Last night our resident rock superstar played a gig at the pub in the next village over. Sure, his heyday may have been the seventies and eighties, but there’s no denying this was a major coup for the pub—roughly the equivalent of Phil Collins playing at your parents’ anniversary party in your backyard—and a major social event. A major social event that, I hasten to add, I did not attend. I didn’t even know about it until doppelganger couple mentioned it in passing a couple of weeks ago by way of making an excuse for a far less glamorous invitation I had extended to them. At that point all the tickets were long gone and my fate as one of the excluded was sealed.
I thought I had gotten over it, but yesterday morning while chatting with J., one half of doppelganger couple, I was reminded of what I was missing. And just like that my frail ego flared up into a bonfire of vanity over the gall of the local community not to ensure my attendance at the soiree of the summer. How very dare they. J. tried to downplay it, complaining they had paid £40 each to stand in what was likely to be rain that night, but I was having none of it. The only thing to do was to sulk and then plan a fabulous evening of my own. For this I enlisted husband and R&R, all of whom had also been snubbed, and booked the cinema at our local country house hotel to be preceded by a meal at the village pub—the one where our resident rock superstar was not playing.
For husband our humbler evening could not have turned out better. As we sat down at our table, he clocked none other than his third favorite film director in the world eating dinner a few tables over. It would be gauche of me to mention this man’s name, but keep in mind husband is a film buff and his first and second favorite film directors are Mike Leigh and Ridley Scott, so calling this man third favorite is hardly a slight. (Some might even say he is bigger than the man who was singing at that other pub.) In the end husband was too embarrassed to ask the director for a photograph, but he was not too embarrassed to ask the waiter if the director was a local. It turns out he is, and is a regular in the pub on Sunday evenings. I think I know where we’ll be eating supper most Sundays this autumn.
My own redemption for the evening came later when we watched the film. It was Sunset Boulevard, which I had somehow never managed to see and was all the better for being shown on a big screen. Norma Desmond’s delusions of grandeur were as big as my own, and early in the film she summed up my feelings about the evening perfectly. To paraphrase, “I am big! It’s the Cotswolds that got small!”