I except to receive my Mother of the Year Award any day now. Or at least, Mother of a Teenager Award.
What did I do to earn this award you ask? I stepped way out of my comfort zone. I did something I never expected to do. I threw myself heart and soul (or at least bodily) into a teenage experience.
I took my 14-year-old to a Blaqk Audio concert.
And not just any concert. This wasn’t assigned seating, civilized ushers sort of concert. This was a downtown Salt Lake, dance club, cram onto the floor as close to the stage as humanly possible concert.
How did this happen? First, my son asked. Which might not mean anything, except he’s a great son. Fabulous grades, good attitude, easiest teenage boy in the world to get along with. Doesn’t break curfew, doesn’t lie, doesn’t sneak out. He makes it hard to say no to. Not that I haven’t said no before. But the second part of this I can only blame myself for—I didn’t check if my husband would be in town. I planned to send dad and son off to the concert.
But no such luck. Dad was in Boston. Which meant mom got to go. (And leave the 11-year-old babysitting—don’t call social services—my neighbors and friends were on high alert for any possible problems!)
So off Son 1 and I went. First, we drove for 45 minutes. Then we parked and walked a block and half to the club through streets that made me a little leery. Then we joined the line that snaked around outside and waited for 45 minutes until they opened the doors. It really is a decent club. It’s not like I let him drag me into a den of drugs and drinking. It’s a non-alcoholic dance club, you generally have to be 18 to get in but they make exceptions for their “all ages” shows, in which those under 18 can get in with a parent.
(But I must say that none of this meant they knew how to clean their bathrooms. We stood near the men’s room while waiting to buy him a sweatshirt, and the smell was enough to convince me that I could hold it until I got home.)
About 8:30, when we’d been inside 15 minutes, I realized that the 8:00 and 9:45 times printed on the tickets didn’t indicate the time during which the band would be playing. It indicated the time the doors would open, and what time they would take the stage. I had a bad moment or two when I realized I had another hour to stand around and wait before the music started, but I made the best of it. I found a convenient pillar on the side of the room, which gave me a good view of my son ten feet away in the crowd, and turned to contemplation. And there was a lot to contemplate.
Wardrobe, for one. I was extremely glad, standing in line outside, that I hadn’t decided to wear my denim mini-skirt, black leggings, and leopard print ballet flats. How embarrassing would it have been to show up in the same outfit the woman in front of me was wearing?
I have never seen so much black, so many pairs of fishnet stockings, and so many people that filled me with the great motherly urge to push their hair out of their face and say, “Let me see your eyes!” I also saw a girl wearing an actual corset. I know about corsets, having made two of them. Mine, however, are worn on Halloween, and always with something beneath them other than skin. This one, not so much.
I imagined Tim Gunn standing by me for a while. He hosts his own “Guide to Style” on Bravo and I could dream many the many comments he’d have made, along with the shrieks of purely visceral horror. The band was actually the best-dressed there—white shirts, ties, dress pants and vests. Wasn’t wild about their hair, but at least they weren’t wearing eyeliner.
The good news for me? I really like Blaqk Audio’s music. I’m listening to their album right now, in fact. It didn’t hurt that they’ve only released one album, which meant they were through playing in an hour. Although I’m not much of a crowd person (the reason I took the pillar against the wall was so that I wouldn’t embarrass my son by having a panic attack) but I really enjoy performance of almost any sort. There’s something vibrant about live performances, the energy and enthusiasm of both the performers and the crowd. I enjoyed myself much more than I expected to.
There was only thing that bothered me for the first half of the concert—I couldn’t figure out who the keyboard player reminded me of. You know how annoying that is, running over everyone you’ve ever met or seen in your head trying to make a match. And then, my blog to the rescue!
Victoria Beckham. Dye his haircut platinum blonde and put him in six-inch heels and he’d have been the spitting image.
All in all, I’m resting on my mothering laurels this week.
Feel free to send my award.