I love it when expectations get turned upside down.
Everything you expected is absent. Still, JOY is there. How is that possible?
Yesterday I went to Yakima with my band. I'm one of the singers. I'm also the "mom" of the group: the eldest (and wisest) member, not to mention the driver of the minivan.
The concert was supposed to be for a crowd of 2,000-4,000 people. That's what we heard, anyway.
I overhead this conversation in the back seat on our way up:
Clare: Do you even know what a crowd of 2,000 people looks like?
Christian: Well, I just watched Schindler's List the other night, and all those people who stood up at the end, that was a crowd of 1,100.
Clare: Oh, no!
Christian: Don't be nervous.
Clare: I've been nervous for like the past two months! I'm not going to quit now.
Somehow we lost the other car on the way and ended up waiting in a McDonald's parking lot for awhile, which means we were running thirty minutes late by the time we hit the freeway.
Major stress in the back seat:
Clare: I hate being late!
Me: I'm perpetually late, so it doesn't bother me.
Clare: I cannot stand being late. This is making me so crazy right now that we're late.
Brandon: It bothers me, too, but at this point, there's nothing we can do, we just have to keep going and let the stress go. We've got to have fun.
Well, we followed the other car and they got lost. Still, we managed to pull into the parking lot at two-forty. Forty minutes late wasn't bad, we thought, all things considered.
The venue was a small, white building with a church sign out front.
Me: There's no way they're fitting 2,000 people into that building.
Christian: It's in the parking lot. See the stage?
I saw the stage. Doubted immediately we'd be fitting 2,000 people into that parking lot. But that was definitely okay. Kind of a relief to all of us, actually. Figured maybe they were counting all the inhabitants of the surrounding neighborhoods (including the Yakima Sun Dome several blocks away) as audience members since, with those ten HUGE speakers next to the stage, the entire neighborhood would get to hear us play whether they liked it or not.
To make a long story short, we were told to wait in a little house next to the parking lot. There were benches in there, and shade. They gave us cold water out of the refrigerator. We went and grabbed McDonalds for a late lunch.
We waited three hours in that little house. Lucky me, I got to hold my friend Janel's newborn baby as much as I wanted.
Meanwhile, a dude outside started up the barbeque with a leaf blower.
Don't get me wrong -- it was fun. We have a great group and it was enough to talk and hang out. And we got to smell the food cooking on the barby. And I did mention that I got to hold a newborn, didn't I?
At five-thirty, people had arrived to watch the show, but we had still not been summoned for a sound check.
Two more hours passed. They attempted a sound check with one of the other bands. Apparently there were technical difficulties.
We were the second performing band. Got up there, our music taped to music stands, only to find that none of our mics worked. Stood up on stage, tripping over wires (there were seven mics on stage and none of them seemed to be plugged in; I stood on wires the ENTIRE time. I have never seen so many wires in my life!) until we finally got our sound issues worked out. Our totally amazing drummer, Manny, played a few drum solos for the restless crowd. Our lead guitarist, Brandon, told jokes.
Finally, we launched into our songs. Let's just say, I was deaf the entire time. I couldn't hear a thing because I was right next to Manny the amazing drummer. I just belted out the words for all I was worth and prayed it sounded okay.
All I can say, though, is that we rocked. And the other bands rocked. We had a load of fun. A mosh pit was going at the front. The originally planned 2,000 people only pushed about 200. Probably a mix-up in translation, actually. An accidental zero dropped in there.
We stuck around until ten to hear the other bands play. I hoped desperately that my honey was doing okay at home with the four kids. Eventually I just gave up worrying and decided to enjoy myself, treat it like a night out with my homeys, and joined Clare and Manny in the mosh pit.
Got home around eleven. Heard the TV on downstairs. Handsome sidekick was quietly grading. The house was not in any worse condition than when I left it. Things actually went okay at home. He held down the fort, got all the kids in bed. He's wonderful.
And that was my day yesterday.
Have I recovered? No. Have I stopped grinning? No.