Saturday, February 17, 2007
Valentines with George Strait and Cheerios

We celebrated Valentines Day tonight. George Strait was here in town for a concert. My husband's got a cowboy buried, deep inside him, big brimmed hat and all. The one he wore, now and then, when we first started dating, hangs on the gun-rack in our son's now vacant bedroom. His rarely worn boots are on the floor of his bedroom closet. Some things are too special to ever get rid of. Hats and boots - signs of his youth.

We got the tickets weeks ago, the morning they went on sale. In spite of that, we ended up in the nose-bleed section. That was okay. We figured the evening would be fun, and we'd start with a nice dinner before the show.

Aren't plans great? So they can be thrown out the window. Here's what actually happened. Don got tied up at the office. He was late getting home. When we discussed dinner plans the evening before, we realized there wasn't actually time. I'd pick up McD's to eat on the way. McD's stays hot and tastes good for a full 15 minutes after it's handed through the driveup window. When Don finally got home, MCD's had been sitting there, on the kitchen counter for over an hour. The fries were C.O.L.D. The cokes were not. Whatever umph the burgers had started out with, had curled up and died. They looked like they'd been run over by someone's toy truck.

That's Okay. We thought traffic wouldn't be a problem; surely we'd have time to sit and eat at home, then venture out. We discovered McD's is faster to swallow when the grease is still hot; once it's congealed it doesn't go down so quickly. We were finally on our way. "We" being us and thousands of other people. All driving on the same road, through the same tunnels, with no other way to get there. About the time the concert was starting, we were still sitting in a line of traffic. That's Okay because it wasn't boring. We had a variety of shivering homeless people hanging around outside our windows, and T-shirt hawkers trying to sell their wares. I casually mentioned, "could you please not roll down the windows to buy a T-shirt from any of those people?" I don't think it's just my husband. It's husbands in general. They're not great at waiting in traffic. Or putting up with people who, sick of waiting - gun their engines, fly to the front of the line and stick their vehicle halfway between you and the car in front of you. Let me just say our vehicle was nice and warm inside, from all the words being spoken to the Invisible Person in the back seat, and the huffing and puffing going on. I say Invisible Person in the back seat, because I sure wasn't jumping into the conversation...and Don kept talking, to someone.

We finally arrived, found a parking space, and headed to the arena. The concert was going strong. I really didn't care. I really didn't even care who we were going to see. I was all about the going. Out. Anywhere. We headed in, and discussed whether to stop and pick up snacks or just find our seats. We decided to wait on the nachos - the part of the concert I was really excited about. Girl with the discriminating palate - that's me. We went by one of the 99 people selling beer, and bought one for the very reasonable price of $6.75. For one beer. I don't really drink beer.

A nice man, with an ever-so-little flashlight helped us find our seats. Coming to our row, the first six seats were already filled. With large people who had bad legs, as we were told. The bad leg part, not the large part. That we figured out all by ourselves. When we came to our seats, there were already two young men in them. They explained that they weren't quite ready to be squished up in the row their seats were actually in, so they were just 'borrowing' ours. That's Okay. They'd move. They did. They were even so nice as to spill their $6.75 beer all down the back of Don's seat. Give it that lived-in feel. Once we'd peeled off our layers of coats, caps, scarves, etc. and wedged our bodies into our seats, with our knees sort of up around our chins, Don decided the entire place must have been built by the same creatures who tied up Gulliver, when he went traveling.

Don assured me we'd go get the nachos in just a bit. Then the row in front of us arrived. They spent a good thirty minutes trying to decide where everyone would sit. We didn't get bored. We were somewhat fascinated by the young girl sitting down in front of us, doing a rear-version imitation of a plumber, aerial view. Then the first set, which we'd pretty much missed, stopped. There was a break. Don left for nachos. Less than five minutes later he was back, without nachos. The lines were so bad he couldn't even get out of the arena, to the concession stands. He'd try again later. About that time the people with tickets to the seats on our right showed up. A very uptight looking lady and her son. Within five minutes of sitting down, she was clearly annoyed by aerial-view plumber-girl and her friends who were leaving to refresh their beverages every ten minutes. As their beer kicked in, they started doing the wave, and/or swing dancing in their aisles. Plumber-girl would have done well to avoid dancing. Uptight lady was so put out, I just froze in my seat. No way was I taking her on. Which would have been fine, except I still didn't have nachos, and my restless leg decided to rear it's head. Just to make it even more fun.

Anyone who has restless leg knows it makes you - restless. Nobody knows what causes it, there is no cure for it, but you H.A.V.E.T.O.M.O.V.E.Y.O.U.R.L.E.G or you will go nuts. I'm 5'10" so my legs were bent up, tucked under my chin, no place to put them, and I didn't dare ask uptight lady to let me by or to ask large bad leg people to let me out. So I sat and stomped my leg for the entire rest of the concert, which made uptight lady think I'd lost my mind, especially since now and then, at irregular intervals my leg would just sort of spazz out on it's own and do a big stomp thing. I never made eye contact with her.

At some point in the concert, Don and I decided to setttle in - we held hands in the dark, and enjoyed the music to the ever-present tapping of my right leg. Not necessarily keeping time with the music.

As we left, with my husband again apologizing for no nachos, I told him I was just happy to be up and moving my leg around. But I was starving. Because my cold McD's had worn off. So he said, "how 'bout if we stop and have pie and coffee?" Shoot! I like nachos but coconut cream pie sends me into spasms (not my legs, just my mouth). So we headed out, with no traffic issues, for the nearest all-night eatery. The kind that always has pie, just don't ask how old it is. We pulled up at straight up midnight, the minute when they close. Nothing was opened in our entire town. And no, we don't have 300 people. We have 20,000 but they are apparently not night-people.

So we went home, and had bowls of cheerios and talked about what a fun date it was. And it was. However, I learned. Next time - get the nachos up front. Life is too uncertain to do anything else. Otherwise, you might end up spending your evening, looking like a clogging fool, sipping suds.


  posted at 1:12 AM

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