Years ago my girlfriend and I went to the lovely Dorothy Chandelier Pavilion to see "Annie Get Your Gun." My girlfriend, Patty was going to be playing Annie, and I was the choreographer in an upcoming production at The Conejo Players in Thousand Oaks, CA. We were looking forward to seeing the Los Angeles Production, and we certainly weren't disappointed.
During intermission, we waited in the perpetually long line for the restroom while the men swiftly and easily went in and out of theirs. Once in our stalls, I looked to my left at Patty's lovely espadrilles under the dividing wall. She had recently purchased them, and I couldn't wait to get a pair. Patty was always a step ahead of me in fashion, and I would often take my cue from her as to what to buy.
I decided to play a trick on my unsuspecting girlfriend. I've always enjoyed playing silly, innocuous tricks on my friends. While still admiring her lovely sandals, I reached under the stall divider and untied Patty's right espadrille. Whoosh! Easy! So easy in fact that I made a mental note that when I bought my own pair, I would double knot the laces so this wouldn't happen to me.
Patty screamed. I laughed. But I knew that time was of the essence. I didn't want to lose the element of surprise. I moved in for the second one. I reached all the way over and untied her other lace. She screamed again. I laughed even harder and said: "I got you!"
I left my stall and went to the sink to wash my hands. Still chuckling to myself, I watched Patty's door in the mirror waiting for her to come out. I imagined that it was taking her some time to retie her sandals. I looked down the long full bathroom, and saw...Patty! She was washing her hands at the other end of the room!
Nothing can describe the panic that I felt. I motioned frantically for Patty to hurry. "What?" What's the matter?" she said as I quickly pushed her out of the bathroom. "Shhh! Don't say anything!" I whispered hoping that nobody would later be able to recognize my voice. Surely the victim in the stall was already making mental notes of the perpetrator!
Once we were out of the bathroom, I said: "Walk this way!" I zigged and zagged as fast as I could until I felt that we were in a safe zone and that no one there would recognize my shoes. Then I began to laugh. And laugh. It took me a while to tell Patty what had happened. When I did we both howled until tears ran down our cheeks.
Despite the humor of the situation, I've always felt truly sorry for the poor woman in the stall. I'm sure that it was a frightening experience. So, in the unlikely event that she reads this, I would like to publicly apologize for untying both of your espadrilles. If nothing else, perhaps you can take comfort in knowing that you have fabulous taste in shoes!