Before I started dating PIC, I could count the number of concerts I’d been to on one hand: Jimmy Buffet and (I probably shouldn’t admit this publicly…) Il Divo.
I also saw They Might Be Giants (I think?) in college but it was during the annual spring carnival when classes ended at noon and drinking commenced around the same time, if not earlier, so who really knows?
This is not to say that I don’t enjoy going to other types of shows. It’s just that I’m more into Vivaldi and Mozart and the sorts of artists who are already dead and don’t generally draw large numbers of potheads to performances of their work.
And I’m not trying to be a snob—I wish my musical tastes were a bit more in line with those of normal people—but I’ve always preferred classical, or jazz, or even show tunes, which is probably why, a million years ago, my mother pulled me aside before I headed off to a sleepover for the weekend to let me know that there was “this new group called the Spice Girls” so that I wouldn’t appear to be completely clueless to those in the know.
There were two and only two times in my life when I found myself on the cutting edge: the first was when I was abroad during my junior year and learned of the Danish rap duo Nik and Jay.
They were epic.
The second was when I moved to London and discovered that Cheryl Cole (of the English-Irish girl group Girls Aloud) had gone out on her own. “Fight for this Love” became the soundtrack of my beleaguered but eventual departure from London (I had a semi-English boyfriend at the time) and I cried almost every time I heard it.
Plus the video was great.
She had so many outfits. Cheetah parachute pants. A sequined tiger striped sleeveless hoodie. Even a spiked corset (which I later discovered and of course had to try on at Harrods. It weighed about 90 pounds and cost significantly more).
“Fight for this Love” though, represented the pinnacle of my career, the high point of my cutting edge musical knowledge.
It’s been downhill ever since.
Which is why dating PIC is rather… interesting.
His musical tastes are hardly cutting edge either (we went to see Everclear for his birthday back in March) but he really likes concerts. Normal people concerts. Concerts where you stand in line for ages, scream your head off and think it’s cool to get there early so you can listen to the sound check.
He as seen U2 at least half a dozen times. Ditto Def Leppard. Ditto Flickerstick. (Who even is Flickerstick???)
Earlier this summer he took me to see Third Eye Blind at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Only it wasn’t actually the Stone Pony; it was the “Summer Stage” (a glorified parking lot next to the Stone Pony) and there were two bands before Third Eye Blind, neither of which I’d ever heard.
I’m not really sure what happened. It could have been the heat, it could have been the crappy drinks, it could have been the exorbitantly priced hotdog, the absolutely disgusting bathrooms or the fact that we were surrounded by Jersey girls in cut off shorts (both lace and denim)…
(Speaking of which, when did lace shorts become a thing?)
At any rate, my suitability as a concert-going companion turned out to be less than ideal.
By which I mean I was actually crying by the end of the concert.
I felt like such a loser—everyone around me was having fun and all I wanted to do was get the hell out of that damn parking lot, take a shower and sit down somewhere nice and quiet.
And when you mix these sorts of thoughts with denim cut off, you can’t help but wonder…
What the heck is wrong with me?
Am I not fun?
Have I ever been fun?
Am I getting… old?
Oh my God. I AM getting old.
I am almost thirty!
What have I done with my life???
At this point, I decided that the thing to do—the only thing to do—was to remove myself from the premises because I was seriously ruining it for PIC and he goes to all sorts of dance concerts with me without falling prey to some sort of hysterical quarter-life crisis.
(Yes. I’m going to live to be one hundred and twenty. Congrats on your math skills.)
I went and sat on the beach and cried some more and texted PIC to please bring me so tissues before he left the “Summer Stage.”
Then, the next morning, I got up at 6:00am to help set up the centerpieces for my friend Becky’s wedding. I then began a long and rather prayerful campaign to get it together and not freak out when PIC took me to see U2…