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Friday, May 27, 2011

Night on the town

I am here to tell you that a night out with your friends, even if your child begs you not to leave and you have the worst service of your life at a restaurant, does a world of good for a parent's soul.

It also doesn't hurt if you get to walk around all night with a VIP tag around your neck.

Last year our humble "city" of Bangor began the Waterfront Concert Series and we are pulling some big names (Alan Jackson, Lynard Skynard, Melissa Etheridge, Reba, Lady Antebellum, Toby Keith in addition to music festivals) and some culture to our patch of grass along the river. 

A group of nine of us met up to hear Brandi Carlile (my favorite singer and performer of all time) and Ray Lamontagne.  We had tapas and drinks before the show at L'Apertif (a regretable decision that ended with the bad service, ordered items that never showed up and the owner criticizing me when I complained and not offering to comp anything).

Randy and Rachael, Sandi and I, Tricia, Ange and Matt, Emilie and Sam.

But alas, when one of your best friends is in charge of advertising for the corporate sponsor (please shop at Darling's if you need a car) and you get to be a VIP for the night, nothing else seems to matter. (And yes, we are all sporting our badges in this photo.)

VIP meant we got to hang out in the Darling's tent, oogle at cars that we can't afford, drink free drinks and eat free food.  Perhaps the biggest perk was that we had our own personal porta potty.  I mean, hello?!  There was even a remote chance we could go backstage but that did not come to be.   Which in the end was perhaps better because what do you say to a famous person that doesn't sound trite and kind of stupid?  And how can you insure you won't inadvertently touch them inappropriately? 

A sunny and hot afternoon turned into a chilly and damp night and, though I was teased at the possibility of bringing a hat and mittens (and would have if they hadn't been packed for the summer) I was only slightly chilly in my wool socks, jeans, scarf and fleece.  We did have to go after some hot chocolate at one point and were very disappointed to find there was no VIP line and we had to wait among the people.

Women sprung free from their everyday lives is a beautiful thing:

Favorite quotes from the night:

Trish (who was limping with a sprained ankle): "Can you slow down so I can videotape this sign 'insider's only' as we go through?"

Emilie, gazing out among the crowd:  "Where do you think all these people live?"

The owner of L'Apertif when I told him just how atrocious our experience had been as I was paying, "Well, if you hadn't been wasting my time telling me all this I could have been ringing you up."

Something I've noticed about myself over time: I used to be harder to please. I needed circumstances and events and weather to cooperate in order to feel contentment and happiness, which made these states of being unstable at best and unachievable at worst.   Maturity and motherhood and life have smoothed my edges so I'm more sea glass than sharp stone.  Or at least some of the time I am.  I find contentment in a quiet glass of wine (ok, let's be honest a quiet anything will bring untold amounts of pleasure), the whisper of a breeze on a summer's night, a hummingbird landing on the ledge of our deck.  
Last night, sitting among friends, I was struck by how much the things that truly matter to me in my life can be distilled down to my family and my friends- two words that for me are largely interchangeable.  My friends are my family and my family members are my friends.  

I looked around at the bright happy faces of my family (friends) last night brimming with happiness to just be with them.  Just to know them, have them know me and share love and connection between us.  The drinks were fantastic, the music amazing, but the friends?  They will win every time.

1 comment:

Angela said...

Love it! Had so so much fun with all of you last night. As always.

I am totally stealing that picture for facebook!


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