The Wonders of Being Too Old to Care

concert

Last night, I took the plunge and did something I’d never done before, but had contemplated for a while. I wore earplugs at a rock concert. And I loved every minute of it!

I’ve never been very image conscious—“looking cool” has always been way too much effort for me to bother with. For as long as I can remember, I’ve dressed more to blend in than to stand out. However, last night propelled me to a whole new level of not caring. I was fully aware that some people might think I was lame for not wanting my eardrums blasted out, but I was even more certain that I was going to do what I wanted regardless.

The wonderful thing about getting older is that impressing other people begins to matter less and less.  Sometime around my mid-twenties, I began to realize that my opinion of myself mattered more than anyone else’s, and my priorities began to shift.  Amazingly, I discovered that the less I tried to live by others’ standards, the happier and more confident I became–and the more other people respected me.  So this concept of outgrowing ideas about what is and isn’t “cool” isn’t new to me.  What is new is flaunting it in a room full of people who are young and unenlightened.  And that makes it all the more enjoyable.

Here are the steps on my journey to becoming the #1 Stodgy Lady at an RJD2 concert, and fully embracing the mindset that “sensible” is more fun than “cool”:

  1. Complain that the headlining act doesn’t start until 11:30. Seriously, 11:30?? That’s my bedtime!
  2. Time my arrival perfectly to skip most of the headlining acts, while arriving early enough to not have to fight for a good view. M and I were both appalled at the mere thought of standing in a loud, crowded room for 4 hours straight, but also think it’s rude to push your way up to the front. (A decade ago, I would have been in line when the doors opened—I have no time or energy for that now!)
  3. Fret over the fact that it’s cold outside but hot inside. Decide that the only way to be Sensibly Comfortable is to wear a sweater and light jacket for walking to the venue, and bring a gigantic tote bag to stuff them in when I get to the venue. I realize this wouldn’t work at venues that don’t allow bags, but here they only do a quick search before letting people in. In fact, the security guard didn’t even search my bag! I think he took one look at me and thought, “This lady definitely isn’t cool enough to be smuggling in drugs or alcohol. Next!”
  4. Be shocked and appalled by the way young people are dressing these days. The woman in front of me in the ticket line was wearing a bra and nothing else on top. Seriously. Maybe she put on her bra, looked in the mirror and said, “Hmmm, should I wear a shirt? No. No shirt today!” All I could think was how cold she must have been on her way over!
  5. Look around and do a quick calculation. Realize I am probably way over the average age of the audience members. Realize that will probably be true of most rock concerts I attend from now on.
  6. Find a bench in the back of the venue and sit. Because it’s still early enough that it’s not too crowded, and because standing is for 20-somethings.
  7. Get inspired. Another older-than-average lady dances up to the bar, looks around, and stashes her coat into a corner near the bench. “So that’s how it’s done!” I whisper yell into M’s ear, admiring the clever woman’s solution to the cold outside/hot inside dilemma as she danced off like a pro.
  8. Get jealous. Several minutes later, M and I decide to get up and claim a spot with a good view of the stage. The music is pulsing loudly, and during a particularly intense drum solo it got so loud that I actually covered my ears! That’s when I see the man with earplugs. “Ugh, I wish I had ear plugs!” I yell to M. “What?” He yells back. “Never mind.” I pantomime. I seriously consider trying to learn sign language. It’s probably the only practical way to communicate in a place like this!
  9. Ask the right questions. The crowd starts to fill in, so I go to the bar to get a final round of drinks. (There will be no way of fighting through the crowd when the headliner takes the stage!) I lean over the bar and yell my order to the bar tender. Half-way through, I notice that he, like the genius I noticed before, is wearing earplugs. “Do you have any more earplugs back there?” I ask. He nods and gives me a thumbs-up. I ask for two pairs. He hands me my drinks and the ear plugs. I give him a generous tip. He has made my dream come true!
  10. Dance, and enjoy the music! With my new earplugs firmly in place, I danced the night away, free from the ear-crushing pain of a sound system turned all the way up to eleven, and free from worries about hearing loss. I was having so much fun that I even got M to dance with me a little, and he does not dance ever!
  11. Learn my lesson. I may never be the cool young girl at a concert, and I will definitely never be the girl who goes to a concert in her bra… but most importantly, I will never again go to a concert without my earplugs.

earplugs

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5 thoughts on “The Wonders of Being Too Old to Care

  1. I had to start wearing earplugs a few years ago after pushing my way to the front left me standing right next to the speaker at a really loud show. I was in pain for days, and it isn’t worth it to me! My friends make fun of me but I don’t care, I want to be able to hear when I’m old!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely loved this post! I got some good laughs. I am a huge show-goer and never once have I thought about wearing earplugs. That is the greatest idea EVER! I hate walking away from the show feeling like my ears are stuffed with cotton for three days.

    I think one of the things I’ve loved the most about getting older is….while I still feel 19 at heart and I love that, I love that I’m not 19! It’s great to feel young but have the wisdom of your years. I think getting older should be just as celebrated as youth is. Party on, ladies!

    Liked by 1 person

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