He comes bursting into the women’s dressing room paying no attention to a little girl screaming in panic, “Get out! Get out! There are girls dressing in here! This is the GIRLS’ room!” Because the man is on a mission. He has a plan. He wants to take some flowers for Cosette when he finds her in her garden and introduces himself. Because Marius would totally do that, wouldn’t he?
“I mean, the guy has money,” Thom mumbles, as he rummages through a bin of leftover fabric flowers I brought in for little Eponine’s bonnet. And I believe he’s right. As I remember from the book, Marius has only his frail grand-père keeping him from blowing his mother’s great fortune. So it would stand to reason that he’d go out on an impulse shopping spree to impress the girl he’s hellbent on marrying. Which he knew after just one look, by the way. In our world, we’d call that lust-at-first-site, but in the 1800s, it was a Romanticist’s highest goal.
Together we pull up some bright pink peonies, garden roses, and purple irises. A couple of the peonies still carry the $0.50 Walmart price tag. Though the stickers rip off easily, they leave a gooey residue on the stems. At the bottom of my sewing box I discover a broken “diamond” hair band that proves a perfect flower tie. Wrapped around 8 times, the diamond headband is doubly secured by the stickiness, and the flowers looks gorgeous against the backdrop of his blue cravat, white shirt, silver vest and baby blue coat. And yes, they compliment his eyes as well.
I rush with my camera into the auditorium to witness the scene at Rue Plumet.
Ah! The selfishness of a young man in love. Thanking Eponine profusely and thrusting the flowers in her face, Marius has only one thing on his mind: to tell anyone who will listen how a 1 minute encounter with a scrubbed blond in a clean dress has given him the substance he’s been searching for his entire life. Sigh.
How can Eponine not think the flowers are for her? With one hand, she has already a hold of the bouquet. “Gimme, gimme,” her whole body language says. Didn’t she just track down that bourgeois two-a-penny chick just for him? She’s earned them, dammit.
But the evil demons called “Wishful Thinking” and “Self-Deception” have been setting up shop in women’s brains for centuries, apparently. Because Marius very abruptly turns around, almost ripping the flowers out of her hand, and stares longingly into the nothing, thus communicating, “Yeah, no! Not for you, you dirty dummy.”
The expectant look upon her face shifts to sadness. Her quiet resignation is palpable. Waah! Tissues, please! “Oh jeez, that’s just plain cruel,” I hear a woman in the row behind me exclaim. Yes, this grimy girl in her tablecloth skirt (really!) inspires empathy. Because who among us has never been brutally parked in the friendzone while we were obviously aiming for the more carnal kind of um…zone? Just me? Very well then.
Backstage, I voice my concern for Eponine to Lauren, who embodies the feisty anti-heroine. Her reply takes me by surprise. With a beaming smile she says,”Yeah! You got the right response! Everyone feels sad for poor Ponine. That’s what we were aiming for. Me and Thom weren’t sure if it came across. But I guess it did! Yay!”
Another reminder that it is only a make believe world.