Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Music and a Chocolate Car. Also, Shoes.

Can you spot me in this picture?



I’m one of the tiny little dots on the left, holding a teensy dot of a violin. I joined this orchestra a few months ago, and we played an Easter concert last week in glorious Segerstrom Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. (That was a lot of capitalization for one sentence.) Words can't express how much I love being in an orchestra again.

However, words can express how much I enjoyed eating at Wahoo's Fish Taco during the dinner break between the dress rehearsal and performance. Across the street from the concert hall is a gigantic, upscale mall, and I decided to walk over to grab some dinner and do a little Easter basket shopping. (I ended up buying Steve a chocolate car. Two of his favorite things combined!) I spent an enjoyable half hour eating an embarrassingly large plate of rice and beans at a table outside, basking in the early evening sun and flirting with a very cute boy at the next table. (He was 18 months old. What can I say - I have a thing for younger men.)

After the food and flirtation, I discovered and purchased the chocolate car, and then went in search of the ladies room where I could wash the caramel residue from my fingers. (I ate the free sample they gave me at the candy store. Was this in keeping with my anti-inflammation diet? No. Do I care? No.)

As I was washing my hands, I became aware of a woman standing very quietly in the corner next to the door. She was staring intently at the bottom of the handicapped stall at the opposite end of the bathroom. I looked over at the stall, and could see nothing out of the ordinary. I looked back at her, and she just kept staring. Puzzled, I dried my hands, and she stared. As I reached the door to exit the bathroom, I glanced back once more to see if I could identify the reason for her staring, and her hand suddenly shot out and grabbed my arm. I stopped, startled, and she raised her finger to her lips to shush me. Then, pointing to the handicapped stall, she whispered:

"No shoes."


I wasn't sure I'd heard her correctly.

"What?" I whispered back.

She put her finger to her lips again, and whispered with greater urgency:

"No shoes. NO. SHOES."


"Hmmmm." I said.

I stood there with her for about 30 seconds, her hand on my arm, both of us staring in silence at the handicapped stall. Finally, not knowing what else I could contribute to the conversation, I gently pulled my arm from her grasp, and exited the bathroom.

I was barely out the door when I heard a voice behind me.

"Sorry if I freaked you out."

I turned around. She came closer. In hushed tones, she said:

"It's just that - I think there is someone in that stall."

"Okay."

"But I couldn't see their FEET."

"Right."

"And I've been surprised in a bathroom before."

"Oh."

"So you should be careful."

"I will be."

"Always check for shoes."

"I'll do that. Thanks."

We both nodded solemnly at each other, and I departed, heading back to the candy store.

I decided it was time for another free sample.

14 comments:

Blondie said...

That's hilarious!

Also, where can I get me one of those chocolate cars? Because, well . . .you know.

Azúcar said...

My imagination has been running full force as to what the surprise could have been...

Daniel Craig?

TmeggenT said...

How exciting that you joined an orchestra! I admit I miss being involved in making music like that too. How fun for you!

I found this post to be extremely funny! I too wonder . . . what was she surprised about in a bathroom before? Frightening to contemplate.

Keep the posts coming!

Jannah said...

I for one am very relieved that this did not turn out to be another airplane-newspaper-guy cliff hanger, as I read the words
"No shoes. NO. SHOES."
I began to imagine mall security enforcing a "no service" rule, I was relieved to learn she was only loony, or maybe she was previously traumatized as a victim of Candid Camera.
Of course, we shouldn't judge, perhaps she is a mafia informant in witness protection and has cause for her concern.

TnD said...

Better no shoes, than my recent bathroom encounter of no clothes, now that is a shocker.

Katie said...

Wow! Segerstrom Hall is beautiful. So that "little orchestra" you said you joined...

No shoes lady. Yes. Strange.

Jen said...

Yay! Did I tell you I too joined an orchestra a few months ago? (although mine is rather littler than yours). I love it as well, though I'm very very rusty.

I do believe the last "orchestra" I played was with you. We all wore terribly unflattering blue dresses and head-scarves, oh and really bad wigs.

Reb said...

That looks like such a beautiful performance hall. How neat that you are in that orchestra! I hope all of you were wearing your shoes for your last performance because the word on the street is that you should always check for shoes...

Annette Lyon said...

I looked at the picture really big, and I THINK I actually did spot your dot!

Poor shoe woman. What a life she must lead. Shoes today. What's next?

Jennifer B. said...

I've lurked on your blog for a long time and I hope you don't mind a stranger commenting here, but I just can't believe that we were in the same place at the same time and I didn't know it! I was on stage with you, but not as an accomplished musician. I was there merely to keep children from misbehaving or falling off the risers. Wish we could have met. I love your writing! By the way, the orchestra sounded wonderful =)

Emmie said...

Hi, Jennifer! Wow - what a small world! Will you be at the next concert? If so, please come find me in the violin section - I'd love to meet you!

Blondie,
I'll give you the 411 on the chocolate car, but we both know what they'd really like is a chocolate airplane. Or a real one.

Azucar,
If indeed it was Daniel Craig who surprised her before, maybe she was waiting in the bathroom in hopes that he would surprise her again?

Meg,
I miss being in an orchestra with you!

Jannah,
I'm going with mafia informant.

Tara,
Now that is something which needs to be blogged about!

Katie,
Well, I guess by "little" I meant "could be bigger." :-)

Jen,
Ah, the memories of Playing for Time and All Eternity. Remember how we were supposed to look like we were starving, and instead the dresses made us all look like sausages?

Reb,
It would have been even better if the choir had sung "Play the musette, the tuneful o-o-boe!"

Annette,
I just enlarged the photo, and you're right - it's easy to spot me. I'm the face that is 100 times whiter than any other face!

Stephen said...

I couldn't help but think of Ed Glosser: Trivial Psychic, played by Christopher Walken. It would have been cool if she had grasped your arm, jumped suddenly, and said, "You're going to walk into a bathroom . . . you'll suspect one of the stalls is occupied . . . but you're not gonna see any shoes below the door . . . then Daniel Craig is gonna jump out . . . you'll be surprised."

I guess that wouldn't be that trivial, but would definitely be awesome.

cotton_in_the_medicine_bottles said...

Well, you do live in California, darlin'. I didn't know you played an instrument. I'm so blessed to know fantastically talented people!
(In order to live less bitterly, that's how I say it now.)

Geo said...

You just got a free sample of neurosis.