I’m not a spontaneous person. Maybe that’s a result of being a mom or maybe it’s the decades of being responsible for every single detail in my married life, but I tend toward plans and lists. So when a chump friend texted me a couple of Friday afternoons ago asking if kid #3 and I wanted to go to a show at the House of Blues that evening, my first reaction was nope, no way.
But I texted kid #3 at school and she was up for a night out, so we met up with my friend and braved downtown San Diego after dark. I used to work at the headquarters of a local bank, which turned out to be right around the corner from the House of Blues. (Tangent: My former employer sold out to Wells Fargo 20+ years ago and Wells Fargo sold the headquarters building to a hotel chain. Seeing that majestic building now a hotel always makes me sad.) The House of Blues is located in the old Woolworth building right around the corner from my old employer. That blew my mind. It took me most of my single glass of wine and half an appetizer to put the location together in my mind. All the tattoo parlors threw me off.
Because this was a spur of the moment outing, the only tickets available were general admission — standing on the dance floor directly in front of the stage. Since it was an all ages show, adults over 21 were tagged with tight, bright orange wristbands. There was booze at the bar along with popcorn and soda from carts. Kid #3 ran into a school friend completely by chance which worked out well for us and for her friend’s parents.
The opening act was the very handsome and talented Danny Mercer.
He was charming and funny. The headliner was a Canadian band, Magic! (They spell their name that way, complete with exclamation point. No clue why.) My friend and I had a great time during the opening act, standing room on the dance floor was fine. We could dance and enjoy the show without banging into other people.
Should’ve known that wouldn’t last. Just before Magic! came on, the crowd doubled in both size and chemical enhancement. At least half the people there were parents with underage kids, a quarter were 21-30 year olds, and the remainder were middle-aged people sans kids. Guess who was obnoxiously drunk?
Yep, the middle-aged folks without kids.
Guess who was well-mannered and best behaved? Yep, the 21-30 crowd. Although they never put away their phones.
We got trapped between two older couples who were f*cked up and dancing like fools — arms flailing, hips and purses flying around with zero regard for the rest of the crowd. The statuesque blond next to me was a man-eating cougar hellbent on getting a band member’s attention, any band member. She also spilled beer all over my friend’s shoes. Not attractive behavior.
Here’s what I learned from this adventure:
1. I’m too damn old for general admission/standing for three hours at a loud concert. (Get seats next time.)
2. Clubs are really frickin’ loud. (Bring earplugs. Kid #3’s friend did this. Smart girl.)
3. This would’ve been more fun after a couple of glasses of wine. (Next time, hire Uber. Don’t drive.)
4. Keep your spoons together in public, for the sake of your dignity. All the social niceties do not fall away just because it’s dark and loud. (Less for me, more for the midlife crisis couples desperate to prove their hipness.)
5. Even surrounded by drunks/stoners, it was a ton of fun. Spontaneity won’t kill me. Try more new things.
I’m glad I didn’t go with my knee-jerk “no” reaction to my friend’s invitation. We were both uncomfortable going downtown on a Friday night, but together we were able to have a great time. Kid #3 went to her first concert and even met up with a friend. Moving out of my comfort zone didn’t kill me. My goodness, what’s next?