Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm Cheap -- Sometimes

I hate to see anything go to waste. Sometimes, I find myself being pretty cheap.

For example, I stay in lots of hotel rooms while traveling for work. You know those little bitty shampoos and bars of soap that are on hand?
I save them.

After all, I use the little shampoo and bar of soap only once and you know the maid service will just throw it all away when they clean the room.

I don’t take the conditioner or body lotion. I don’t use them so I seriously doubt that it gets thrown away if it’s unused. But I just hate knowing that my once-used shampoo will be thrown away, so I take it and pour it into a big bottle of shampoo when I get home.

However, there is one thing I won’t scrimp on:

Tickets to see Bette Midler. (Please refrain from saying anything about gay stereotypes. . . .

Okay, go ahead. It’s too easy).

I first saw Bette Midler in The Divine Miss M in New York City when I was only sixteen years old. I was with a group of high school students on a theatre tour sponsored by the American Thespian Society.

Her show wasn’t on our pre-paid itinerary but our sponsor said we could go if we wanted to. However, we’d have to shell out the exorbitant sum of (are you ready for this?) twenty-five dollars. Gasp!

I had saved up for this trip by working a lot of hours at the Dairy Queen after school for $2.20 and hour. I didn’t hesitate one moment to see Bette. Somehow, even though I was only sixteen, I knew that paying lots of money to see her was what My People do.

In 1993, I was living in Dallas and Bette was performing in Austin. A good friend of mine lived in Austin and we were both big fans of Bette. She and I had even performed several Bette Midler tunes together over the years. So, naturally, we had to go.

We paid for the best seats in the house. I think we paid about eighty bucks for our seats. As a matter of fact, while we were waiting for the show to begin, this woman with big, platinum blonde hair sat right in front of us. It was Governor Ann Richards, who I might add, thoroughly enjoyed the show.

The same friend called me last night. “You have to promise me something,” she said immediately.

“Umm. Okay.”

Apparently, Bette Midler’s new show, The Showgirl Must Go On, had just opened in Las Vegas at the same huge theatre that Celine Dion had just finished using. (It seats 3,400 people). Bette will be performing there for the next two years.

So, I promised we’d go to Las Vegas even though neither of have any interest, whatsoever, in ever going to Las Vegas.

I checked it out and the best seats in the house are about three hundred bucks.

No problem. We’ll be sitting in them.

After all, it’s Bette Midler. You don’t scrimp when it comes to Bette Midler.

(Okay, you may begin with the gay stereotype jokes now).

Oh, and I’ll be returning from Vegas with the little bottles of shampoo from the hotel.

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