I don’t get to go out very often, so when I do, I want to live it up — go crazy! — like the twenty-something party animal I used to be, not the sane and sensible, Dansko-wearing mom I am now.
The other day, I had the opportunity to leave town — as in, leave my two-year-old with her daddy for the night — with four friends to see a concert in another city. I hadn’t been to a concert since I saw Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard play Louisville four years ago.
Naturally, the moms’ ride to the event was a minivan.
What did you expect? A Mustang?
I know what you’re thinking: Five moms plus a minivan equals Coldplay. Oh, how happy I am to disappoint you. No menstruation music for us, thank you. The concert we were headed to was much, much edgier than Coldplay because that is how we roll. We went to see Michael Franti, a six-foot-six dreadlock wearing dreamboat who raps about stuff like social injustice and following your dreams and making marriages last with lyrics like “[something, something] like Beyonce, I just want to be your fiance.”
The man sings about wanting to be a woman’s fiance! Every soccer mom’s dream, this guy.
As soon as we loaded up in our chariot, I decided the get the party jumping, throw caution to the wind, and brazenly reclaim the reckless youth I once was. I whipped out my cooler into which I had packed a pitcher of Thai-basil sangria. Four of us happily and carelessly imbibed while our sober driver was tasked with the dull responsibility of making sure we arrived safely at our destination.
What about open container laws, you ask? Not a problem….
Think about it. What police officer is going to suspect ilicit behavior from a bunch of mild mannered, Dansko-wearing moms rocking out to Michael Franti in a minivan? It’s foolproof! We could be running meth or dead bodies up and down the East Coast and no one would suspect a thing.
We eventually arrived at the concert, primed to get CUH-RRR-AZY. We tumbled out of the van and strode up to the venue, anxious with anticipation over getting to hang out with strange youths and hippies smelling faintly of wheatgrass and patchouli. The hairs on the back of my neck prickled with excitement. I was wearing my most distressed mini skirt and fiercest clogs. My hair was pulled back in a radical hard headband. All I wanted to do lose myself in the music and forget, if just for one night, how orderly and responsible and structured my life has become; all I wanted to do was dance.
And then we got inside and I felt like I was on line at Starbucks; row upon row of mild-mannered, chinos-wearing adults with their children waiting patiently for the concert to get underway.
“You gotta be kiddin’ me,” I said under my breath.
The density of bald spots, capri pants and cowl neck tops quickly killed the illusion I was anywhere subversive or dangerous. There would be no reckless youths, wild abandon, or sweaty bodies bumping against each other. It was just a room full of grocery shoppers, tax filers and leaf rakers like ourselves — a Coldplay concert — seeking a temporary escape from the routine of life; a stark reminder that despite what I like to tell myself, I am not young anymore. I am a mom. With responsibilities and emerging lines on my face. I don’t even know where the youths hang out anymore! And I forgot to bring ear plugs.
But when Michael Franti took the stage, I forgot all that and rocked out with my friends anyway. The dude puts on a spectacular show (sexy and inspirational!). Because I for one refuse to accept I’ll ever be too old to dance around like an idiot. And it was kinda nice not having to worry about getting knocked down or a drink spilled on me; partying with grown ups has its plusses.
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