In many (MANY) ways, I am lame. One of such ways is my general lack of desire to ever attend live music events. They feel daunting and unnecessary to me- the schlep, the bathroom lines, the abundance of songs performed that I have never in my life even heard, and so on. Add kids into the mix- and consider my RSVP to be a hard NO, so don't even bother inviting me. (Granted, as I wrote about my P!NK concert experience, I am slowwwwwly warming up to the whole rigamarole...)
Until someone did. And I said YES.
On Saturday, we were hanging around, figuring out our afternoon plan, when a text came in from my decidedly more adventurous, former patchouli-wearing, live-music loving friend Amy. The text read something along the lines of "Heading to Darius Rucker concert in Hartford late afternoon, bringing [our 7 year old]...any interest?" We had no babysitter lined up for Goldie, I didn't even really know who Darius Rucker was besides the Hootie & The Blowfish dude, but for some truly bizarre reason, I was like "This is the most un-Falik thing ever, who are we? What time are we leaving?!".
It was game on. My husband is a big live music fan and an experienced outdoor concert goer, so this gave me a small sense of comfort with it all, but deep down, I was freaking the f*ck out.
I set up a StubHub account (something I also never thought I would do), bought 4 tickets for lawn seating, packed and repacked the car like 6 times with different arrays of snacks and sweatshirts and iPads, put on a dress and cowboy boots, and we were off.
It was awesome. We spent the first 90 minutes tailgating in the parking lot (I didn't even know that was a thing before music events- to me, it was synonymous with football games, but you learn something new every day, I suppose), with Alexa, Goldie and Q, our friends' 7 year old who also happens to be one of Alexa's very good friends, setting up camp in the back of our SUV. Eventually they decided to venture out and talk to strangers (within our eye view), sharing a communal container of chicken fingers and even getting in on a game of KanJam. We made our way into the venue around 7:15- stopping along the way to get the kids awesome cowboy hats and the requisite concert tee (also purchased were emergency bribery cupcakes, a giant salty pretzel, and a round of double Tito's and sodas). The girls were so in awe of the scene and the crowd, it wasn't hard to keep them up and moving until we found a semi-muddy spot on the grass to throw down our blankets and listen to the music.
We lasted about an hour, give or take- fleeing just before the headline act (Lady Antebellum) hit the stage. This was smart for many reasons (pre-empting the potential for an overtired melt-down, avoiding the exit crowds)- a worthy "sacrifice" (if you can even call it that) to make the overall experience a good one all around. Sure, I would have liked to see Lady Antebellum (again, something I never thought I would type) but I liked getting my kids out of their with smiles on their faces (and mine) more.
Memorable moments? There were so many. Dancing to "I Only Wanna Be With You", watching the other concert goers fawn over the girls and high five us for bringing them (sure, the concert goers may have been totally drunk 20-somethings, but still...I'll take parenting kudos where I can get it), singing "Wagon Wheel" and realizing Alexa knew most of the words, that moment when Q threw the frisbee and it bounced off of Goldie's belly into the KanJam basket, the girls chatting up the car parked next to us in order to get a tour of their souped up Wrangler (and then asking to take photos in front of it)...And, because this topic has come up here before (read this post if you don't know the backstory), I am especially proud of assisting Goldie in a no-toilet-in-sight parking lot pee. Brian even snapped a photo as evidence that it happened.
Takeaway of the post (since I have been raised in the school of "every blog post should have some sort of actionable takeaway so my readers actually learn something in exchange for taking the time to indulge my verbose prose)? When you want to say no, say yes RIGHT AWAY. Don't think about it, don't weigh the pros versus the cons, do not pass go and do not collect $200. Just type back Y. E. S. and trust that even if you get a little pee on your cowboy boots, it's all gonna be worth it in the end.