On trading A Weekend for A Single Night

I’m writing this on about 4 hours of sleep, although I’d venture slightly less.

On Monday, I won the Hamilton Lottery.

About three years ago, Olivia introduced me to the glory that is Hamilton. It very quickly took over our lives. I would listen to it at work as well as on my commute, and we would sing it together at home or on road trips. Bless Lin Manuel Miranda for creating this masterpiece of theatre.

I always knew we would see Hamilton one day, although I imagined it would be in Toronto on tour in 2021 or when we are old and (somehow) rich enough to buy tickets. When I found out I was moving to New York, Olivia and I realized that I could now start entering the daily lottery for seats. The theatre has 46 seats reserved in every show that is specifically for ‘fans’ who have entered the online lottery. The seats are then sold for $10 each (as Hamilton is the $10 founding father) to the winners who can purchase up to 2 seats. For reference, the seats right behind us were being sold for $650 USD.

When we first visited New York in May, I began submitting to the lottery every single morning. I figured that if I’m here for three years, I would probably get it one time at least (I know that is not how odds work, but it is how I justified it).

I did not expect that it would happen on my FIRST DAY of full classes.

I woke up on Monday morning and scrolled my notifications. To my absolute surprise… I won. I almost didn’t believe it. It had to be a scam. I opened the app, and there it was.

WINNER.

I bought the tickets without a question but quickly realized Olivia would never be able to make it down in time. I told her the news, and she didn’t believe me until I sent her the photos. At first it didn’t seem like she was going to even try to make it down - she had just started her new job in Ottawa last Monday and it was incredibly last minute to plan a flight even if she could get off work. That quickly changed when she realized that we have no idea when we would get this opportunity again and she would miss out on seeing it with me for the first time together.

I had already started trying to find someone in my class to go with me when she told me she was going to ask her manager about the ability to come to NYC for 24 hours.

I have to reiterate this… I really did not expect her to come. In no way shape or form is it in her nature to leap on a last minute opportunity, step away from work, and spend money to fly to NYC. However, I was elated when she said she had received approval and was going to book a flight to New York for Tuesday morning, and fly back to Ottawa on Wednesday morning. She would be in New York City for about 12 hours total.

The big contention was that if she flew down for this night, it meant that she likely wouldn’t be able to come down this weekend or next as she had been planning. We essentially were choosing to celebrate one night in heaven, seeing Hamilton as my first Broadway show, or a full weekend together in the coming weeks.

Obviously at this point you know we chose Hamilton. I think it was the right call. We had a wonderful night - the performance was incredible, and it was really great to see her in the limited amount of time we had. We were in the second row, just off stage left. We had a great spot and it felt like the show favoured our side of the stage for the most-part. The show was funnier than expected and the cast gave great performances with a lot of character in every scene.

We took the subway home and got into bed shortly afterwards. Sharing a twin bed isn’t easy but it’s easier when you’re only getting four hours and you haven’t seen the other person in almost three weeks.

Saying goodbye this morning was easier than the first time she left on August 22nd, but it’s never easy. I took her down to the Port Authority bus station - we arrived there by 5:06am and waited for the next bus to the Newark Airport. I’m glad I went down with her as there were a few snags/delays along the way, but all went smoothly - she even got on an earlier flight into Toronto.

It was a magical evening that I don’t think we will forget.

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