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February 06, 2010

A night at the opera

[Behind on postings, not asking, because I've been busy in the best way possible: happily writing!! dissertation and various career related endeavors. Now digging out for a bit, and even happier that this is how I get to spend my break.]

Back to Friday:

Gentle reader.

Sit back and listen to a tale of two lovers separated by the cruelest of circumstances. Discover how the kindness of a stranger brought them together and then fate again intervened to tear them asunder. Witness the anguish of a mother watching her daughter's heart break at the thought of being torn from the bosom of her beloved. At last, smile in relief when a twist of ingenuity allows the two lovebirds to be reunited and, after some comical hijinks, to die of tuberculosis. The end.

Minus the TB, that's not the plot of a famous opera but of how our evening unfolded at the opera.
Mr. A, my mumsie and I went to see La Boheme.

I had bought our tickets in early December, which was very late: Almost everything was sold out, for every performance. We had a few choices: Upgrade to the next level, where tickets were $70 a pop. Skip it. Or sit separately. We opted for the latter.
But instead of settling for that, Mr. A and I tried neverthless to wrangle two empty seats next to one another. (Mom was happy and cozy at the end of a row, so we didn't search for three.)
First Mr. A found a friendly usher, who he told us he'll zero in on any pair of empty seats right after the doors close and escort us there.
That usher disappeared.

Next, I spotted another usher and asked the same thing.

"I can't do that. You need to take your seats before the doors close."

"Ok!" I said obediently and backed away. Then, turning to Mr. A: "Where's your guy? We need to stick with him."

Usher 2 may have heard, or he was simply being vigilant, because he asked us to sit down.

"It's ok, thanks," I said. "Another usher is helping us now."

He backed off. We waited 15 minutes for the doors to close, and lo and behold, pairs of empty seats emerged here and there. Usher 1 led us to the best pair and we sat.

The rest of the night (we got displaced when latecomers arrived, sat apart for a few acts and finally moved down a floor after spotting some open seats there) is not really worth reporting in greater detail. Other than to say that the opera rocked.

But this is just a reminder of two tenets of asking.

1) Persist. If there's something you really want, why not try again?

2) It's a crapshoot. Asking for a phone credit? Need a fee waived? Want to sit next to your amore at the opera? Depends entirely on who you come across. (Which reinforces #1)

[image via tumblr]
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