Friday, July 31, 2009

Stupid things I've done...and am
(No. 93 in a continuing series)

Those of you who give attention to my life and activities (more than I do, as this post will indicate) might remember that the Ticketmaster website screwed me over on the purchase of some concert tickets a few months ago.

But Ticketmaster's screw job pales in comparison to what I did to MYSELF!

Because, as you can see above, concert tickets contain a lot of important information; they tell you what musician(s) are performing, where you're allowed to sit, the location of the event, and (I can't emphasize this last point enough) ...

The date and time of the event!
Any reasonable person knows that the only indispensable person at a Jackson Browne concert is...Jackson Browne.

If you're anybody else, you better show up at the time on your ticket.
And I know that. I understand the protocol.

So Monday (July 27, the day that I was supposed to be attending the Jackson Browne concert with the Middle-Aged Woman, our friends, Chico & (his daughter) C-One), I left work at 7 pm, got home around 7:30 pm, changed clothes, went out to get something to eat, came home, sat down at my desk to work on balancing the checking account, launched my browser and accidentally clicked on a link to Facebook where I saw C-One's comment about the concert that had started approximately 90 minutes earlier - that I was supposed to be at. And I realized at that moment, I was not giving my life the scrutiny it deserved.

I picked up the tickets (which have been sitting next to my computer monitor where I see them nearly every day) and sped to the room where the MAW lay throbbing (as usual).

Styro: Guess what? [Holds out concert tickets]
MAW: I thought the concert was tomorrow night.
Styro: No, it's today. [Hands tickets to MAW]

Perhaps it would have been better if I hadn't been reminded of the concert at all. I suspect the MAW felt that way - but she got in the car with me anyway.

I think of myself as a decent writer - but there are not enough words to express the incredible mix of emotions I felt as I drove 27.6 miles (according to my GPS) to the show. I tried to let my mind go blank as much as possible - because all of my thoughts were dark, angry and filled with self-loathing. Here's just a sample:

"What sort of idiot forgets about a concert when he's had the tickets sitting in front of him for 3 months?"

"What in the world can I say to Chico and Christie to explain this insanity? 'Oh, sorry - I guess you're just not important enough for me to bother remembering I was supposed to attend a concert with you tonight.'"

"We'll never make it in time. The show will be over."

I truly can't remember being more disgusted with myself since...

...since The Boy was small and left the house* while I was (supposedly) watching the kids - and walked out into a busy street before I could locate and catch him.

Anyway, I wasn't feeling too good. The only bright spots, in retrospect:

- I didn't drive like an idiot
- I kept quiet; no ranting and raving
- We didn't have to pay for parking (they don't really plan on people arriving two hours late), and
- The beauty of the music made me (briefly) happy

I wouldn't have thought it possible during the drive there - and it seemed like a distant memory during the drive home - but for a few minutes, as I listened to the music**, I was able to forget what a stupid idiot I was - and just enjoy the sound, the energy, the joy of a live performance, the uplift of a large group of people enjoying a shared experience. [Chico and Christie were very cool about the whole thing - just glad we hadn't ended up dead in a roadside ditch on the way to the show.]

If I get the opportunity again, I think I really need to show up at the time shown on the ticket.

Take care.

* I still can't believe he left the house by himself!
** The end of The Pretender (a personal favorite of mine - as we crossed the parking lot to the band shell), Running on Empty, I Am A Patriot ("The river rolls for the righteous...someday"), and The Load-Out.


Middle Aged Woman said...

Really, there was not even the potential for anyone to get hurt, just disappointed. If it makes you feel any better, no one felt as badly as you did. Wait, that doesn't sound right.

Cathy said...

I heard about this incident from Chico, I have to say I don't think I would have kept my cool as you have a little while it will be funny though (I think?)

Jim Styro said...

MAW & Cathy: To dwell on this incident further would be one way to make it worse. On the other hand, it hasn't yet reached "funny anecdote" status. Not by a long shot.

Captain Dumbass said...

Ouch. I can just imagine that feeling when you first realize what you've done. Well, at least you got to see a bit of it.

Dackmont said...

If it's any comfort, I've screwed up such things on any number of occasions .... outright missing a couple primo seminars and social gatherings.

Just yesterday (7/31), I was briefly convinced that the McCartney show in Maryland was actually 7/31, not 8/1. The momentary sense of panic and incipient self-loathing was pert nigh overwhelming, as you can well imagine. Then I realized all was well... and then I read your post. So -- I feel your pain, bro. Glad you caught the end of the show at least.