Friday, March 16, 2007

You can take the blonde out of my hair . . .

My lands. Brunette has made me none more smarter. None at all.

There is a pianist, Alfred Brendel. He is my most favorite Beethoven performer. He is also ancient and frail, so when he scheduled a concert right here where I live, I got excited. He scheduled one last year, but I was very distracted, and he got sick anyway, so I didn't miss anything.

I bought Guy and I tickets for this concert. I almost bought Lovely one, but changed my mind at the last minute. I hadn't talked to her about it, and it was going to be a meaty all solo piano concert, so I just bought the two tickets.

After I bought the tickets, I called Papa to see if he could babysit that night, and he said of course. Good. It was all set. Guy and I were going to see Alfred Brendel.

Enter the flaky canape (which sounds very much like an appetizer now).

When the girl selling me the tickets said that the concert dates were March 16 and 17, the thought passed through my mind that he should only be playing one night. But what do I know? I told her that we would need tickets on the 16th. I chose seats on the side of the stage, where his back would be to us, but we could look straight down on his hands. She printed the tickets and I never even looked at them.

Tonight is March 16.

I spoke to my friend T today. She had tickets last year to see Mr. Brendel when he cancelled, but she didn't mention the concert this weekend. I was sad. I thought she wasn't going to get to go. At first I didn't say anything, but then called her back later to ask. She didn't answer and I didn't leave a message.

Guy and I arrive at the symphony hall. It is crowded. Parking is tight. I'm excited that Mr. Brendel has such a great turnout.

We enter the hall. Our tickets are scanned by the usher using some new fangled barcode reader they have, and he tells us to enjoy the concert. We thank him.

As we take our seats, I mention to Guy that I thought this was to be a solo piano concert. What was the symphony doing on stage? Maybe, I thought, they are going to do a concerto for the first half and then solo piano afterwards. Just as I'm completing that thought, Guy opens the program and says,

"Schmoopie? This says that a violinist is playing tonight."

We look at the tickets with which we have just entered the hall regardless of the fancy barcode reader, and sure enough they say:

March 26.

Here's where I get even flakier.

Since we have what they consider season tickets, even thought it is a package of 6 of the 12 concerts, I assume that we do in fact have tickets for tonight and I just brought the wrong ones. I assume that I am so excited about Mr. Brendel that I thought he was tonight, when in fact, we should be up in our regular season ticket seats.

No problem. We go to the will call window and explain that we have brought the wrong tickets and could we please be reminded of our season ticket seat numbers. The girl was beyond nice. She looked them up by our last name, wrote them down for us, and we went on our way.

Okay, small problem. When we get to the seat numbers she wrote down, we notice that it isn't our usual row, and besides that, the seat numbers didn't exist.

We return to the nice girl who begins to fall all over herself with apologies. She walks us up to where she wrote our seats down, and discovers that in fact, they do not exist. More apologies. She pulls out 2 tickets from an envelope she is carrying and says,

"Just use these tonight. I am so sorry for the mix up. Please let me know if I can do anything else."

Finally, Guy and I settle into the appropriate seats. I open the program, read the selections for the evening and realize the truth.

I did not buy tickets for this concert. I know this because I only purchased tickets for the concerts that were premiering pieces by North Carolina composers.

I have just pulled the biggest scam on the this poor girl. We are sitting in $50 seats - each of us is sitting in a $50 seat. Not only did we not pay a penny for these seats, but we had the box office manager falling over herself to give them to us with apologies.

We left at intermission half wrecked with guilt, the other half just tired from climbing up and down the stairs 4 times in 4 inch boots.

I thought about trying to call on Monday and explain to her what happened and offer to pay for the tickets. But really. Who is going to believe that I could be that stupid? Don't answer that, I know there are some people out there. I think I'll just chalk this one up to a really good laugh, and when that solicitation letter from the symphony comes this year, I might just have to send them a check.