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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Concert Killers: A Love Story

My wife, Cheryl, told me I should post a blog about this because “someone needs to know our story.”  So here goes.

Flashback to 1987.  My then fiancée is looking to get me a birthday present.  We’ve never completely agreed on musical taste, but because she loves me she wants to do something wonderful for me.  So she gets me tickets to see Chuck Mangione.  (for those who don’t know, he’s an old flugelhorn playing jazz guy. Google his name if you have to, kids). She’s not even that big of a jazz fan, but she knows I like the guy. 

Having no car in college, she arranges to have a friend take her down to get the tickets (this predates internet and online tickets for you younger folks).  She also arranges to borrow a car the night of the concert.  She goes to great lengths to work things out for this birthday surprise.  But then…the concert gets cancelled.  I’ve never seen a more disappointed young lady.  Not because she was excited about the thing, but because she was trying to do something for me.

Now flash forward 26 years almost to the day.  In the last several years we’ve split concert duty.  Cheryl has taken the girls to a few of the more “mellow” concerts (i.e. Andrew Peterson, Steven Curtis Chapman, etc.).  Meanwhile, I’ve taken the kids to the louder, rock n roll shows (Skillet, TFK, Newsboys, Flame, etc.).  We’ve both been quite happy.

But then I heard that a few of the “old guys” were on tour together.  Wayne Watson, Russ Taff and some others were coming to town (for those who don’t know, they were pretty popular back in that 1987 time frame!).  Honestly, I do like these guys ok, but they are much more up Cheryl’s musical alley, so I go out to get her some tickets as an early birthday present.

It’s a bit of a challenge.  The bookstore where I went to get the tickets didn’t even know they were selling them, but eventually found them. I should have seen what was coming when I later looked at the tickets and say that they were marked #1 and #2.  But I’m getting ahead…

We arranged for our oldest son to take the kids home after choir/band rehearsals last Friday and we stayed in town for the concert.  Just the two of us.  A nice date night out.

We pull into the concert venue and are greeted by an empty parking lot and a dark building.  I have Cheryl check the tickets to make sure we have the date right.  Yep.  Right place.  Right day. Right time.  But no one’s here.

So I call the bookstore; you know the one that didn’t know they had tickets.  I ask them if they know about the concert.  They say, “what concert?”  Finally after a few minutes of checking on the computer they tell me, “Oh, that thing was cancelled over a week ago.  No one bought tickets.”  I resisted the urge to verbally slap the person for essentially calling me “no one”, and hung up.  Now it’s my turn to be disappointed, not because I was all that excited about it, but because I was trying to do something nice for my wife.

Side note:  she was already having a bad night because earlier we went to stock up on her favorite anti-bacterial soap and lotion at a shop in the mall (the only reason I ever go to the mall, by the way).  Only when we got there we found out that they were discontinuing the line and had no lotions at all, and only a few soaps available for the next week. 

Now, you have to understand that she loves these so much that this is what we get her nearly every birthday and Christmas, and have for the last several years.  Last Christmas, however, she said she still had some and we didn’t need to get her more.  If only….

Back to the story.  I told Cheryl about the concert being cancelled and she sort of laughs and says “I guess this is payback.”  I thought, “what do you mean?”  She said, “You know, for that Chuck Mangione concert.”  So we had a great laugh and went to a bookstore for the evening and had fun just doing silly, flirty stuff that would embarrass the kids. 

Now, I’m not sure there is a moral to the story.  Maybe it’s that if a relatively obscure concert comes to your area, don’t let Scott and Cheryl get tickets because we’re concert killers.  Or maybe it’s that we both have odd taste in music that not enough people share to sell tickets to in the first place.

Or maybe it’s just that when you really love someone, trying to do something nice for them is great, but spending the evening together is really what it’s all about.  We didn’t get to see the concert, but we did have a nice evening together.  And after 24 years of marriage I’m so glad that we can enjoy each other’s company that much.

So, hon, I’m sorry the concert got cancelled.  But we had a great night out.  And I really like the new “rule” we came up with!  (Sorry, kids, I couldn’t resist)


Gregg Metcalf said...

I won't ask you to pick up any George Jones tickets any time soon. Glad you had a good time anyways. Great story!

Scott said...

So, are you admitting then, Gregg, that George Jones is a relatively obscure artist that no one else wants to go see??
Just kidding. Thanks for stopping by.