Play Some Skynyrd!: Avoiding Embarrassing my Cousin at his Gig

Individual silicone earplug worn at ear with E...
I wonder how many people's fantasies involve ear plugs? Image via Wikipedia

Last night, my husband and I got a taste of what it might be like if we lived nearer the kids’ grandparents.

It was the first time we’ve seen live music together since our pre-kids days. I’m grateful that bars have gone non-smoking since then.

We saw the Spark Notes, my cousin’s band (technically he’s aunt’s husband’s nephew, but cousin is more brief) at The Blue Owl in downtown Sarasota. I sat right by the amplifier, so I’m fairly certain I suffered some damage to my hearing despite having my fingers in my ears for about half of the show.

I enjoyed the show on two levels.

First, I really enjoyed the music and I enjoyed watching the family support my cousin received. I’ve lived far from family my whole life, and it’s always something of a pleasant surprise to find that there are all of these people with whom I share an automatic connection and who love me even though we often have very different opinions and have made different lifestyle choices. It was a very pleasant feeling to be part of offering that love and support.

The second level on which I enjoyed the show was that it took me back to my early 20’s and revived a sort of fantasy I have of an alternate life in which I listen to a lot of live music.

In this life, I’ve got no kids and I work just enough to pay for cover charges, alcohol, and ear plugs (even in my fantasies I’m at least a little responsible). I stay in a community long enough to listen to and befriend the local musicians, then I move on to a new community and do the same thing. I sit in the bar listening to the music with my eyes shut, watching the other patrons listening to the music, maybe writing a few notes down in my little notebook. After a time, perhaps I start bringing my laptop and writing blog posts about the show as it’s happening.

What’s certain is that in this alternate life I’m very cool and people are drawn to my authentic coolness.

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