Elliott and I discovered early on in our relationship that we both love Les Mis. In fact, in September 2008, before we started dating, we went on a camping trip with a group of friends into the White Mountains of New Hampshire. That night, as we sipped red wine that Elliott had brought along (reason #8,942 I was already very interested in him), we noticed the sparking swath of stars overhead, glittering through the pines. Inspired, I began to sing “Stars” from Les Mis. Suddenly a rich, deep tenor flooded between the squeaks and cracks of my own voice, and I turned in surprise to see this guy Elliott singing right along with me, singing each line with confident memory, and smiling alternately at the stars and then at me.
Oh be still my beating heart.
Soon after that two things happened. The first was that we started dating. The second was that we discovered our families both went to see Les Mis in December 2005 when it was showing at the National Theater in D.C. The show only played for a few nights, and so chances were high that we had been there the same night! But neither of us had saved our ticket stubs, and so we let that remain a mystery.
Then we got married, got pregnant, had a baby, moved to Italy, started a blog, discovered my old blog, and…
… discovered this blog post which records that my family saw Les Mis on December 27, 2005. We made this discovery last night and then excitedly searched Elliott’s computer for photographs from that time. Were any of them time stamped Dec 27? But he had no photos from that night. He did have photos from Dec 28, though, when his sister Eden cut off her L’Abri dreads and became a buzz-cut pixie a la Natalie Portman.
Excited, I sent an email to Elliott’s family Did anyone remember if Eden cut off her dreads the night after they went to see Les Mis? Thus began a flurry of emails, a checking of blogs (we all had Xanga sites back in the day, apparently), and an evaluation of photo time-stamps. Eden confirmed that she did cut off her dreads the day after Les Mis. David’s photos from after the show were time stamped Dec 27.
And so it’s true! In 2005, almost 3 years before Elliott and I became friends, we were in the same room at the same production listening to the same actor sing “Stars.” We both have pictures of our families outside after the show. We can’t see each other in the background of the photos, but… how close were we? Did we see each other, brush shoulders, catch the other’s eye for just a moment? We’ll have to leave that a mystery, I suppose…
My siblings and myself (Eric, Emily, Julia, and me) on the metro on our way to the show:
After the show, David took this shot outside the theater of my handsome hubby-to-be:
Elliott and his siblings (Jonathan, Jessica, Elliott, David, Eden) outside the National Theater:
Meanwhile, my siblings and I were all hanging around the stage door waiting to meet the actors! Finally we met the guys who played Jean Valjean and Marius:
Who knows who we are crossing paths with today that will change our lives down the road?