The stage musical of one of my all time favourite films, Dirty Dancing, was touring Ireland this summer.
It reminded me of the time I had tickets for the show.
Yes, you read that correctly.
I had tickets.
Not, ‘it reminded me of the time I saw the show’…
November 2010. It was my birthday.
The very lovely OH practically danced with excitement as he presented me with an envelope. He knew what a big fan of the film I was, and how much I wanted to see the live stage show.
To say I was overjoyed at the sight of the tickets is the understatement of the century.
I squealed with delight, did my own little victory dance and threw my arms around his neck, smothering him in grateful kisses.
The seats were the best in the house, centre-stage, third row.
We started making plans about booking an hotel for the night, planning where we would eat out first, what I would wear…
Still shocked and in disbelief I studied the tickets again.
Something was wrong…
The tickets were not for January 2011.
The show was playing January-February 2012.
I had to wait over a year to see my show!
The OH was mortified that he hadn’t noticed the date while booking the tickets. Red faced and apologizing profusely he cursed himself for his error.
I didn’t care. I laughed out loud and told him, what did it matter?
We would still see the show; it was just a longer wait, that’s all.
At least we hadn’t actually booked the hotel!
It was with long-awaited delight that I booked the hotel in December 2011 for our Big Night Out in January.
I read Menu Pages, scanning reviews of the best places to eat.
I carefully selected something to wear that would be warm and comfortable but still look cool for night.
I was beyond excited!
The day of the show rolled around. I could not wait to drive to the city and get the experience started.
We arrived early and dropped off our bags at the hotel.
In high spirits we wandered around the city, window-shopping and just soaking up the atmosphere, looking forward to the evening ahead.
After getting ourselves all dolled up at the hotel we ate a delicious Italian meal and enjoyed a glass of wine before we walked down the quays to the theatre.
As we walked, we saw the people who had been to the early showing coming against us. We smugly giggled and pondered why would some people opt for the early show instead of making a big night of it? We had chosen the better option and boy did we feel pleased with ourselves about it.
We enjoyed a massively overpriced glass of wine in the theatre bar before the show, happily people-watching and discussing what we had read about the live show and what other shows we should look into seeing next.
Then it was finally time to take our seats.
This was a brand new, state of the art theatre and, wow!, the money that had been spent was evident everywhere. We sat in our fantastic seats and gazed around us at the stunning architecture and décor.
We must have looked like slack jawed yokels from the sticks!
I became aware of a woman hovering next to me and I glanced up at her, smiling because I was having a wonderful evening so far.
“Excuse me, I think you are in my seat,” she said.
With great confidence, I replied, “No, you must have made a mistake, here look,” offering her my ticket stub, which clearly showed that, yes indeed I was in the correct seat.
Looking very annoyed she turned and stomped off.
The lady next to me smiled and did the universal eye-roll thing to indicate her sympathy with me. I laughed and told her, “I have waited literally years to see this, no one is moving me from this seat!”
We laughed together. Two fans about to have the night of our lives. The OH squeezed my hand and we smiled at each other.
I noticed an official looking woman making her way through the row towards me, behind her was Irate Woman with whom I had just had the seat debate with.
Official Woman asked to see my ticket. I handed it over, feeling annoyed with both of these women who seemed to want to ruin my night.
“I’m sorry Madam, there seems to have been a mistake. Your ticket was for the previous show, at 5pm,” Official Woman hands me my ticket and points at the time printed on it.
Access slow-motion mode…
I feel the world spin around me.
My hearing goes slightly odd, as if my head is underwater.
I feel dizzy.
This cannot be happening!
The OH leaned across me, all manly and with a “Don’t worry babe, I got this” vibe about him.
He asked what the problem was, inspected the ticket and I watched as the blood drained from his face as he too realised our huge blunder.
Our tickets were for the 5pm showing, not the 8pm showing we were currently seated in.
Shamefacedly, we bundled up our coats and my bag and tried to exit with a morsel of dignity intact.
Irate Woman gave me a thin, mean smile.
My new neighbour/friend studiously avoided my eyes as I scooted past her.
We appealed to Official Woman with our story of woe, at the box office in the theatre foyer. She was very sympathetic, and very generously offered to redeem our tickets for the following night, as long as we attended the 5pm showing.
Delighted and grateful, we snapped up her offer and left to wander the icy streets of the city and contemplate our mistake.
Despondent and despairing, the OH was beyond embarrassed that, not only had he booked the tickets and got the year wrong, he had now managed to take me to the wrong showing as well. The absurdity of it all hit me and I burst into uncontrollable giggles. This could only happen to us!
Deciding we were lucky to have a second, (or would that be a third?), chance, we returned to the hotel and began what turned out to be an epic night of boozing…
The following morning I felt every single drink I had consumed the night before.
Thumping head, sick stomach, aching muscles, dry throat…
The OH was due in at work that day, so I tagged along to his office, as I simply couldn’t face a morning of walking around the city. He left me to surf the web at his desk while he went about his workday, running from one meeting to another.
When he returned at lunchtime, I saw the shock on his face.
I knew I had been feeling dreadful but his expression confirmed that I must have looked like death as well.
This was much, much more than a hangover. This was me, being properly SICK. My throat was so swollen I was struggling to swallow even sips of water.
He pleaded with me to consider going to see our ill-fated show anyway, but I simply knew that was never going to happen.
I was barely able to stand, let alone make it down to the theatre.
With heavy hearts, he cancelled the rest of his working day, we packed up and he practically carried me to the car to return home.
It turned out that I had the worst chest and throat infection of my life, one that took three separate rounds of antibiotics to clear up and nearly hospitalized me.
I was still recovering two months later, so it was pretty evident I would not have made it through the show, even if we had stayed for it.
As I said at the beginning of this sorry little tale, Dirty Dancing The Musical returned to the very same theatre this summer.
When we heard this news, the OH and I looked at each other, shared an eyebrow raise and both burst out laughing.
“Well?” he said.
“You can never go back,” I replied…