This was originally published on September 1, 2021
A little backstory: On February 28, 2020 I had just signed a new lease in Brooklyn and was about to start a new job. I was wandering around Midtown without my typical stressors (ie: apartment and job) for the first time and felt so free. As I tried to escape Times Square, I found myself in front of the Music Box Theatre where Dear Evan Hansen was playing. As my luck would have it, the show was starting in 15 minutes. I went up to the Box Office and asked the ticket woman how much a single ticket would cost. She showed me two locations on the seat map with different prices: $700 and $250. Of course, these were excellent seats, but I couldn’t possibly wrap my head around spending that much for a show after I had just put down a deposit of money I didn’t have on an apartment and my job didn’t start until the following week. I justified, “I live here now! I can go to Broadway any time I want! I don’t need to rush to get tickets!” Silly, silly girl.
As we all know, Broadway shut down for a year and a half within the next two weeks. I think about that time in the box office more than I’d like to admit and how in the moment that $250 seemed obscene but in the long run it wouldn’t have completely spun me into debt. I think about how giddy I would’ve been sitting in my seat in a full theater when the orchestra plays the 5 minute warning before curtain. I wonder if I would’ve chosen to use the intermission to go to the bathroom or have waited in line to get a candy bar like my mom always bought me and my sister when we went to the Nutcracker at Christmas. I wonder when I would have started crying because I cry just listening to the soundtrack on Spotify. I know it would have been an amazing show and so much sweeter in hindsight knowing what we all know now. I would have cherished that as my last pre-Covid show. Instead, I didn’t go and we’ll never know.
My actual last show pre-Covid was Harry Styles at the Plaza for the Today Show on February 26, 2020. It was magical. (Kinda, the sound wasn’t amazing, but being in the same vicinity of Harry Styles puts me into an automatic state of bliss.) I remember thinking during that show, “This is why I’m moving to New York. This is where things happen!”
18 months later, vaccinations have been rolled out (please get vaccinated) and tour dates are rescheduled. I’m very much looking forward to seeing Dear Evan Hansen one day, but right now my focus is on the upcoming Harry Styles shows. I got tickets for one show when they went on sale in November 2019 which feels like a lifetime ago. He has a few other dates scheduled at Madison Square Garden in October and while it would be absurd to go to all of those, I was fully prepared to spend my “adventure savings” on tickets to another one once the tour was confirmed.
Even though it’s not healthy to have the “there might be another pandemic so I’m going to throw away my budget” mindset when it comes to money, it’s so important to take advantage of the opportunity to do things that bring us joy. Nothing compares to dancing with a group of people singing your lungs out to a live performance of your favorite music. That’s why I’m fully prepared to spend (already have) all my money on Harry Styles. Who knows I might even go a little wild and buy an overpriced merch sweatshirt if I’m feelin’ it!