Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Lawn Seats

I have a short bucket list that contains some pretty strange but not wholly unusual things. See the pyramids of Egypt. Go scuba diving. Try windsurfing. Visit Italy. See a Bollywood film in India. See Dave Matthews move his feet in a live concert.

So I crossed off the latter last night, when we went to the Dave Matthews concert and sat in the lawn seats. I should say it's been 10 years since I've been to a concert, and the last time I attended one, I made up some incontestable truth about seeing live concerts only when you could sit in the lawn seats. I must've been thinking something about stars, romance, a cool Tampa Bay breeze.

Apparently a lot can change in 10 years. Suddenly the people who helped you create that community of music when you were 20 -- those people who let you know you belong in the world because you all know the same words to the same weird songs -- at 30 become slovenly naked weed-smoking drunks. When did this happen? Young twentysomethings tripped over my beach blanket and poured margaritas on my bare toes, giggling as they did so. Rather than apologize, they did things that didn't belong to their generation at all, like yelling "right on" and holding lighters in the air. One guy came up to us and said, "Have you seen Waldo? WHERE'S WALDO?!" which wasn't as strange at that point in the evening as it was obnoxious.

The people my age weren't much better; they arrived harried from rush hour and sloppy-drunk to make up for it. Most of them spent much of the concert thumbing through their blackberries, pretending to be bored. If they weren't doing that, they were yelling at the spouses they never should've married in the first place, and saying things like, "Well if you'd REMEMBERED it, I wouldn't have to go and buy one now, would I?" and "You've turned into such a SCHMUCK."

This pretty much ruined my idea of romance and cool breezes and recapturing the feelings I had when I first listened to DMB about 15 years ago. My conclusion? You probably think it has something to do with getting older or becoming jaded but I have decided to adamantly deny what is probably the truth. Instead? I've learned to just give in and buy a seat.

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