When you start the weekend on a Thursday afternoon with airport wine and your best friend.
When you realize how to spell Chautauqua.
When you fly into a blizzard, but a bold ballet dad braves the storm.
When your apartment is above the old McDuff’s, and has the puppy portraits and “wipe your paws” doormat to prove it.
When you can walk from McDuff’s to the (gorgeous) studios and the theater in under 3 minutes.
When you find breakfast cookies. And so you return after hours to beg for more. And then leave with 6.
When you warm up to Christmas carols and the snow just keeps coming.
When you mirror the 12-year-old ballerina showing you how to Sugarplum and remember yourself as a 12-year-old bunhead and wonder how this all came to be.
When you realize your tutu matches your tea saucer and your life is complete.
When the waitress thinks you’re married and refills your would-be husband’s coffee again and again (and again).
When angels literally surround you and ask questions like, “Do you live at your studio, or do you have a house?”
When you vow never to turn Hallmark channel off.
When dinner turns strangers into friends and the person across from you says “bubblah”.
When you take your partner’s hand, step into sous-sus, and feel astoundingly present.
When you sign an autograph for Phoebe on the bathroom counter and she smiles a smile bigger than her face.
…you’ve just done a Nutcracker guesting in Wonderland.