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The Awkwardest of Les Miserables Viewings

Les Mis

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.)

Les Mis

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.)

Les Mis

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.

I may or may not have just accidentally snuck into a fancy movie premier and now be standing weirdly alone in the lobby. #InsideMyAwkwardnesMeterIsScreaming

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.

Les Mis

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.)

Les Mis

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.)

(From Brazil.)

(And Sydney.)

(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.

Les Mis

And a rather lovely movie.

Which, if you enjoy musicals?

I certainly recommend.

It’s gorgeous.

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,


{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Karen Peterson December 21, 2012, 11:30 am

    At least the movie didn’t suck.

    And hey, free popcorn!

  • Melonie (Nagzilla) December 21, 2012, 11:40 am

    While the free popcorn is great, given the bladder situation I’m thinking the free soda probably not as big a sell? I know I for one can’t drink one of the huge “free refill” size sodas during the movie without having to stop to pee again on the way out.

    And I totally get the red carpet thing. One year my husband’s theatre was nominated for the local Ivey awards (think Tonys, but for the Twin Cities) and the after party was at a bar where they had set up a red carpet complete with photogs and fans clapping and reaching for autographs, to give it that authentic feel. Jason said, “I am SO not doing that.” Thankfully, there was a side entrance so we were able to skip the whole awkwardness of it. Sorry you didn’t have that option available. 🙁

  • Duffy December 21, 2012, 4:52 pm

    The Uptown is one of the things I miss about living in the DC area. Have you seen this? http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/314ad1c060/the-sad-off-with-samuel-l-jackson-and-anne-hathaway

  • Mindee@ourfrontdoor December 21, 2012, 5:23 pm

    I love how you can turn anything into an adventure.

    If your bladder is like that before you’ve been pregnant, you should probably invest in Depends if you ever do give birth.

  • Kari @ bite-sized thoughts December 22, 2012, 1:54 am

    Sydney?! Good gosh.

    My bladder is for ever inducing awkward situations. I have about a 2 hour limit, longer if I’m exclusively sitting, and that is a frequency that can be challenging if you are at someone’s house, out all day in a place you don’t know well, or, well, just out at ALL. I feel your pain!

  • Christina December 23, 2012, 12:13 am

    I am a fan. Not that I would fly to a different country…but I do love the story. (The book is sooooo good.) I am going to see this movie, but I am going to have to wait until it’s available to view in my home. I am a sobber.
    And I am very glad that you are still alive!

  • spilledinkguy December 24, 2012, 10:54 am

    Once I tried to smuggle a loaf of bread into a showing of Les Miserables. There was an incident.
    Okay, that’s not so much… ‘true’… but… if it actually had happened… then… there would be… that.

  • Tracy P. December 26, 2012, 3:46 pm

    You had me scared for a minute when I saw your feet, until I saw that they were not actually surrounded by a puddle as a punchline to the preceding tale. You were obviously even more relieved than I was.

  • joeinvegas December 28, 2012, 2:31 pm

    But you never said if you did find the toilet – I couldn’t see a puddle in the theater pic, it was too dark.
    Why would you need a ticket and the red carpet walk if you were already in?

    Sorry, saw the movie last night, it showed the dirtiest most depressing lives imaginable, with huge faces (at least it looked like you sat towards the back). I would not see it again.

  • Classic NYer December 31, 2012, 9:02 pm

    When the only thing standing between your bladder and a bathroom are a few silly rules… f%&* rules.

    (I don’t know why I censored myself just then.)

  • John (Daddy Runs a Lot) January 4, 2013, 2:05 pm

    As my wife said, the Uptown is one of the things I miss most about living around DC — it’s just the perfect theater to catch a movie on the day of its release. And the zoo. The zoo is pretty wonderful.

    And, mmmmmm, free popcorn.

    Glad you enjoyed — I don’t think I’m going to get a chance to see this one in the theaters. See, my kids might sit through it only if Jean Valjean were accompanied by radioactively-altered turtles who doubled as kung-fu masters.

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