Yes, my summer has consisted of roughly 99.7% kid-supporting efforts. But every rare once in awhile, I DO get the chance to escape the confines of the madhouse.
Recently, however, I got the chance to do something that I’ve pretty much dreamed of since about ninth grade.
In a word:
Yup, confession: I’m a die-hard, long-term Queen fan. I’m not talking, “I can sing the chorus of Bohemian Rhapsody” type of fan. I’m talking the slavish, intense devotion of proudly being a card-carrying member of Queen’s International Fan Club, way back when you had to fill out a membership form in pen and MAIL it, overseas. You might have heard of mail. It’s that thing they used back in the old days, before email and the Internet.
(Yup. I’m old.)
But Queen is more than just a band to me; it’s more than just the music. It’s the bond that solidified my friendship with my BFF, Queenie. Not that there wasn’t a bond before we discovered Queen, mind you; we’ve been friends since kindergarten. While I won’t tell you exactly how many years ago that was -because Queenie would kill me- suffice to say that we’ve been tight since waaaay back then:
If I look a little ill, it’s because I had a fever. You know, PAC MAN FEVER.
We have a lifetime of shared memories. I still remember the very first day she came over to my house.greasy So does she, but for different reasons. She was stymied by the slice of American cheese that was affixed to the front of the house, just out of arm’s reach by the front door. My brother had thrown it there, because, well, that’s just him.
(And there it stayed. Until the day it finally dissolved, leaving a greasy rectangular stain behind. But she stayed friends with me, so I knew she was a keeper.)
We’ve been friends since the start, and our friendship carried on through the years, an epic journey of laughs, tears, crushes, and general teenage humiliations. You know the kind. Like when Queenie got her long hair caught in the oscillating fan at the local bagel place. Or when I put a pepper cap to my eye for laughs and erupted into agonizing public hysterics as my eye was temporarily blinded with searing pain.
Ah, the wonder years…
But we survived. Because we had QUEEN. As in,
You know adolescents cling to anything that gives them a sense of identity? Well, Queen was it for us. We became addicted- all Queen, all the time. And I had every album, of course, on cassette, which wasn’t easy to pull off when your only source of income was your one-day-a-week shift at the local library.
We had it all: the VHS fan videos (for you young pups, that’s a VIDEO TAPE. They came out before DVD’s. And before Netflix.). The T-shirts. We memorized the lyrics, and wrote them on each other’s locker doors. We couldn’t get enough….
but the ironic thing is, we arrived at the party a little too late. Lead singer Freddie Mercury had JUST died, so it was adios, Queen. Bummer.
Life went on…
Post-high school brought the usual busyness of young adult life; we attended different colleges, were briefly in different circles of friends, etc. But despite the changes, we stayed in touch. You know those conversations; the ones at six month intervals that make you realize upon their conclusion that no matter how much time passes, it still feels like no time has passed at all.
Until you realize it’s been 20 years since you graduated high school, & you feel OLD, mainly because it’s been TWENTY YEARS since you graduated, but you still feel like a kid. Only you’re not.
I credit Queenie with setting it all in motion, with a phone call telling me that Queen was playing nearby with Adam Lambert, and well, we had to go. Period.
Ticket’s weren’t cheap. In fact, in order for the four of us to go- ourselves and the husbands, it was going to cost a pretty penny. Actually tons of pretty pennies.
The husbands didn’t make the cut.
We bought the tickets, just two, aghast at the price we paid but resigned to the inevitability of fulfilling the quest.
The husbands were bummed. So we said, compassionately,
“Tough noogies. This was OUR dream; long before you arrived. Now, scram.”
(No, we didn’t really. I’m pretty sure we fudged the truth about the show being “sold out.” Or maybe we didn’t. Lying gets so complicated.)
Then the night finally arrived…
Queenie managed to escape the confines of her hectic work environment, and I managed to escape the confines of my hectic, child-crammed home environment. We caught the train just in time & spent the full ride catching one another up on just about everything: life, marriage, mothers, friends, gossip, etc.
Finally, we were there…
The show: Now, I won’t bore you with every detail of the concert, but suffice to say that it was one of the very best shows I’ve ever been to, and that’s saying a lot. To finally see our idols -granted, our greying, aging idols- LIVE, literally brought us to tears.
We sang along, remembering EVERY lyric.
We swapped Queen facts with the man seated next to us, who brought his daughter.
We clapped & raised our arms in sync to “Radio Ga Ga”.
And, of course, we cried when the chorus to “Bohemian Rhapsody” played.
It was one of the best nights of my life, and Queenie said the same. Why? Because for those three hours, time reversed itself. We were no longer the responsible, mature adults we are -pretend to be- in real life. (Remember when you’d talk about “real life” as a kid?? We didn’t have a clue, did we??) In that arena, at that moment, we were still those giggly, optimistic 15 year olds that first caught wind of the music we fell in love with.
We took a break from the bills that need to be paid, from the husbands that need love and care, from the kids that need… love, care, & everything else, the stressful job, the widowed mothers, the siblings, the wrinkles, the house, the cooking, the news, the social media, the hypochondria, and everything else that is required to maintain a healthy balance in adult life.
And it was, in a word,
Once the show was over, it was business as usual- back to our busy, chaotic lives. But the memories remain; as does the music (on CD now). In my house. Constantly. Just ask #4, who will give you a great rendition of “Another One Bites The Dust”…© Copyright 2014 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom