Sunday, July 22, 2012

This is Thrillerfest - Night 2

Before reading on, if you haven't already, first read

All caught up now? Good. Let's continue.

As The Book of Mormon ticket-taker peered closer at our $350-apiece tickets he licked the sweat off his upper lip, and I knew he was about to tell us news that would push my mother over the sanity cliff.

"Um, I'm sorry, but these tickets are for JUNE 13. Not July 11. These are for last month."

My mom looked at me with hysteria in her eyes. 

"Oh my god. This can't be happening," she said. She pushed her way to the ticket counter as I stepped into a long line next to a sign that read CANCELLATIONS, just in case. I could see the back of my mother's head jerking and I knew she was letting her anger for the cab drive out on this poor theater worker bee. I watched her throw her hands up and then back down as she slapped the ticket counter. The bee behind the glass just kept shaking his head.

Mom turned around and walked toward me in a death march. "There's nothing we can do," she said, with what looked like tears in her eyes. "I don't know what to say. I've been so busy and so tired and I never opened the ticket envelope before tonight to look at them. They must've sent me the wrong tickets. Or maybe I clicked the wrong dates when I booked them online? I don't know. Oh, Heather, I know The Book of Mormon was the one thing you wanted to see while we were here, and I messed it up. I'm so sorry."

"It's fine. It was an honest mistake," I said.

I felt guilty. She wouldn't be feeling so awful if I just wouldn't ask for things. She suggested we see Porgy and Bess instead, but I didn't want to see anything else and repeated, "It's fine. Let's just go back to the hotel. I don't want you to spend any more money." Honestly, after scooting through Brooklyn in the heat and the Garden Scurry and the maniac cabbie "liar" accusations, I just wanted to curl up in my hotel bed and reboot.

"It's not fine. Wait here." She walked outside and somehow found a man scalping one ticket. Through the window of the theater lobby I saw her open her purse and I ran toward her to stop her, but it was done. 

"You're going to see this play," she said as she pressed the ticket into my hand and pushed me into the Eugene O'Neill theater. "Go on. Go. It's starting. Can you get home OK after the show?"

"Yes, but Mom. . ."
"Don't worry about it. I'll see you later at the hotel." And she was gone down the street.

In his Craftfest session earlier that morning titled PLAYING GOD: Creating Memorable Characters, Robert Dugoni said, "Forgiveness and self-sacrifice are two great character abilities. A character who is willing to forgive someone? That is a powerful strength. And someone who is willing to sacrifice themselves for someone else? Think Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond or Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan. . .we root for those people."  

BEST: Here we were, each the embodiment of great character attributes. At the end of the day--both literally and figuratively--I would always forgive my mother, and she would ultimately sacrifice herself to see me happy. And happy I was, because The Book of Mormon was the Best. Show. Ever. I enjoyed every single second of that musical.
WORST: My mom couldn't be there to see it with me.

Though I had told her yes, after the play I realized I didn't have any money to get a cab ride home. I didn't have my scooter either because we had just intended to go from hotel to cab to theater and back, and in that scenario there weren't enough steps to justify the scooter.  

I Googled the hotel, and it was 1.5 miles from the theater. I could walk it if I went slow. So like a powder-nosed late '80s Robert Downey Jr., I inhaled deeply the vibrancy of this city with each slothful step.

High off the Mormons and my mother's largess, I documented my emotion . . .
Outside the TODAY Show studios:
 Across from Rockafeller Plaza:
The house that will one day publish my memoir:
Grand Central Station and the stunning, art deco Chrysler building:

Marilyn Monroe once said, "Little girls should should grow up knowing how much their mother loves them." Without a doubt, I do. Thank you for this gift tonight, Mom. 


  1. Very nice. Hope your mom got her money back on those tickets major major bummer.

  2. MAJOR bummer. She did NOT get her money back for those tickets, but was told she could use them on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday if she calls THAT morning to check if there are any single seats available. . . in two years. That's right. Two years. She goes to New York a lot though (has plans to go back twice before the end of this year) so she will eventually use them.