Thursday, January 19, 2006

Famous Last Words

When we were seniors in college, C.S. and I decided that we would be all cultured and practice both our pretense and our Italian and go with a college group to see an opera at the Met.

At this time, we were living in a house with three other women, two of whom were planning The Party to End All Parties for that very night. They were disappointed that we were going to the opera.

"So, we'll arrive late," we told them. "Your party will run most of the night. The opera starts at 8. How long can it possibly be?"

Ladies and gentlemen, do you see the title of this post???

The opera in question was Aida.

"What's it about?" you ask.

I have no idea.

"Who was in it?"

I have no idea.

"How was the music?"

I have no idea.

What I do remember is that the opera was FOUR HOURS LONG.


Before the opera, we had a great big reservation at some Italian restaurant in Manhattan, where we were to have a prix fixe dinner.

"What restaurant?" you ask.

I have no idea.

Yes, readers, I can tell you the exact shade names of the last four eyeshadows I've worn, but I can't tell you where I ate dinner before the opera. ME. Have I mentioned how important dinner is to me?


The whole group piled in and sat at a big long table. C.S. and I were right at the end, with another woman sitting next to us.

"There's a J. Crew around here, isn't there?" she asked us.

"I don't know." (This was before my J. Crew fixation took full effect.)

"I'll be right back." She got up and left.

In the film High Anxiety, Mel Brooks's character tells Madeline Kahn's character, "If you're loud and obnoxious, psychologically, people don't notice you."

This is what must have happened.

C.S. and I sat and chatted and laughed. The waiters came by.

"Is someone sitting here?" they asked, gesturing towards J. Crew Girl's seat.

"Yes," we told them. They put food by her place.

Little by little, C.S. and I realized that everyone else had been served. We simply sat, holding our pretty blue paper napkins in our laps.

We gestured for the waiters, to no avail. As they began clearing the others' plates, our food arrived. They started to serve dessert to everyone else.

J. Crew Girl arrived, shopping bag in hand, and ordered a slice of chocolate cake. It was promptly placed in front of her.

We scarfed down our food while requesting cappuccino to accompany our imminent dessert.

J. Crew Girl took two bites of cake, put on her coat, and left, abandoning her seat.

We waited and waited.

The cappuccino arrived.

"Ok, everybody, the bus is outside. Time to go," called our professor, at that very moment.

C.S. and I looked at each other and sighed. We put on our coats and she started to head out.

I lingered a moment more.

"Come on, Arabella," she called.

Outside, we lined up in front of the bus.

"STARVING," she told me.

I simply smiled.

"Aren't you, too? We didn't even get to finish our meal."

Slowly, I reached into my pocket and pulled out a folded blue napkin.

"What did you do?"

I said nothing. I simply opened up the napkin to reveal all but two bites of a slice of chocolate cake.

We burst out laughing and ate it.

Hey, if you're going to sit through a four-hour opera, YOU NEED FUEL.


Anonymous TB said...

Classic! You gotta do what you gotta do. I'll bet that was the best cake you ever had.

11:14 AM  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

That's awesome; a memory you'll never forget. It reminds me of the time that my brother shoved my aunt's famous caesar salad in his pants pocket. He didn't want to be rude and not eat it, but he didn't like it and decided he'd put it in his pocket and throw it outside. The dog got to his pants before he made it outside and busted him...the family has never let him live it down. Okay, the family has...I haven't.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I am totally that kind of person too. And yes... for FOUR hours, you most definitely need fuel.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I am totally that kind of person too. And yes... for FOUR hours, you most definitely need fuel.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

Four hours?! Wow... I think I would have shoved the rest of the meal in my purse and snagged a handful of mints on the way out. Too cute.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous c.s. said...

that was one great piece of cake. but i remember the acquisition slightly differently. we were so horrified that she left all that cake left over, that on principle we had to have that cake so as not to waste it. we anxiously debated taking it while putting on our coats. i'm so glad you had the balls to do it -- i was ecstatic when you pulled it out of your purse to show me.

what saved me for the 4 hrs were the two glasses of wine that put me to sleep for a good portion of each act. concert halls make for some good sleeping.

i believe the restaurant was named something like "all around the world" in italian, and was on lafayette down by spring.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

I don't like J. Crew girl. I bet she's the kind of entitled wench that makes everyone wait for and on her.
And you missed the party right?

4:14 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

Does your ass actually fall asleep after 4 hours?

Thank God you grabbed the cake or someone may have died that night. Probably miss J. Crew.

12:31 AM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Yes, D.C., you ass DOES fall asleep after 4 hours.

6:47 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Mignon, you hit the nail on the head with J. Crew Girl. And, yes, we totally missed the party, and all we heard for the rest of the year was how great it had been.

C.S., how is it that you can remember this stuff, but not my middle name???

12:28 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home