Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bar Induced Philosophical Musings

Last night I did something I have never, ever done - went out to a bar by myself (although I was going to see a friend of mine perform) and I have to say the evening was immensely enjoyable. And I'm amused with him - there were several times he voiced a concern that I was not having a good time, when that couldn't have been farther from the truth. I imagine he had that concern because a) he was the only person I knew there, b) I nursed a glass of wine most of the evening and didn't drink that much, and c) I parked myself at a table on the side of the room and wasn't up dancing the first 2/3 of the evening.

I spent some time over the past few weeks asking folks if they would like to go with me. Timing of this event stunk - it is Labor Day weekend, and invariably, the people in my life who would be fun to hang with in this atmosphere all had plans. Sure, there are others I could have asked, but I really wanted to be with someone who would just enjoy being there and I didn't feel the need to entertain. When that didn't pan out, I admit to having thoughts of, "well, do I go?" Five plus years ago I would have decided not to, and then been upset later that I didn't. This go round I listened to myself - I really wanted to hear him play, so why would I NOT go. Turns out, I was with someone who just enjoyed being there - I was with me.

I think what I enjoyed most, other than the music, was the chance to just be in my own skin without worrying about anyone else. I didn't anticipate that feeling going in, but when it hit, that was really cool. Watching other people was a hoot, and I have to admit that there were moments that I wished I had gone to Bama watching this group, although when they started into "Rooooooolll Tide Roll" I countered with "Goooooooooooo DAWGS!!! Sic 'em!" - not too loud - just loud enough to amuse me. Hey, I was in enemy territory... I'm not stupid.

If the music had been bad, I wouldn't have been able to stay. Life is too short to have to listen to bad music, unless of course it is your child playing that bad music in a school band, and then you kind of have to. No, the music was damn incredible - and I'm not saying that because my friend was on stage. All three bands I heard were amazing to listen to. The first because they were just having a good time and you could tell. The second was just a magical combination of people and instruments. The last because not only were they having a good time, but they could rock. Music all three had in their set lists, even if I didn't know the songs, just resonated deep within. And while I didn't get up and dance during the first 2 sets, I connected with it and them. The last set there was no choice - I had to get up and dance. The chair was just too confining.

Watching my friend, though, was the most fun. He is super talented, and while he gave up the idea of making it big in music awhile back, I could just see how much he loves making music and how much he was enjoying himself. Watching how he interacted with the crowd and the band was downright entertaining. He told me it was the hat that caused it. I know better. The sly little smile he gave me when I was up and moving was amusing to me, too - a lot was communicated in that look. The whole evening just seemed to feed his soul.

When I was in the ladies room after the last set, a woman asked me, "Does tonight make you feel old or young?" I knew that her frame of reference was that these bands were a part of her college experience, and I did have the thought while watching the 2nd set in particular that it is clear we are all aging. My answer to her was, "I haven't decided," which was not entirely true. She said the second band made her feel old, but the last band made her feel young. Had I been in the mood to be philosophical with a complete stranger, my answer was really more of, "So, this is what I missed." I don't think I would have appreciated the evening in my 20s - I was too insecure and uncomfortable in bar/party situations. No, what I missed was having fun and not worrying about what other people thought. And finding that for myself at the age I am now is one of the most liberating things imaginable. My sitting back last night and watching was both a being blown away by that feeling and a savoring of sorts. Savoring the moment for a lot of different reasons.

So, to my friend, I'd like to say - I had a blast! You are incredible, and I am proud to be a groupie. Oh, and Roll Tide. As long as they aren't playing Georgia or Auburn.

No comments:

Post a Comment