Okay. So this isn’t technically an Ode. An ode is a non-lyrical poem with 3 distinct parts following a specific format. But I liked the way it sounded.
You don’t have to know me long, or know me all that well, or really know me in “real life” to know that I’m a Counting Crows fan. The kind of fan that people CLAIM to be when they say “I’m a big fan of…” Yeah yeah. Let me tell you what big fans do. Fans like me take their senior college finals a week early so they can catch 3 shows on the southern leg of the summer tour. Fans like me camp out from 8 AM to 8 PM at general admission shows so that they can be on the front row. Fans like me go to shows alone because they know they will know someone there because they have been to …um… 30 something shows in their lifetime. Fans like me know exactly which tour bus the lead singer is getting on, finds it and stalks it until it leaves. Fans like me meet the band members enough times on one tour that they start to recognize me. Fans like me consider getting a tattoo of the lead singer’s signature (and some follow through with it). Fans like me have a collection of bootleg shows and can tell you which version of which song was played at the Paris ’94 show versus the Atlanta ’02 show, which lyrics were changed, and what story the lead singer told before singing it … Fans like me never get too old or boring to stop going to shows… until they do…
From the time that I became a Counting Crows fan, I was obsessed with seeing them live. They are notorious for their live shows. Every show is drastically different so you can see them 3 nights in a row and it’s a completely different show each time. As noted above, I would often pick 2 or 3 shows on each tour to attend. In the early days they played alot of general admission shows so I ended up camping out all day to be on the front row. I’d meet other CC fans, trade bootlegs, tell stories about shows we’ve been to, and just soak in the whole experience. It was that whole feeling of music bringing us together and everyone was happy and the whole atmosphere of it all was just ..magical. Then they started with these damn double headliner shows playing these big venues and amphitheaters. But I went. I paid whatever I had to pay to get a front row seat. I was a fan. A big fan. And there wasn’t much that I’d put before a CC show. I even attended one 7 days before I got married. Out of town. I would skip classes, lie, call in sick to work…whatever I needed to do. The music of Counting Crows was my world after all.
So like I said, last month I went to the Atlanta show at the Tabernacle. It was amazing. It was ALMOST as amazing as the Halloween ’02 Tabernacle show where Adam was dressed up as a giant bunny rabbit. Then they announced they’d be playing Tuscaloosa on 6/28. Keep in mind that I am still recovering from a WHIRLWIND of a month with the wedding and honeymoon. Plus I have no vacation left. But I decided I’d go. By myself because my best CC buddy, Kristin, was going and also on the front row. I watched stub hub for a few weeks and saw that the front row tickets kept going up and down. I decided to wait and see how they got closer to the show… I would buy a ticket, go to the show, and call in sick the next day (because there was no way I could get up and do therapy after a late night in Tuscaloosa at a CC show). The tickets kept going down and there were plenty left, so I decided I’d see how it went and buy one the week of the show…
But then this week rolled around. I’m exhausted. I’m PMS’ing like hell and my whole body aches. We are having a record breaking heat wave in Alabama and no matter how much espresso and iced coffee I drink, I can’t seem to find any energy or motivation for anything. We are having a big party at our house this weekend and there are a million things I need to do to get ready for that. And laundry is piled up….
I had all but forgotten about the damn show when I was half asleep last night and I got a text from Kristin: “I’m so excited about tomorrow.” I weighed my options…
I could work all day, rush home, get freshened up and still make the show. But I knew, deep down, that I wouldn’t let myself call in to work on friday. I knew that I had a full load of patients scheduled and they were counting on me to be there. I knew that if I worked all day today, went to the show, got very little sleep, and worked all day friday, I’d be worthless for the party this weekend. I knew nothing would get done around the house and that I’d be a stressed out mess. PLUS…the PMS would make it seem a thousand times worse than it really was….you know how that goes.
So I decided the responsible thing would be to stay home.
Then it hit me… I am an adult…. WHERE DID MY CAREFREE YOUTH GO? Where did my screw-the-working-world-music-is-more-important-attitude go? What happened to my “you can sleep when you’re dead” mantra…that I loved telling all my friends in college when they wanted to punk out on some awesome something that was going on… what happened to me? What happened to #1 Counting Crows fan?
I grew up.
So today went like this instead…
I got to work at 9 am but my first 3 patients rescheduled or canceled for some reason. So I sat in my office doing random paperwork and reading The Girl Who Played with Fire until about 11 when I went and met my best friend, her husband, and their 2 year old for lunch. Then I took a spin in their new mini van with automatic sliding doors and a DVD player playing Mary Poppins. I went back to work and saw a few more patients. Then I went to my step aerobics class at the gym and I came home and ate a healthy dinner….
I’m a total rockstar huh?
I guess the lesson in all this is that things change. People change. What we love and adore changes. What we are willing to do and not do changes. What we put up with changes. And that is OK. Because it’s part of life. I used to look back at college and wish I had those days back (like alot of you I’m sure). I couldn’t imagine a time in my life that would ever be as fun as those 4 (or 5) years were. But I look around me, at what I have now, and I realize…this is happiness. This is fulfilling and rewarding and good. And it’s people that can’t let go of the past and embrace change who have the hardest time adjusting to adulthood or successfully moving from one phase of life to the next. But here I am, while Kristin is at CC screaming her head off, sitting at my dining room table writing about how grown up and boring I am….and it’s perfectly okay with me.
Somewhere along the way I went from a somewhat irresponsible, messed up kid who drank too much Miller Lite… to a very responsible 9-5’er who drinks craft beer and has “vinyl fridays” with her husband. [I have to note though…that no matter how messed up I was back then…I was always a neat freak who made straight A’s!] What’s funny is it all seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. I guess that’s just me being nostalgic. I’m only 32 after all…with no kids…I’m not THAT old and boring. But I sit and think about how much life is about to change in the next few years. And I feel ready for it. I don’t feel that I can’t let go of the fun…I guess the “fun” just changes. And we are so lucky to have friends who are also moving into those next phases of life and growing and changing like we are. Some that aren’t…but we love them too.
So now I’ll have a brief CC dance party in the living room and go to bed early.
And for tribute’s sake…here’s a pic of Adam I took…
And me and my favorite toddler at lunch today….
Embrace change folks…it’s a good thing!
**I’d like to say that this definitely doesn’t mean I’ll stop going to CC shows or slack on my attendance of rock shows in general. But I guess in circumstances like these, I realize I’ll make more grown up decisions. Gone are the days that I can lay out all night and “function” at work completely hungover and sleepless. I value sleep. And I like feeling good in the mornings. I like the farmer’s market and making it to my favorite workout class. My priorities have changed. That’s a good thing.