It seems like just yesterday I attended my last Jimmy Buffett concert (the 10th one I’d been to – Yeah. I’m kind of a Parrothead.). But it was NINE years ago. The very next day I found out I was pregnant with Delaney (who is named after a Jimmy Buffett song) and my life (and my concert-going habits) changed forever.
When we become parents we take on new roles. And we postpone (or sometimes abandon completely) the old ones. But sometimes, as our kids grow, we find time to slip, occasionally, into the people we used to be pre-kids. In my experience that doesn’t happen often enough. But it’s up to me to remind myself of who I was and what I liked about myself (and what I loved doing) before I had kids. And it’s my job to bring that part of myself back every now and again.
Tonight I’m going to recapture a bit of who I was before I became a mom. I’m attending my 11th Jimmy Buffett concert. And I CANNOT wait.
My husband surprised me with a pair of tough-to-get Buffett tickets for tonight’s Austin show (Jimmy’s first time playing outdoors there in 17 years!). My man knows and loves me (thanks, Honey!) so he moved mountains (and a few bucks) to get his silly Parrothead wife an evening of turning back the clock.
Roger’s not a Parrothead himself but he’s played along nicely all these years, even when he got lost while looking for beer at the first Buffett show after 9/11, in Indianapolis. His sister and I assumed, of course, that he’d been kidnapped by terrorists until we found him three hours later, after the show, wandering around the parking lot looking for us. He didn’t let the terrorists win (although to this day he insists on buying tickets in the assigned seats instead of the lawn, which is as close to letting the terrorists win as you can get, really). I’m (kinda) sure he’s bummed he can’t be there tonight. No sitter means dad’s gotta hold down the fort while mom plays. But I’ll raise my fins (and likely a beer or two) in his honor.
I first saw Buffett in 1995 when I was 24. The Parrothead community welcomed me (and everyone in a 10-mile radius) with open arms (and very large margaritas). There are no strangers at a Buffett concert. And Everybody’s Got a Cousin in Miami.
Back then I was a single, happy, successful young professional. And I added “bonafide Parrothead” to my resume. My life was large (but, so were my glasses).
The tailgating is often as good (or, dare I say it – better) than the concert itself. People abandon their suits and ties, their high heels and responsibilities. And they create living rooms with blow-up pools in the parking lot. Many a friendship has been formed in between the cars with people bonding together over their colorful leis, margaritas made from battery-operated blenders, and a shared love for the guy who towed in a port-a-potty with his truck.
Here’s me and my friend, Ty, hanging out with the Austin Parrothead club and their supercool Margaritaville bus. I still have those cute, small, hot pink pants. They sit in my closet, mocking my mom body. But one day they’ll fit again…right?
FINS TO THE LEFT!
I didn’t know this guy. But he walked by me and I thought he looked like a young Jimmy Buffett so I had to get a pic with him and tell all my friends that I met Jimmy Buffet.
Tonight I’m traveling back in time to find me. I’m not as footloose and fancy free as I used to be. But like Jimmy says, “I’m growing older, but not up.” And, I have it on good authority, I won’t be the only Parrothead there sporting a few gray hairs and “searching for my my last shaker of salt, SALT, WHERE’S MY SALT?”
Tomorrow it’s back to Legos and laundry and Charlie and Lola. But tonight, for a few hours, it’s about me.