It was the night before tickets went on sale for Josh Groban’s “Straight to You” concert tour, though the scene in our kitchen resembled the eve of the Alamo, with my sister, Shannon, and I huddled over maps and documents like two war generals plotting out their method of attack. A strategy was decided on, an official time put in place, and a backup plan discussed. At the close of our midnight convention we knew that, though the night was late and the following morning equally early, our planning would be more than worthwhile.
The next morning Shannon and I were ready for action, pulling on Josh’s old concert tour T-shirts in honor of the event. Since Shannon would be in school when the tickets went on sale, I was delegated with the responsibility of ordering the tickets as soon as the clock struck ten o’clock am. I reviewed the procedure once again with my fellow Grobanite before she walked out the door.
“Is there anything else we need to go over?”
“You have the paper from last night?”
“And you know which sections to try first?”
“Sections 109 and 121.”
“And which ones to try second?”
“108 and 120.”
“And if all else fails?”
“Try the closest section in the lower bowl, otherwise go to the main floor.”
“And what time will you be at the computer?”
“Computer report time, 9:55am. Ticket order site, 9:56. Select seats, 9:57. Remain at station for two minutes. Take position, 9:59. Ticket sales begin 10am. Approximate time of purchase, 10:01.”
Shannon paused, looking back at me, her blue eyes gleaming with anticipation.
“Then I think this is it.”
With inspirational ballads and Italian anthems resounding in our souls, we said good-bye, knowing that at the next meeting our destiny on the evening of August 6, 2011 would be known.
At precisely 9:54am I headed upstairs where my laptop was waiting. I got online, found the concert and went as far as Ticketmaster would let me. I looked at the upper right corner of my screen. 9:57. Three more minutes. 9:58. Perspiration beaded on my forehead. 9:59. “You Raise Me Up” was ringing in my ears. 10am. I hit “purchase.”
I never expected what came next. There, in crude gray letters, I read “please enter your password.” My jaw dropped to the ground. Shannon and I never gave consideration to this detail that terminates so many attempts at accomplishing anything online. At the rate my mind was going you could have flown Josh Groban to Jupiter and back in time for the concert. But I could not for the life of me remember what my password was. I humbly clicked on the link that mocked, “Did you forget your password?” and entered my e-mail address to attain a new one. As I waited the lyrics in my head shifted to “Broken Vow” as I pictured what Shannon’s face would look like when I told her I bought tickets in the section where we would need a telescope to see what color shirt Josh was wearing.
It was 10:01 and after checking my e-mail for the two-hundredth time in fifteen seconds, I received a temporary password. Copy, paste, enter. I thought I was through, but the website insisted that I come up with a permanent password for my account. I quickly made up something that I have already forgotten, and proceeded.
I was confused when the system showed me, not my first choice, but second choice of seats. It was 10:02, surely tickets didn’t sell out that fast. I hit the back button, and tried again. This time it came up with seats even further away. Every click of the mouse was distancing Shannon and I from our favorite male singer. Panic started to set in, so I gave in to the system, entered my credit card number, and confirmed my order. I finished at 10:04, three minutes and two sections behind schedule.
Despite our obstacles, Shannon and I are very happy with our seats. Now we have five months to daydream about meeting Josh in the grocery store:
“Oh, hello Josh. I didn’t expect to see you here. What’s that? You’re thinking about using a local violinist and harpist for your concert on August 6? And you’d prefer they be sisters? Well, how convenient that we ran into you!”
The probability of this happening is about negative three, but Shannon and I are always prepared for a chance encounter. And no matter what happens we’ll come running, one more time, to hear Josh Groban sing straight to us on August 6, 2011.