Thursday, November 4, 2010
I don’t miss much about working in finance. I don’t miss the long hours, I don’t miss the stress, and I certainly don’t miss being at my desk at 5:30 every morning. But of the few things I miss about the finance world, corporate tickets are one of them. From Coldplay concerts to Giants games, my fellow analysts and I snagged ourselves tickets to anything and everything our firm offered us. Unfortunately corporate tickets weren’t quite enough to convince me that I liked my job, and with my departure went my opportunities for 49ers tickets and Warriors games.
But I wasn’t the only one getting corporate tickets. Thankfully most of my friends still work in finance, and they have access to the tickets their firms offer them. Last week one such friend was offered tickets to Disney on Ice at the O2, and she didn’t hesitate to invite me and two other friends to join her at the firm’s corporate suite. I had never seen Disney on Ice before, but having recently been to Disneyland, my inner child still had all of the characters and stories fresh in her mind.
My inner adult needed a pre-Disney drink, though. I met my friends for a glass of wine at Gaucho before we headed up to the box for the show. I wasn’t sure what to expect from figure skaters dressed like Disney princesses, but we walked in to find ourselves watching Belle and the Beast gliding across the ice in the name of true love. It was entertaining.
The lovely couple—which subsequently defeated the evil Gaston—was soon joined by Prince Eric and Ariel (who was sporting some pretty amazing shimmery green bell bottoms), Cinderella and Prince Charming, Pocahontas and John Smith, and Princess Jasmine and Aladdin.
Some of the skirts and a few of the lifts were a bit racy for a children’s show, but they were soon eclipsed by a rather more formal parade of soldiers from Toy Story. This segued into a duet of “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Woody and Buzz Lightyear. The song took on a whole new meaning after watching the pair swirl around the rink together, but I suppose even Disney can’t make a duo of male figure skaters appear to have a platonic friendship.
After intermission came several more Disney heroes, or anti-heroes in the case of Pinocchio. I was rather impressed when Monstro the whale made an appearance on stage and ate Geppetto and his toy son. This was to say nothing of the pair of skaters that jointly played Pumba, or the cross-dressing skills of Mulan. And of course at the end came the grand finale, in which all of the characters came out to take a bow.
After the show my friends and I realized that we had worked up quite an appetite just watching the skating frenzy, and decided it was time for some Thai food. As we talked over dinner about how much we had all enjoyed Disney on Ice, there was a brief moment during which I wondered if I had made a mistake in giving up the finance life with its corporate tickets. But the travel industry has perks of its own, and I’ve already been able to share some of them with my friends. Now we collectively have a broader base of perks to enjoy amongst ourselves. It’s a happy ending. Disney would be proud.