July 10th – A Week in Review

Blogged with a Cosmo and homemade paella simmering on the stove.

Whew! What a week. The kids have been spending their weekends with their dad, thanks to Opac’s weekday summer workout schedule. So Monday mornings have become yet another driving day – typically 2-1/2 hours round-trip for me.

Last Monday I had a mammo scheduled afterward, which is not far from our old hometown. (Because I happen to love my OB/GYN and I only have to go once a year, and she convinced me to try the new Breast Center there.) The woman doing my mammogram was either having a bad day, or desperately needed a personality. If I was doing this job, I’d try to be perky (no pun intended) and quick-witted to put patients at ease. Which is exactly why I would never get hired. Or fired for blurting inappropriate things.

Tuesday night I was invited by a girlfriend to see Pat Benatar and Melissa Etheridge back “home” in PA. I dropped the kids off at their dad’s for an overnight and then girlfriend and I went out to dinner at a popular outdoor restaurant before the concert. As we approached the arena, I noticed a sea of aging faces and graying hair. I started giggling to myself. Of course these two women – Pat is 63 and Melissa is 55 – would fill an arena with an older crowd because Gen X’ers and DUH, I am one of them! These are my people. O.M.G. These are my people now.

I said, well, at least we won’t have to worry about people getting into fist fights at THIS concert. Girlfriend laughed. I saw more women my age and older, sporting tattoos. I saw more than a few men in tie-dye who appeared to have gotten lost on their way to a Dead show. The whole thing was surreal.

Melissa, excuse the language, was fucking amazing. And she’s a Gemini, by the way. She delivered all the beloved songs with that throaty voice, with all the power behind it that compels you to open up your lungs on the highway. She mentioned taking a walk in Gring’s Mill – a local park that is beloved for its beautiful paths and scenery – and all I could think was I used to run there and I’d have shit my pants to have run into her.

She sang a new song inspired by the Orlando shooting that brought tears to my eyes. (PMS was creeping up and I didn’t even know it yet.) And she talked about racial and cultural divide, and implored us to stop hurting each other and practice love and acceptance. And, because irony isn’t dead, a brawl broke out in the front row during Like the Way I Do. A Brawl. Broke out. In the front row.

Some woman, high on drugs and alcohol, started biting and hitting people. At a Melissa Etheridge and Pat Benatar concert filled with middle-aged people. The arena was certainly not counting on this, as it took several minutes before their middle-aged security team tased the bitch and got her outa there. Melissa stopped playing and tried to encourage the brawl to stop, and when security had the situation under control, she said, jeez! What IS it with this song?? And the audience roared.

At the risk of not giving proper due to Pat, I’m going to summarize her concert as nothing short of awesome. And – excuse the language again – Pat was really fucking amazing. Did you know her husband plays with her and that they were introduced by someone in the industry like 40 years ago? They’ve been married for 34 years. Really, you know how some concerts you go to, the artists just aren’t so great live? Both of them were phenomenal.

At 7 the next morning I was driving back to pick the kids up. I got about 10 minutes before coming to a dead stop, by an oversized load attempting an impossible right turn. Traffic stopped in both directions while this double tractor trailer carrying a steel beam the length of a football field pulled forward an inch, backed up an inch, pulled up an inch, backed up an inch… I tried to be patient. Until I saw the second truck coming. Oh HELL no. I turned around and went a different way. I got about 6 miles before another intersection with THREE oversized steel beam trucks stopped traffic again. I called Todd to rant and he told me to relax and breathe, in a voice meant for a two-year-old having a nuclear meltdown. The irony of this isn’t lost on me, particularly after a tense and lengthy car ride the previous weekend on I-95 whereby Todd was cursing every driver within 50 feet of us.

The rest of the week was mostly uneventful. I worked Friday night and we were busy. Someone commented on my short haircut (obviously she hasn’t seen me in while), saying she loved it and it made me look younger. Huh? I accepted the compliment, but in hindsight remembered her saying she would be FORTY this year, and so now I’m wondering if it wasn’t meant to be a dig. Oh well. I think I rock at 47. (sticking tongue out.)

Saturday we catered a wedding off-premise, at this beautiful venue built like an old barn but with luxurious central air. It was a small wedding – only 60 people – done on a small scale, just 3 of us and no bartender –a self-service bar with wine and beer (and what a beer selection!), and a buffet. The busgirl and I cleared empty plates from each of the 7 tables while the other server rinsed the rented dishes and flatware. The whole event went seamlessly. Except for the 95-degree temps that left us soaked in tuxedo shirts and long pants. (I hate this uniform. I. hate. It.) I snapped a bunch of photos of the inside during the outdoor ceremony. But the one photo I wished I could have taken?

I see things that strike me and I want to capture the moment before it’s gone forever – like the photo of two little old ladies dining at the casino with the Kiss tribute band playing under blue lights in the background. There was a very tall black man who looked like an NFL linebacker (but teddy-bear demeanor) standing on line at the wedding at one point, and right in front of him was this tiny old white lady that maybe came up to his navel. The contrast made me smile broadly and, while I’m sure he had no idea why, the man returned my smile warmly.

That is all. For now.

Except for Pulse.

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