There were fewer students in the classroom than ever before. I’d say a third of the ‘class’ was MIA. Technically, there were only three of us actually taking the class for a grade, so I suppose it didn’t really matter if most of them came in. We talked about Much Ado About Nothing, but we really didn’t have much to discuss. Everyone LOVED Benedick’s water fountain scene, and the staging was spectacular. A couple of people shared my reservations about Beatrice’s casting, but several in the class thought she was perfect. (No one else mentioned the age thing. I guess in a group of over-60s it doesn’t seem as out of place.) Luigi was all smiles and raves for the play, which annoyed me because he hadn’t really been critical of anything the whole trip. I mean, I get that Ashland plays are really great and I enjoyed all of them, but “I loved it I thought it was great everything was wonderful!” isn’t very interesting. But whatever. There were also two older women – I’d say late seventies, maybe even in their eighties? – who complained that they couldn’t hear anything but didn’t want to get the listening devices (which are free) because it’s not authentic theatre or something. Don’t know what to tell you guys…the actors are already shouting, if you can’t hear ‘em there’s not much they can do about it.
Anyway, once we’d gotten through the class discussions it was nap-time. Around noon Ally’s boyfriend got into town, so we met him. He’d been driving all night so he was wiped out. We thought lunch might be a good idea – he was starving – so we started wandering down Main Street looking for a good meal. Outside one of the restaurants we ran into Luigi just as he was entering a restaurant with wine bottles in the window, and had an awkward conversation:
Luigi: Hi guys!
Ally: Hi Luigi.
Ally: This is my boyfriend, Georgio. Georgio, this is Luigi.
*guys shake hands*
Luigi: I’m thinking of going to this restaurant for lunch. Their clam chowder is supposed to be amazing.
Me: (thinking) Dude, it’s like 90 degrees. Clam chowder sounds so gross. That sounds...edible. (Yes, I really said that.)
Ally: We’re just looking around for a place to eat.
Georgio: Like a brewery. We need beer!
Me: Beer is so great on a hot day like today.
Ally: So we’re going to check out some of the places up the street.
Luigi: I was actually hoping to grab Suzi for lunch today.
Me: **brain screeches to a stop** So many responses I could make, ranging from polite to cute to ridiculous. No thanks. / No. / The clam chowder is seasonally unsuitable to my palette. / This place looks too classy for me. / Sorry, but I’m too busy being a third wheel to go there with you. / I need a beer. / Also, Suzi is not an entrée to be’ grabbed’ for lunch. / There’s wine in that window. That’s not a beer. / I think you’re creepy and I don’t want to fake enjoying a meal alone with you. / We’ve already made plans, so...bye. None of these replies actually come out of my mouth. I just sorta fake a smile, turn and keep walking. I may have said something, but I don’t remember it. Ally and Georgio walk off with me.
(After we’ve gone a few steps) Georgio: Dude, don’t you want to go to lunch with the big guy?
Me: Ha ha…no.
Georgio: Why not? He sure wants to spend time with you!
Me: I have a boyfriend.
Georgio: Oh, you’re faithful. That’s cool.
Me: Heh heh…[internally] As if I would cheat on my boyfriend with a big lump like that! EEW!
We end up going back to Alex’s, the same place we had lunch the day before, and I had a chicken and fruit salad dish. It was fantastic. The chicken was in this orange citrus sauce and was wonderful, light and cool. A perfect summer lunch. Then Ally glanced at her phone, realized we had to be at the theatre in one minute to see All’s Well That Ends Well, so I gave Georgio all the cash I had and we SPRINTED off to get to the show. Literally. We ran all the way there. The woman at the door saw us coming and shouted “HURRY! THEY’RE CLOSING THE DOORS NOW AND WON’T LET YOU IN!” so we hurried up the stairs of the theatre and, panting, were allowed to our seats just as the lights began to dim. Oh, dignity, I forsook thee.
Just remembering all that makes me feel tired, so if you want to read about All’s Well That Ends Well hop on over to the entry I wrote up on Fashionista Piranha.
After the play ends we head back to the dorm. Ally’s boyfriend was sleeping in his hotel room, so she and I ate dinner at the dorms. My last dinner in the cafeteria; I felt slightly nostalgic. I had fettuccini alfredo and salad and snuck some cookies and a banana back to the room for later. (We always got so hungry after the final play of the evening.) Ally’s boyfriend joins us for our walk back to the theatre grounds. We stop for ice cream - I get lemon curd gelato – but since we only have a few minutes until the play starts, my unfinished cone ends up in the trash. What a sad waste. Although our teacher offers Georgio a ticket to Henry VIII, he opts out of the play and instead goes back to Alex’s to sample the beer menu.
Henry VIII is awesome.
The splendor and pomp of the Tudor court can be found over here.
By the time Henry VIII is over and we’re on the bus heading back to the dorms, it’s obvious that Luigi is not speaking to me, refusing to engage even in polite, bland small talk. I feel bad for a few minutes, but it’s mostly a relief. I help Ally pack up her things (she’s going to spend the night with her boyfriend) and after she’s gone, I stretch out on my bed in relief. It’s the first privacy I’ve really had during the trip, and I’m so happy and relaxed that I instantly fall asleep.