So it’s NEARLY been 11 years of marriage. Technically, the date falls next week. But since my favorite rock star, Tom Petty, came to town this Saturday, we made this weekend our anniversary celebration.
Last year, we scaled back our plans to get back to Maine (where we honeymooned) and spent a quiet weekend in the Hill Country. A full three days to ourselves, a must-do given we hit the decade mark. We went louder this year.
I have thoughts about this intervening year which, maybe, I’ll pen next week. I used to “recap” what each year represented. This year, I’m still trying to figure it out.
But last night was about fun. I adore Tom Petty. I’ve heard him four times live now. Joe Walsh opened for him. That dude is turning 70 and still played an electric guitar better than anyone playing today. (Tom Petty is a spring chicken at 66.)
We checked into a hotel near the concert venue because, if you’re from Houston you know, trekking back to town at midnight after being up north is no fun. We found a cool bar/bistro where we settled in to toast to 11 years before the concert. The picture of us cracks me up because I’m always stopping people and asking them to take our picture for “occasions.” I told the lady snapping it, “it’s our anniversary!” Bray retorted, “no it’s not.” The lady looked at me like maybe I was a few cards short of a deck. I tried to clarify, “it’s 11 years THIS week.” If you could see the iPhone live version of this photo it would make you laugh too because I’m still explaining while she’s shooting.
We walked from the bar to the concert and could hear Joe Walsh jamming from outside the venue. I don’t really know his music but, after a quick Google search, I found he joined The Eagles and his first album with them was Hotel California. (I have a soft spot for this tune as I remember dancing to it at the last dance of senior prom…) We found our seats and I felt very young, an increasingly rare phenomenon. More on the seat assignment later.
Finally, on comes Tom. Man on man. Have you heard this guy talk? One of the most distinctive voices anywhere. And between every single song he thanks the audience for the raucous cheers and applause. Love him. He starts playing some CLASSICS!
How can you not be up dancing your tuckus off when Toms’ singing Last Dance with Mary Jane or Free Fallin’ or You Wreck Me live? I. Do. Not. Know. YOU MUST BE UP DANCING. Here was the problem with our seats. The concert was at the amphitheater up in the Woodlands. There’s a big covered “front” section. Those seats are expensive and beyond my budget. Then there’s a longer narrower middle section that’s also covered. That’s where I get tickets. There never as close as I want but still covered (which helped when the rain hit) and have assigned seats. Finally, there’s a huge lawn section crawling with people unconcerned about weather or everyone else’s cooties. Everyone in the expensive seats are up and dancing. Large swaths of the lawn ants are up and dancing. But all the old, not too rich people, in the middle narrow section are NOT standing up dancing.
This is when it hits me that I’m 43, don’t know anyone, and could care less if I look like a nut job dancing my life away. This is my favorite rock star and he may never do a big tour again. So up I go. Dancing to beat the band. Probably nearly knocked out my seat neighbors with my rear end rocking all over the place. (I tried to maintain some decorum, but with some of those songs, C’MON!) My husband, of course, is not standing. He’s not a dancer. He tolerates my enthusiasm. And we rarely go to concerts together. (Probably WHY we’ve stayed married 11 years!)
Tom played every single song I wanted him to play. That NEVER happens. How can you have a 40 year career and play every song someone wants to hear? He did a whole subset from his Wildflowers album (including Wildflowers, which is not always a fan favorite) which nearly made me pass out, ala 16 year old boy band mania.
Near the end I made my darling husband stand up to at least get one photo of us together to prove we were there. He humors me. It’s a good thing I’m around or he would have no photographic evidence of his existence.
I paid for all the dancing today though. Y’all, I’m not 25 anymore. My knees are killing me. I need more exercise.
Here’s what the concert reminded me (besides my eternal love for Tom Petty). I love music. Really truly adore music. I sing at the top of my lungs (when it’s really loud music and no one can hear me). I dance. Have fun. Laugh. I think I’m cool again.
We forget to do fun things for ourselves. We forget what our younger selves loved and shelve it somewhere in the back where it gets dusty. Let’s cut that out. Make time for the thing you loved to do when you were young. I went to concerts all the time when I went to law school in Nashville. I was decently cool then and loads more fun. Concerts remind me I want to have long deep laugh lines and sore knees.
Roll your windows down.
Blare the radio.
Embarrass your kids or your husband.
Laugh and sweat and play and have fun.
Dance when everyone else is sitting down.