This rock star business is exhausting, people. Ha! Like I would know. Although I would imagine it is exhausting in fact, I really don’t know the first thing about being a rock star. I do know a thing or two about being on the road however, and the rock stars are way better off than the likes of me. See, they get on a tour bus around midnight, and someone drives them to their next city while they sleep. Me? I go back to a hotel with my girlfriends. We stay up til all hours rehashing the show and looking at photos while singing the songs we just heard a few hours earlier. Then in the morning after too little sleep, we hop in our own damn cars and drive several hours back home. It’s OK. Though I’m a touch snoozy for a few days after, it’s so worth it.
You get home and people quiz you, but not exactly in the way you’d like them to. You want to geek about the set list, the opening acts and improvs, the city you visited and your friends. Those are the kinds of quiz questions you want to nail, and friends, I’m a straight-A kinda gal here. Instead, the most frequently occurring question you get is this: “Don’t you ever get sick of it?” My friend Nikki wrote a really terrific statement about her homecoming quizzes on Facebook, and instead of stealing hers, which would have been so much simpler, you get this. I should totally credit her with co-authorship. You want to ride horses or buy your own spray-tan machine? Cool. You are impassioned with Lularoe leggings or have 34 pairs of Toms shoes? Good on ya. I won’t judge. And therein lies the difference–I won’t judge you for spending money in ways that make you happy. I might not get it for me, but I don’t have to. If you get it for you, it should be enough.
I’m above average in intellect–I’m reasonably certain I’m at least at the mean with the mean being 100 and a standard deviation of 15 with relation to IQ points–and if I continued to do something that bored me to tears, well, I’d stop doing that something. Hold on. Now I’m thinking about IQ, and while a part of me is dying to know my actual IQ, a just slightly bigger part of me doesn’t want to know. What if I’m not as intellectually intact as I think I am? What if the magic number is really low? Am I an overachiever then? What if it’s higher than I evidence in my daily functioning? Then I’m just a do-nothing sloth? I know enough to know that I want it to be at least around 120, but what if it’s not? Eek. Here’s what I do know for sure re: my IQ: Years ago, a school psychologist friend of mine would randomly call me with questions I came to learn were part of a psych battery. That I answered them suggested I was pretty solid. But I’m also borderline delayed with visual-motor integration (like it’s not funny low) so THANK STARS I got me some verbal skillz. Obviously my ability to sustain attention and focus to task is impaired. . . Squirrel! Ahem.
If I continued to do something that bored me to tears, I wouldn’t continue to do that something. It’s why I have the ever-changing career I do. It’s why I crank out my little blog. It’s why I’m a people person, because my brain isn’t wired to be a tasks person. I’m not otherwise creative (although I did come up with this beauty of an idea, because OF COURSE Barenaked Ladies wants an autographed photo of US! Get it?)
While I obsess over song lyrics, harmonies and instrumentation, hearing any band (and I mean band-band, like actual musicians, not singing groups with sick dance moves who crank out a 22-minute tracked dance performance and call it a concert) live is never the same twice. Even the same song is never the same twice. So once and for all, I will answer the quiz questions I get asked. And I passed the quiz with flying colors, BTW. All you haters get a D-.
Doesn’t the band think you guys are stalkers? You’d have to ask them, but I think they appreciate up-front fanatics singing and dancing along to their music. I buy a ticket like anyone else in the audience; occasionally my commute is slightly longer than most in attendance. We are all professionals with actual jobs and families. Honestly, we’re all pretty normal less this collective hobby we share. We’re moms, librarians, accountants, office managers–funny and smart ones at that. The band has garnered a small fortune from our collective. I feel like we’ve maybe helped purchase a couple guitars or pieces of artwork for them, maybe endowed a college fund or two for each of their children, so they’re cool with an extra selfie once in awhile.
What could you possibly ask them to autograph now? My little kid’s second home run baseball this time. I had to try to make right the fact that he refers to that particular hit as the home run you weren’t there for.
Follow up question–Where do you put the stuff you’ve gotten signed? Honestly, much of it rests on a shelf. I’ve framed some of the posters for display, and the blog post copies I’ve had them sign are at my desk at work. If I had a bigger house, it’d be cool to have a sewing room. Except I don’t sew, so I’d just have band stuff hanging up. I think you get the point.
Why do you have to do those meet & greets? It’s difficult to explain. Either you get it or you don’t, and if you don’t, you’ll always think I’m nuts no matter how I would attempt to explain. It’s cool to meet people who’ve influenced your life through music. It’s cool to tell famous people the difference they’ve made, and that they listen while I gush. And hi, I’m 12, it’s cool that my idols give me a nod because they recognize me.
Weren’t you afraid that the girls you met would be weird? Actually, no. It’s a kind fan community, but there was something about the way we clicked that was genuine and authentic. These girls have been here for me in the real world and online during the hardest, saddest days I’ve known.
You’re crazy. This is not a question. There was no rising inflection at the end.
Are you like, friends with the band? No. They recognize me and they’re awfully kind and generous with their time when I get the chance to speak with them. They seem to remember that my behavior alternates between stunned mutism and being a smart ass, and will smart ass me right back, which of course I appreciate. They do recall details about conversations I’ve had with them in the past, and I’m blown away that they do. But they don’t call me up or message me wondering what I’m up to. I’m sure. Although I’m not gonna lie–I’m a pretty good friend to have. But I am also grounded in reality. For better or for worse some days, ’cause reality can be a beast, but my ass is still firmly planted on my rocker.
Doesn’t your husband get pissed you waste so much money? Waste is such an ugly word, people. I don’t have the typical girly-girl vices like shoes or clothes or girls’ weekends at the lake. I’m pretty low maintenance with “stuff” (except hair color as you know–LOVE YOU, Andrea, you’re worth your weight in gold, and I’d pay double what you ask to work your magic), and I forbid my husband from buying me the usual stuff at birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc. when I know a concert bender is in the offing. No gift, but a cake is mandatory for birthdays. Cake with frosting so solid with sugar and lard your teeth hurt thinking about it. Frosting is not baked, so escapes my “no bakery” rule.
I just don’t get it. I just don’t think you understand what question means.
Do you get in trouble for blowing off work? It’s called personal time and after 25 years, it’s the least they can allow me. The glamorous life of public servitude slashed my benefits, hacked my take home by over $10K, and have now begun to check my work space for neatness. PS–they’re not finding any!
What do your kids say? Do you think you’re setting a bad example? My kids get it, as much as kids their age can. No, I’m not setting a bad example. What’s bad here? I’m modeling carpe diem, yo, and I hope I’m showing them in my own special way to do what makes you happy.
Don’t you ever get sick of it? No. If not for the guys, I’d never know my girls. Because it is a story of friendship now in equal measure with the concert experience itself. End of story.
But of course it’s not the end of the story.
In other news, cabinets were delivered yesterday, and I’m only moderately irate that there’s a chunk out of one of the drawers. For the money I’ve paid for these custom pieces of kitchen art, I’m going to be the one to destroy them. They’re blindingly white, just like I wanted, and I may have metaphorically tinkled when I saw the backsplash tile. It’s SO ME, and it was the one thing I fought for. Flooring? OK. Cabinet pulls? Sure, whatever you want. Counters? Well. . . I don’t love it, but if you do. . . But the tile? Winning that was my anniversary gift last May. That and maybe a concert ticket or two. Or four.