Even when confronted with a huge disappointment it is important to move forward and make the most of things. As the saying goes, “Make lemonade from lemons.”
My basket full of lemons arrived via email on Friday morning. I’d been packing, determining which jeans to wear to the Rob Thomas/One Republic concert that night. Now, this was a decision I enjoyed having to make. I couldn’t believe the day had finally arrived for my getaway to Atlantic City with a close friend. I zipped my suitcase and pulled out my little over the shoulder purse. The one that had fun written all over it. Actually it’s the fossil trademark, but in my eyes it stands for fun because all it holds is my wallet, lip gloss, anti-bacterial hand wash, a pen and an outer pocket for my cell phone. My friend was running late, though we had plenty of time so I put that thought out of my head. This was going to be a get away with no pressure, no stress, no schedule, except for being in our seats at 8 p.m. to hear One Republic enchant us with hit songs like, Stop and Stare and Apologize. I had time to check my email and see if there was any earth shattering news. When one email read, “The Rob Thomas concert may have been postponed or canceled” I thought it was a really bad joke my husband or some other practical joker with close proximity to my life was playing on me. In this case it could’ve been the guy holding the door for me at the WA WA since I told everyone standing in place with me for more than two seconds that I had tickets for the Rob Thomas concert. I checked RobThomas’ website and verified that his concert had been postponed. Once I passed the stage of disbelief, I went numb. My friend and I had gotten our kids through ear infections, the flu and even the swine flu. We reminded our often traveling for business husbands on a daily basis to stay away from planes, trains, and automobiles as of school bus drop off time on Friday November 6th-a date circled on their calendar and noted in their blackberries. Without reciting everything that needed to be done, in conclusion, we’d made certain “all of our ducks were in a row.” We never thought Rob Thomas might have a pressing family matter that would keep him from performing. I called my friend and in an instant we’d decided to keep things as planned in case it was “a horrible hoax.”
When we arrived at the Borgata that afternoon we discovered the concert had truly been postponed. The box office cashier said our tickets would be honored for the postponed date in December. I asked if we could buy two more tickets for our husbands since we were unable to get tickets for them with the concert selling out. She said they wouldn’t be on sale for a few weeks because they’d have to wait for ticket holders to decide if they wanted refunds. Since we’d lost our appetites with the reality of not hearing Rob’s soothing voice lull us into a world of serenity, we turned our attention to the ringing noise and bright lights around us. Both with the same thought, we walked over to Wolfgang Puck’s American Grille Restaurant and changed our 6 p.m. reservations to 8 p.m. Little did we know how strategic a move this would turn out to be. After playing the slots and walking around the Borgata, admiring the colorful and very unique glass chandeliers, remarking on the just as colorful people, and observing the gambling at the gaming tables, we resolved to make it a trial run weekend for the now postponed concert event. Letting go of the disappointment was much easier in our new and very far from reality environment.
Just before showtime we returned to the box office. I came up with the great idea of getting a disgruntled ticket holder’s pair of tickets. We stood in the distance watching and waiting as people were told the show had been postponed. Surprisingly, many just left with tickets in hand. We were surprised because we were hoping for a pair of tickets. Certainly, we hadn’t given up our tickets. When we overheard a husband and wife arguing about returning for the show in December,we stood nonchalantly close by. The wife wanted to keep the tickets but the husband was very reluctant. In the end the wife said, “it might be bad weather. Fine, lets just get a refund.” I looked at my friend and she was a little apprehensive but I approached the couple and asked “Would you like to sell your tickets?” The woman said “Well we were just going to get a refund.” I explained that my friend and I wanted to get tickets for our husbands. I think because she had just been through an argument with her husband she didn’t really grasp our need, but her husband chimed in when I offered cash. “We really wanted to see the show but as I explained to my wife there could be snow that late in December.” Then I replied, “Yeah, which is why it’d be great to have our husband with us.” Now, the wife smiled and said “We’re not going to use them.” Then her husband said, “Yeah we have to drive all the way from outside of Philadelphia.” My friend opened her mouth and I knew she was about to say that we too had traveled from outside of Philadelphia, but then she caught herself with the help of my intense silent plea. I asked the woman’s husband what he paid for the tickets and he pulled them out and showed me the face value. I did my fast math where I round off and in this case I rounded up offering him $8 total over the two tickets. To my surprise, he jumped at it. When we looked at the tickets, we shared with them our delight in discovering their seats were exactly one row behind us, same section and seats. Talk about luck. Now, there was no doubt it was meant to be! When the cashier asked, “Did you need any help” to the couple the wife hollered back “Oh no, these two women just bought our tickets.” We really could’ve done without the announcement especially since her voice carried louder than any PA system would’ve taken it. Concluding that our luck was beginning to turn, we hit the slots. We got a little greedy and lost. But, we still had the concert to look forward to with our husbands. Our appetite had returned.
Though we had to wait for a table, once we were seated, our gregarious “Ralph Kramden” looking waiter was attentive and made us feel welcomed. A few minutes into our meal a very familiar looking chef walked by. My friend and I looked at each other and both said “It couldn’t be.” Our waiter confirmed it was indeed Wolfgang Puck. My friend thought that since it’s his restaurant he probably is there a few times a month. Our waiter corrected this thought too. “He comes here like once or twice a year. And you’re lucky to be eating now, cause he just got here. He’s great about greeting the customers. Do you want a picture with him?” Does a kid turn down the offer for candy in a candy store? YES, we wanted a picture with him. Of course, we’d both left our cameras behind. In an instant, we whipped out our cell phones implementing the camera mode. Wolfgang Puck came toward our table and we pounced on the little Austrian accented man. Thankfully, he didn’t flinch just accommodated our request for pictures and an autographed menu. He was very kind and I’d highly recommend his restaurant for the service, food, ambience and occasional celebrity visit.
We left AC with our wallets empty of gambling money we’d put aside. But, our hearts were filled with joy while we were there and we’re still looking forward to the Rob Thomas Concert!