Concert Phobia Part 2 – The Truth Will Set You Free

(Before you start reading I have to share with you the back story to this post. The first Concert Phobia piece was published in the Kansas City Star and it stirred up a crap ton of hate emails all from die-hard Rolling Stones fans. So, the next week I wrote this to calm them down and come clean with a painful confession.)

I’ve got a couple of things I need tTrutho apologize for. First up, I lied to you recently. Well, I wouldn’t call it a lie really more of an omission of some salient facts. (That just sounded so slippery and because I didn’t feel the least bit slimy writing it makes me believe that my true calling is politics. Watch out Trump I’m coming for you.) But the story behind the “omission” has to wait a second because I’ve got some rabid Rolling Stones fans I have to placate.

Recently, I wrote about having zero desire to ever attend a live concert event again. In doing so I referenced the Rolling Stones concert at Arrowhead stadium and casually mentioned how I was secretly glad I was not attending because of my concert phobia brought to a head by a 2010 Justin Bieber extravaganza at the Sprint Center. Now, please note nowhere did I mention that I did not love, respect, or revere the Rolling Stones.

Apparently, unbeknownst to me even mentioning the Rolling Stones without some sort of genuflecting is an egregious offense. Add in that I did use the words “mini stroke” and Lipitor when referencing the crowd and well I got myself a whole bunch of hate emails and worse older men stopping me at the grocery store, at the dog park and even one very animated gentleman waylaying me for a lecture on the history of rock and roll while I had one foot inside a Bath and Bodyworks store and was clutching a handful of coupons for two for one candles and pedicure creams that weren’t going to spend themselves.

Okay, every guy over 60 who felt the need to shame me and share that the concert was a “religious experience,” or “even better than when they played at Kemper Arena in 1981” and then tell me that I’m “an idiot” just simmer down. I get it.

Great grandpa Mick Jagger with his 24-inch waist bringing it and putting any twentysomething musician to shame is an inspiration to all of us. I love the Stones it’s just that I’m mentally scarred and unable to handle anything in a concert format. That’s all, no offense was intended.

Now on to the omission apology that is also related to what I recently wrote. My husband pointed out to me that I was not totally honest in listing my concert experiences. He even went so far as to suggest that Justin Bieber is not the real reason for my issues and that ground zero for my neurosis harkens all the way back to July 4, 1986 at the Farm Aid II concert in Manor, Texas.

When he mentioned Farm Aid II I gasped. We had a deal. He was never to bring up that concert. The event was so horrific I can’t bear to think about it, but putting honesty first here I go. For you, I will relive the day the music and my dignity died.

I was a very young news reporter at an Austin TV station and I was assigned to cover the Farm Aid concert. Now because it was 1986 there are four things you should know: 1) Back in the day a female reporter never appeared on camera without a blazer. 2) Cell phones were the size of toaster ovens and almost no one owned one. 3) Imodium was not yet available without a prescription and the travel size moist towelette was still an OCD’ers dream. 4) Texas in July makes Hell look like an all-inclusive resort. On that day it was a balmy 104 out. Now add in 40,000 souls languishing on unshaded turf and you have a picnic in lower purgatory.

So, there’s I was doing a “live shot” from the concert every 20 minutes while I sweated bullets and battled a wide variety of insects that were attracted to my Aqua Netted hair. I also needed to use the restroom – big time – but there was no way I was going into a makeshift latrine that the sun had turned into human refuse crock pot. This girl was going to hold it.

Then the unthinkable happened in mid live shot my bowels betrayed me. Yes, I pooped myself on camera! At first I was stunned. What do I do? The only thing I could think on was “toss to weather, toss to weather!” and make a break for it. I got off camera, took off my blazer, tied it around my waist and tried to do some sort of triage in the latrine of doom. Then I slinked back to the Live Truck, stole the one cell phone the station owned and called my husband – my knight in shining armor.

When he stopped laughing he vowed to brave the traffic and rescue me. “Just make it to the access road,” he promised, “and I’ll get you.” It was all very Last of the  Mohicans when in the movie Daniel Day Lewis’s character tells the love of his life, “No matter what occurs! I will find you. No matter how long it takes, no matter how far.”

You know all except unlike in the book/movie I wasn’t trying to escape from being slaughtered. I only needed an “Oops, I pooped myself” rescue.

So after suffering that kind of humiliation (with a heaping helping of “Oh sweet Jesus” because I’m pretty sure I walked more than one mile to the freeway in clothes that still had lingering crap attached to them) combined with my Justin Bieber trauma and I think I’ve more than earned the right to never have to attend another concert again. 

P.S. Whenever I’m in the bathroom for any length of time my husband will ask through the door if “I’m tossing to weather.” Sigh.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂

Concert Phobia

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 11.04.16 AMAttention Snarky readers before you begin pursuing this blog post I must share that in honor of the dog days of summer I have discounted (for a limited time) both my Snarky books to 99 cents! Just click on the links on the right side of the this page and presto you’ve got yourself some discounted Snarky fun 🙂

Do you ever feel left out of the whole pop culture scene? That perhaps you have something missing in your DNA sequence that prohibits you from having the desire to ever want to see a live concert.

This lack of passion for once upon a time “Top 40” music can leave you feeling like an outsider. When everyone under the age of 65 was having mini strokes over the Rolling Stones playing at  Arrowhead stadium recently I was pretending to be bummed out I couldn’t go when in reality I was mentally high fiving myself that I wouldn’t be sweating off my SPF and bug spray while surrounded by a collection of folks double fisting Lipitor and Bud Light.

I think my anti concert stance started with John Denver. He was my first. I was maybe 17 and was taken to the concert by a young man who ended up becoming a minister. (Back story: The best advice my mom ever gave me was, “Sherry please know that the good Lord never wants you to become a minister’s wife. No church is ready for that and probably won’t ever be.” I will confess that when she said this it hurt by feelings. Now, years later, I realize the tremendous wisdom in her words.)

This sweet, devout boy was a huge John Denver fan and loudly belted out the lyrics to every song. I, being more of a Bee Gee’s girl, barely knew who John Denver was and found the whole sing-a-long to “West Virginia mountain mama” a little uncool. I mean, come on, I was rocking big 80’s hair. I needed a song that matched my do.

My next concert was Billy Joel. It sounded great, but I couldn’t see the stage due to the thick wall of smoke from all the various forms of incendiary devices being lit up and inhaled. All I could think about was how bad my hair must smell. (Yes, again it’s all about my hair.)

Then, as we got into the 90’s all the concerts become multi media extravaganzas. This is when I had to start a mantra. It was “don’t look at the screen, look at the stage.” I did this because I wound find myself staring at the Jumbotron all night and I would harshly scold myself that I paid all this money to see a performance on stage not gape at the mother of all TV screens.

But, I think what really put the final nail in my concert coffin was my daughter, Isabella. I totally enjoyed all the Disney Princesses on Ice events and nothing says family bonding like an evening spent at My Little Pony Live! You would have to be a gigantic grump not to be visibly moved by Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash finding the true meaning of friendship through sharing bedazzled accessories.

It’s when Isabella entered the boy band period of her life that my desire to ever experience a huge concert again was killed. The 2008 Jonas Brothers concert in Sacramento was her gateway drug.

The event was held outside in an amphitheatre and the Jo Bros were wearing leather pants. All I could think about was why would their mother let them get on stage in leather. It had to be close to 100 degrees out. They should have been in some nifty cargo shorts or something.

After that I endured a slew of concerts. I was doing all right there for a while. I could still muster up what it took to get through what was essentially a couple of hours of elementary school girls screaming non-stop. Earplugs helped a lot. Then in July 2010 Justin Bieber came to the Sprint Center and my life was forever changed.

I have no doubt that one of the circles of hell is a Justin Bieber concert. For hours, even before the “Beebs” came on stage females were screaming, sobbing and in one case passing out. It felt more like I was at the largest Pentecostal revival in the history of mankind than a concert. I even had a middle age-ish woman sitting next to me who was weeping because she was so excited.

At first, when I saw the tears I turned to her and screamed, “Yeah, I totally get it! I want to cry too! This is crazy! The things we do for our kids, right?”

She looked at me and yelled so viciously, I feared for my safety, “I don’t have kids! I’m here because I loooooove Justin!”

I considered for a second if my $20 commemorative Justin Bieber program would make an adequate self-defense weapon and then I put my earplugs back in, scooted as far away from her as I could and made a solemn vow to never, ever attend another concert again.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂