I went to a rock concert! A real, live rock concert! It’s been ages! Little old me, out after dark doing grown up things!
My friend Beth Hillyer invited me to see Journey. I don’t actually love going to crowded things, so I generally avoid concerts, New Year’s Eve, and Foodland the day before Superbowl. However, I happen to be at a place in my life where I’d like some social stimulus, and I do love Beth.
Then I realized I have no idea how to act anymore. I’m out of practice for doing cool things.
“What shall we wear?” I gasped excitedly while fluttering my hands in the air. “Should we go ’80s retro or sassy tart?”
Beth has the incredible skill of sunny nonchalance for everything. She spent years in TV news at KHON, KHNL (where we met), and KTVX (Utah), before leaving her career to raise two sons. Everything about a life in 1) news, 2) boys, is preparation for not being fazed at anything odd or crazy.
She totally blew past my suggestion of dressing like strumpets as if it were just any old thing I said, and instead, decided, “Let’s just go as middle aged housewives, like we are.”
She is honestly the kind of person who wouldn’t bat an eyelash if I announced, “I’m just going to sport this newly bedazzled Jane Fonda-esque aerobics thong onesie and nothing else to this concert.” Beth would say something like, “Oh, Sweetie. That seems a bit drafty.”
So, jeans and a sensible bra it is.
Secondly, I thought about how loud it might be. I don’t like loud things, so I planned to bring little foam earplugs and discreetly insert them while nobody is looking.
These are bright yellow and pink, the kind distributed in buckets at construction sites so everyone can stay OSHA compliant. I think my long hair will hide the earplugs, and maybe people will be too drunk to put together that the fluorescence around my ear area is dorky earplugs.
“Why don’t you just bring your Bose Noise-Cancelling Headset?” snarked my husband. Whatever, Claus. When we’re 80 and I’m not constantly asking you to repeat what you said, I will have the last laugh.
As it turns out, I had so carefully readied three pairs (me, Beth, a spare)… and then forgot them conveniently on the table at home.
Thirdly, I decided I need to nap before I go out, because I am on a very slooooow pace these days. It wasn’t very long ago my body was all screwed up from early shift work and immense personal stress.
The day of the concert, I attended yoga – no, make that SENIOR yoga – so I got a light but ample workout for the day, and then napped before my daughter finished school.
“The concert starts at 8 p.m. Are you sure you’re going to be OK?” Beth asked me like, 12 times in one conversation. “Because I know you were so tired for so long.”
“I’m sure! I’m kind of OK now! I’d like to go out and have fun again!” I insisted.
Yes, when I was working, I would go to sleep at 6:30 p.m., and for months after, I was still down by 8:30. I’m somewhere in the 9 o’clock hour these days which I guess puts me back at normal-ish. Apparently, Beth’s on the same sleep schedule – she goes down in the 9 p.m. hour.
So we went to the concert and we had a great time. Everything was perfect, even if I forgot the earplugs. We both agreed this is the biggest night out we’ve had in years – like, in our children’s entire lives. (Don’t feel sorry for us. It’s all a give and take, and the balance will shift again one day.)
As it turns out, Beth is in the same housewife-mommy/no-adult-social-life place that I am, and we both felt liberated at our big night out. My kid is nine. Hers are eight.
“We’re bad ass!” we kept congratulating each other over every little success. Here’s the interesting thing about depravity: when you don’t have something for soooo long- the better part of a decade- it feels all the more incredible when you taste it again, even if briefly and for one night.
As follows, the list of simple pleasures that the young and/or childless may take for granted:
Driving AWAY FROM our suburb at night: “Look at us!”
Finding street parking in the first ten seconds of trying: “We’re so amazing!”
Walking to the Blaisdell Arena: “This is awesome! It’s DARK out!”
Not even talking about our kids ONCE that night: “We need to do this regularly!”
I’ve decided the Journey concert is my new all-time favorite, as much for the music as for the coming out it represented for us. Beth and Diane: Moms Who Dare Go Out At Night.
Be warned, Honolulu. We are ready to be semi-awesome again, from sunset all the way until 9:30 p.m.
Hours of awesomeness: Fridays or Saturday nights, once per quarter, sunset until 9:30 p.m. Occasional weeknights as determined on a case-by-case basis. Holidays and school breaks excluded. Blackout periods apply.