If I say come at seven, I mean it

Last weekend I had plans to see Alabama Shakes in concert at an outdoor arena. I can’t tell you how hip this made me feel, how utterly young, until of course I got there.

Musicians, I do not understand how you can ask people to a party at seven and then not show up yourselves until ten. I do not understand how you can have two other sets of musicians do your job for you before you manage to come on stage. And twenty-somethings, I do not understand how you think it’s appropriate, ten minutes before the show finally seems to be starting, to move in front of the old people who have held their spots for three hours. And how is it acceptable to then grope each other in your Jersey Shore bodies while you ash your cigarettes all over some guy’s blanket that I heard him tell some other guy was his father’s from the Korean war? And the picture taking? With the cell phones? I guess it’s good you documented all this because my guess is you didn’t remember much, what with all the beer you managed to not spill and whatever was in that Mountain Dew bottle.

So did I have fun? I guess so. I don’t think I should stay out past ten and am horrified to say one of the best things about the night was that I wore comfortable shoes. But the people-watching, as awful as it was, was truly wonderful. And another thing that delighted me was that the girl I placed bets on throwing up before the end of the show totally did, at which point her supposed boyfriend turned away so he didn’t have to claim her.

Now the trick is how to hold that contradiction tightly in a story–both having a great time and an awful time. How to capture that a thing you love is also a thing that annoys you, and that maybe that’s why you love it.

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