I wasn't planning on blogging today, but sometimes things just happen to me and I have no other choice but to share with you. After all, the blog is called "It Can Only Happen to Sarah" and boy, is that true this time.
Most of you know I'm a gigantic Rick Springfield fan. (If you're uncertain about that, check out my first novel, Dream In Color ((which has a brand new cover!)) and you'll get the idea.) Anyway for my birthday this year, (which was two weeks ago) Hubby did very, very good. Hubby got two tickets to Rick's solo concert "Stripped Down" which was at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, WI. This was to be different from the other concerts I'd been to because it was billed as "an intimate solo performance of music and storytelling."
I was super excited.
Dressing for these things is always a problem for me, but Hubby did good there, as well. He suggested I NOT wear my usual attire of Rick T-shirt and jeans and instead class it up a bit. He wore a bow-tie, I wore a sparkly holiday-ish top.
The Barrymore, if you haven't been, is an old theater in one of the more fun, funkier neighborhoods in Madison. I've never been there, but I knew right away we were at the right place because MY PEOPLE, (fluffy middle aged girls) were flocking to the place. We got in, found some fine seats (general seating, but I was okay we weren't up front. I have a thing about theater seating, I have to be on an aisle. Not only was I on an aisle, I was slightly higher than the seats in front of me, giving me a very clear view of the stage.) and we settled in.
The opening act was a pretty cool guy who sang some folksy songs about beaches and dead artists and drinking...believe me, he was a lot of fun. While he was playing, the woman behind us, and this is key, started consuming beer. (In retrospect, my guess is the beer was to fill in the holes left by the quantity of other alcohols she consumed before the concert.)
He played for about a half hour. After he left the stage, this woman leaned over the seat and started talking to us. I didn't think much of it, Hubby and I sort of are those people who wind up just talking to people...sort of like the nice lady at the last Rick Springfield concert...you remember her...the wildly drunk woman behind her dumped a gigantic beverage all over her? Yeah.
Anyway, so this woman starts talking to us. And at first, while she's talking way too loud, and too close, and it's clear she's "deep into her cups" as they say, she's seems normal. She asks if we're from Madison (we're not) and she tells us where she's from (also not Madison). Then it gets...well, I'll let you judge.
She says, "When my husband told me he got these tickets I asked him why? He said we needed a date night. We've been married 25 years, what do we need with a date night? We have two kids. We don't listen to the radio, we don't watch TV, we just do whatever the kids need us to do."
Yep, I should have moved right then and there. Warning bells went off in my head. She doesn't listen to the radio. She questioned her husband about why he bought her Rick Springfield tickets.
She doesn't watch TV.
We should have moved, but like I said, we had seats that really suited us.
The concert started...and her husband brought what I believe was her third round since they sat behind us. And that's when the inappropriate WHOO HOOing began.
For those of you who haven't been to one of these, it's a quiet affair. Sure, there's singing and cheering, and singing along, but for the most part, this was a lovely, cultured, grown up evening (no one was wearing concert t-shirts) except for Date Night behind me. Her only goal was to goad the front rows into standing up and dancing to cover the fact that she wanted to charge the stage...but only when Rick started singing 'Jessie's Girl.'
Ah, okay, I see the problem.
See, there are two kinds of Rick Springfield fans. There are those of us who have all the albums and know all the songs, we've read his book, we've gone to a ton of concerts, we've watched "Hard to Hold" RECENTLY. And then there are the fans who just like "Jessie's Girl." And it seems lately that I wind up sitting next to or in front of women who drink until he plays Jessie's Girl and then make idiots of themselves. (We had the mean lady in the Dells, "Red" in Nashville, and now Date Night.)
So Date Night is sitting behind me and every five minutes, no matter what is going on up on stage, she WHOO HOOS and then said, "Come on front rows get off your asses and DANCE! And when she's not yelling this, she's talking...out loud...with her husband. About what, I cannot imagine, because I'm trying to hear the stories Rick is telling on stage. I wanted to turn around and say, "Hey, if you want to talk on your date night, go someplace that encourages that...like a coffee shop, or your own living room. BUT SHUT UP I AM TRYING T HEAR RICK!"
(I didn't say that.)
Well, bad behavior begets bad behavior and this started a sort weird echo from the other side where a younger gent decided it was super cool to shout, "YOU ARE SO CUTE" every time there was a quiet moment in the show. First time, funny. Tenth time, not so much. And oh yeah, there was plenty of quiet time in the show. IT WAS AN INTIMATE PERFORMANCE OF SONG AND STORYTELLING.
Date Night is undeterred. At some point she leans in, between my face and Hubby's (I got a buzz from her fumes) and she says, "I'm going up. Are you with me?"
Hey, I've been on stage with Rick...couple times... but this was not that kind of thing. I shake my head. THEN, Date Night leans in closer and starts talking really loudly, and she puts her hands on our shoulders. "I'm GOING, are you with me?"
I say, "I'll pass." and I lean forward in my chair so her hand sort of falls away.
I'm not sure at what point she dumped her drink. I did enjoy the fact that unlike the woman in the Dells, Date Night didn't dump it on anyone in my row. Instead, she dumped it down the aisle, ice cubes and all. And she kept yelling for the front rows to DANCE.
And her husband kept getting up to get her drinks.
Here's the funny thing: At some point during the concert...they left. They just left. And yes, they left BEFORE he played "Jessie's Girl."
So here's what I've decided. I think the next time Hubby and I go to a Rick Springfield concert I'm going to have a questionnaire ready for the person behind me. It's going to have just a few questions:
1) Have you locked yourself away from society for the last 25 years, thereby rendering you incapable of understanding how to behave in an adult social setting?
2) Have you already or do you intend to drink your body weight in alcohol?
3) Are you just here to hear Jessie's Girl?
A "yes" answer to any of these questions is going to guarantee we find alternate seats.
If you haven't been to one of these "Stripped Down" shows, I highly recommend it. Rick fans, music fans, fans of just good shows will all enjoy this. But a word of caution: Don't be an idiot during the Q and A section. Don't bring some award you won and ask him to rub it on his body. If you feel the urge to ask such a thing...chances are you've answered "yes" to at least two of the above questions and you have no business being in that auditorium.