Why is it every time I foray into Los Angeles with the goal of cultural enrichment something crazy happens, and I find myself in an oh-my-goodness-we-are-going-to-be-late -- we-will-never-make-it-on-time situation?! I mean, really?! Here I am trying to expand my arts and culture palate and something backfires. (South Pacific, Wicket, and Barbra Streisand come to mine...)
Last night my mother and I saw Celtic Thunder at the Greek Theater. It was my first time at this venue, and since I was a little concerned by its location in the heart of LA traffic I suggested we leave 2 hours before the concert. Now, I'm a Southern California girl, born and bred. LA traffic is not a new concept. As a child I provided backseat support while we drive what felt like hours to tour a museum. I interned in Century City for a semester (that was fun) and made the commute twice a week. And by now I think I know every side street around the Ahmanson. Suffice it to say, I know the drill and thought two hours would be ample time for the drive.
Wednesday. October 26, 2011. I left work 30 minutes early and had just enough time to grab a bite to eat, quick change, and check traffic before leaving for the Greek. I plotted a route guaranteed to provide the least resistance, and off we went. Things were going along just fine...until the 110. Suddenly, I went from the lovely carpool lane to the parking lot that was the freeway and we sat...and sat...and sat. 6:30. 7:00. We still had to take the 101 to Vermont Ave and head into the hills. Things were not looking good.
Now, for those of you who know me, I do not like being late. At all. Neither does my mother. I think it’s inbred because I’ve been this way since I can remember. In recent years I’ve learned to tame my I’m-going-to-be-late anxiety and adopt more of a Que Sera Sera attitude when it comes to circumstances beyond my control. However last night I failed. Miserably. I was seriously uptight about the possibility of being late and finally stopped looking at my watch because it only made me feel worse. Of course, when I finally checked the time and discovered it was 7:27 I was more than a little frustrated. We were just entering the maze the Greek calls "parking," and it was a zoo. After navigating through a zillion orange cones and making one wrong turn we were finally parked and power walking to the venue. When we entered the premises the lights were still up meaning the concert hadn’t started yet. Whew. But wait! I wanted a program, the concession stand is right here, and there’s no line. Might as well buy it now, right?! The transaction took less than 90 seconds but in that time the lights dimmed, and we raced into the venue and to our seats. Just in the nick of time!
To the Celtic Thunder stage manager/lead decision maker who started the show late: thank you.