[Editor’s Note: If at any point while reading this you think, Wow, she’s a spoiled brat, you are correct.]
Yesterday I discussed the process my mom and I went through as we planned to come to NYC (we’re here now!). I’ll be honest: I’m always up for a trip, but I wasn’t super excited about going to NYC again (my mom and I went for a few days in July 2010). The fact that it will be the Christmas season was definitely a bonus, but still, my passion level was at about a 6 out of 10.
My brain quickly put together: Hamilton is on Broadway, and Broadway is in NYC. Suddenly the trip was a 10 out of 10. I immediately looked at their website, and my passion plummeted to a 0. They were sold out. For months.
This roller coaster of emotion continued. I discovered #ham4ham, a lottery in which Lin-Manuel Miranda and cast perform a little bit to street crowds, then offer 21 front row tickets in a raffle – if you win, you pay $10 (because Hamilton is on the bill). Awesome!, I thought. Until I read on and saw that every single day, an average of 700 people show up to put their names in the raffle. I calculated our odds to be .003%. Noooo.
What else was there to do but turn to crime? I looked at resale websites, and holy cow, were tickets expensive. When I tried to convince my mom that it was still worth it, she refused to consider. She seemed to think that I become “obsessed” with things “regularly” and it had been “two days, Tricia, are you sure you will still be interested by the time the trip comes around?”
Yes, I said with as much feeling as possible, clasping her hands in desperation like an addict begging for a fix. I feel this obsession deep in my bones, I continued. It’s a keeper.
She remained unmoved.
A few days later, I visited her while she was working at the library. The new director was eating lunch with her, and my mom mentioned that we both liked Hamilton. “You like Hamilton!?” I said, zeroing in on my new target. “Will you help me convince my mom that we should spend a ton of money to see it on Broadway?”
“You definitely should. Lin-Manuel Miranda is only going to playing Hamilton through March,” she said.
“Mooooooom,” I wailed, absolutely distraught by this news. “We cannot be in New York City while the musical of the century is new and the man who wrote it over the course of six years plays the lead role, and just….not go!”
[Fun fact: I am 90% sure that this conversation is what helped me get a job at the library a couple weeks later! Obsessive fangirling for the win!]
My mom remained unconvinced until we visited her best friend’s house later that day. “Hey, your husband likes history,” I said, lurching into any segue possible. “Have you heard of Hamilton? And by the way, let me tell you my privileged sob story of maternal oppression.”
“I think it’d be worth it to spend the money,” my mom’s friend said. “Really?” said my mom.
Later that night, at home, my mom suggested we look again at the scalper’s prices. I sat bolt upright. “Are you serious?” I asked. “Because of your friend?”
She blushed. “I dunno, I mean, we might as well look.” I made a mental note to get my mom’s friend on my side of all future arguments.
The tickets were still 4x the normal cost, but I pressed my advantage and replayed every reason it was worth it. “Will you pay for yours?” my mom asked, like she was playing a trump card.
“…You see how much it is, right?”
“I WILL EMPTY MY SAVINGS ACCOUNT TO SEE THIS SHOW!”
I am not great at keeping calm and carrying on.
Finally, finally, my mom pushed the “buy” button. Immediately it said there was added massive charge. I froze, considering my options as my mom turned to me. “This is ridiculous, Tricia.”
“But. But this added cost will be on every site. This is the cheapest seat available, and I guarantee we will not find a better deal. It will only get more expensive. Nothing else I want to do in NYC costs money – I just want to go to a graveyard and see Hamilton’s gravestone. I’m paying for my half, so it’s only half a horrible cost, and–“
I rambled on and on, wondering if I could lunge across her to hit the final button on the screen, confirming our purchase. I didn’t think I would make it.
With a sigh, my mom stared at the screen, then pushed the button herself.
“I guess we’re going to see Hamilton,” she said.
For a moment, my excitement rendered me nonverbal. I just stared at her with wide eyes and a spreading grin. “This is the best moment of my life,” I whispered.
But now I’m actually in NYC, and today is the day! Our overpriced tickets for the worst seats in the house are going to usher us into a gilded hall of dreams and magic and wonderment at 8:00 tonight. I, uh, may have extremely high expectations, but I have zero doubts that after the musical is over, I will rectify my statement from several weeks ago and whisper, “No, this is the best moment of my life.”