You know, I just had to. I had to. Ever since I first watched "Into the Woods" in college and discovered just who it was I'd passed up the opportunity to interview for an English paper I regretted that I'd never jumped on that chance, and here it was, again. I had to!
After seeing "Into the Woods" performed live recently with Kim Crosby (who originated the role of Cinderella on Broadway 25ish years ago) as the baker's wife, I took the chance and emailed her husband (who, note, was also Prince Charming, and works where I work) saying that, as he'd said I would, I loved the show, and (a lot of words later) would he be willing to share contact information in one direction or another so I could initiate an invitation to coffee?
He gave me her email address, and cc'd her for a heads up.
And waited four. agonizing. days. for a reply. She accepted. I was giddy. (And that just might be the understatement of the year.)
Four more days later (which brings us to yesterday), I was in the car on my way to meet her, giggling to myself as if I were still 18 years old and saying out loud to no one in particular, "This is actually happening!"
I was five minutes early; she was four minutes late. Those nine minutes were incredibly long, with a lot of glancing out into the parking lot watching every car that drove near the front of the store. Is that her? No, that's a guy. Is that... no. Is that... nope. What time is it? Only two minutes late. That's fine. I'm usually five minutes late. Is that her?
As soon as she arrived we recognized each other (I, because I knew exactly who I was looking for, and she, because I was the only one standing in the lobby fidgeting and watching the door). I insisted on paying, she psh'd at me about it, and from that moment, conversation was nearly as effortless as with someone you've known for years. She was so friendly, so nice, and so casual. Casually discussing the way costumes were put together on Broadway. And also kids, food, life, and watching this cute little 2 year old girl in a pink princess dress and gold sandals tripping around the restaurant with her dad chasing her. I may have made a comment about the little girl's "slippers as pure as gold," followed up with "Yeah, I went there." What?
We discussed the way Sondheim puts together train-of-thought lyrics and how you're lucky if you have a rest anywhere in the music, what it was like to be in the performance from another character's perspective, how her own life experiences helped her identify more with the baker's wife now (since she's married and has children, as opposed to being single and childless as Cinderella), and just she was so nice.
It was fabulous. It was absolutely fabulous. Twelve years of regretting a missed opportunity resolved so casually and it was absolutely worth putting myself on the line and making my heart pound for a few days anytime I'd see new mail in my Inbox for that to happen. (Also totally worth being too excited to sleep the night before. Don't judge me.)
I've seen it said that the things you most regret in life are the things you didn't do. I am so appreciative for getting a do-over on this one. And though I am definitely not a proponent of missing opportunities on purpose just so they can be resolved later, I can say with a great deal of certainty that meeting her yesterday was a lot more fun -- after 12 years of anticipation and understanding just what the opportunity was -- than it possibly could've been as a shy high school junior who really had no idea what this was all about, yet.
And since I've had "Into the Woods" songs stuck in my head since I saw it 11 days ago, I'll end with some appropriate lyrics :).
To be happy, and forever,
You must see your wish come true.
Don't be careful, don't be clever.
When you see your wish, pursue.
It's a dangerous endeavor,
But the only thing to do.