I am 41, admittedly, but I swear to you I feel like I’m, oh, say, 28. Maybe even younger, somewhere between 24 and 28. I remember those ages really well. I remember what I did to work out (step aerobics), I remember where I went to happy hour (Phipps Tavern in Atlanta) and I remember how much alcohol I could drink (not telling because I don’t want you to stage an intervention). I remember what I watched on TV (Friends and Ally McBeal), I remember what I drove (fire-engine red Toyota) and I remember what I weighed (less than I do now but not mortifyingly less). I remember going on dates and sleeping until 10 am and needing my friends like a fish needs water.
Now I’m married. I have two kids, a mortgage, wrinkles. (I kind of still need my friends like a fish needs water.) I know I’m older and wiser but sometimes I feel like I could amaze you with my talent at serving and consuming upside-down margaritas, or like I could get a babysitting job paying $10 an hour on a Friday night and use that money to hit a bar with my friends on Saturday night. Part of me still thinks carbs are the only food group and vegetables are overrated and going to sleep before 3 am is for losers. (The other, more responsible part of me rules my life and raises my children, but I still FEEL the irresponsible parts. And sometimes miss them.)
So when a good friend said, “Hey, I got tickets to this really fun band. Wanna come?” I quickly said yes. I’m still fun, right? I can still hit a bar, listen to a band, be cool, right?
All she told me was that it was an "80s band." I didn’t think too much about what to expect; maybe that it was the equivalent of going to a Neil Diamond concert – kind of dated but nostalgically sweet. No, I didn’t think the Go-Go’s would be on stage, but I thought it was serious music.
Well, I’m a moron.
First, the name of the band should have tipped me off. The Legwarmers.
The company should have tipped me off. DROP DEAD gorgeous people who work with my friend, many of whom were likely sucking on bottles of formula when I was sucking down underage wine coolers in the 80s. I seriously couldn’t decide if the girls or the guys were prettier. They were all at least ten years younger than those of us with children, which seemed to be the dividing line. Or maybe it was a 40th birthday.
(I think they just came to make fun of us.)
(No, I know they came just to make fun of us.)
Because this was not serious music. It was fun music, and dance music, and everyone-knows-every-word-to-every-song music, but it was a mockery of my coming-of-age decade. Everyone (almost except me) was dressed in vintage 80’s fashion...ripped acid-washed jeans, skinny ties, some ill-advised prom dresses, big hair, Madonna gloves and plenty of blue eye shadow on everyone.
(I think everyone thought I was in costume, in my fun/flirty Nordstom outfit. But no, they were my real clothes.)
At one point, I looked around.
The young, pretty people in cute little 80s clothes they probably borrowed from their middle-aged next-door neighbors got hammered and made out with each other.
One of my over-40 peers was being carted out early by her embarrassed husband, deliberately (and slurringly) spelling her name for me so I could put her in my blog with correct attribution. (She was adorable, and totally fun to be around, and a hilarious drunk, but I’m still not going to name her because no one actually wants that to be their claim to fame.)
Another over-40 friend (the instigator of the night), who had a very good looking guy’s arms wrapped around her waist, was not drunk but was busy wondering a) if he thought her post-two-children stomach was squishy and b) if he really was still in college. (And "hot damn!!" was somewhere in her thoughts, too.)
Me? Well, I was driving, so I wasn’t drinking (I still remain amazed that anyone would trust my driving or my not drinking, but I managed both). And, while I wasn’t exactly standing in the audience with a lighter, I really enjoyed the terrible band. I really liked knowing every song.
That’s bad. Simply pathetic.
And then it hit me.
Goodbye, bubbly high school student of the 80s. Goodbye, blonde party girl of the 90s.
Hello, Old Fart of right now.
Hello, mom who knows all the lyrics to I Melt with You or Love Shack. Hello, woman who was secretly delighted that she was awake at 2:30 am and it wasn’t with a sick kid. Hello, enthusiastic dancer who had sore calves in the morning because she couldn’t NOT jump around to Duran Duran or the aforementioned Go-Go’s.
Well, I guess it was inevitable. And I guess it snuck up on me. But really, did I actually think I’d be slamming Sex on the Beach shots when I’m a grandmother? (Well, maybe. Probably a milder sight, and more likely, than me actually having sex on the beach when I’m a grandmother. No offense, Whit.)
So, for me, The Legwarmers concert was the end of an era.
And it made me think...if, in ten years, Caroline is going out to hear a tribute band and says, "Hey, Mom, where can I get a meat dress?" or Jack asks me for a Justin Beiber wig, I will have entered a whole new level of being an Old Fart. Stay tuned.
(Late-breaking news...there’s another concert in September. Wanna come? I've got just the outfit.)