializing everyone but surely was only taking the photos of the hoity-toity important guests.
(This was wishful thinking on my part.)
Cringing at the photographer, which I’m sure resulted in a #sexyface photo, I scurried past the woman standing at the door and walked into the lobby.
I was relieved to have passed one gate without having to explain my lack of a ticket.
(Or, for that matter, the name of the person who’d purchased said ticket.)
I then realized there was no easy access to a bathroom from the lobby and I’d have to pass the second row of doorways, all guarded by well-dressed women wearing important-looking lanyards.
So I re-girded and strode forward.
And in a surprising twist, none of those girls stopped or questioned me.
I had, in my pee-induced panic, forgotten my superpower, which is that I have such a fear of breaking rules and getting in trouble that you can tell from looking at me that I’m rather a coward and thus I never arouse suspicion.
This seldom comes in handy, as I truly can’t stand the idea of breaking rules or getting in trouble, but for the sake of my bladder, it was quite a useful tool that night.
However, after I asked other employees for the location of the restroom and availed myself of its services, I was once again trapped in awkwardness.
For no one else was standing about the lobby – everyone who entered went straight to their seats or upstairs to the lounge.
No one else except me.
And I may have underestimated the fanciness of the dress code.
Which only made me feel more ill-at-ease and made it seem more likely my rather un-explainable presence would be questioned.
Yet, waiting there, pretending once more to be having a rather exaggerated-face-expression-inducing text conversation, seemed preferable to walking back down the red carpet, which I would eventually be forced to once again walk up.
(I can now know what I’ve always expected to be true – red carpets suck.)
(At least for the awkward amongst us.)
In explanation of how I came to be at such an event, I have a friend and this friend loves Les Miserables.
That friend loves Les Mis so much that last Wednesday evening, I was invited to join my friend and a larger group of friends to see the new Les Mis movie at the Uptown Theatre in D.C.
I was the only member of the group who had an average amount of affection towards the show.
(It was an early showing to benefit Woodley House, which provides housing and services for the mentally ill.)
Due to my average amount of affection, I didn’t take off work early and thus missed the pre-showing dinner.
(Two of the group members didn’t need to take off work early, as they’d flown in for the show.)
(Told you they were fans.)
But the fan from Sydney had an extra ticket so had invited me to join along with the Les Mis obsessed group and thus I found myself at an event which provided free popcorn.
(There was also free soda and water.)
(But I couldn’t get a stealthy photo of them.)
And if there’s anything that makes up for shaming yourself in public, it’s free popcorn.
And a rather lovely movie.
Which, if you enjoy musicals?
I certainly recommend.
And though I didn’t sob like my companions,
It’s also quite well done.
In case you were wondering how these crazed Les Mis fans met
It was through the movie’s IMDB page message boards
I’m just lucky it wasn’t a scam to murder me,