“I’ll Tell You What is Les Misérables”

My sister travels for business. One summer I tagged along with her to New York City. Since we only had two days to shop and sightsee, we set a frenetic pace so we could try to do it all. On Saturday we went to the top of the Empire State Building, climbed the Statue of Liberty, explored Ellis Island, and shopped until I was ready to drop. Then we raced back to the hotel to dress for dinner and Les Misérables on Broadway.

As we were sitting watching the play my body began telegraphing signs of pain and discomfort to me. All of the walking, climbing, running and sweating had taken its toll. I was exhausted, sore and probably a little dehydrated. I was trying to sit still and not squirm in my seat when my sister leaned over and whispered, “I’ll tell you what’s Les Misérables. My feet and my butt are Les Misérables.”

That was it. I lost my big city cool with a barely suppressed snort of laughter. My sister and I proceeded to shake with silent laughter for an indeterminate amount of time. The shushing, the scowls, the turned up noses from those around us only succeeded in prolonging our mirth. Of all the experiences, sights, smells and sounds that weekend, sitting with my sister in the theatre is the memory that is most vivid. A close second is my climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty when I ended up using all fours on the steep spiral staircase. My sister was behind me protecting and pushing all the way.

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