rock stars, dudes, and daneene

September 27, 2010 |  Category:   life

You want to know what you should do the next time you have a frustrating week? Go to a concert. No, not any concert, but a rock concert, preferably metal/grunge/hard rock whatever if you’re into that kind of thing. And go with one of your guy friends too because you’ll have a better time.

I was just thinking last week how I always used to hang out with guys, partly because of the people that I went to school with (musicians and audio engineers, and then later programmers and computer geeks). I sought close friendships with women during that time because I felt I didn’t have it and then it turned out to be really hard to find. I’ve only developed close relationships with women in the last 5 years or so.

But you know what I realized? These days, 80% of my social, work and online interactions are with women. I know there are some guy readers on here, but 98% of you who leave comments are women and about 80% of our customers are women as well, which is sort of interesting (and why is that?). I’d say this also holds true of my interactions on twitter. An overwhelming majority of my work colleagues and clients throughout the last 10 years have also been exclusively women. Even in our house it’s all about girls and I do realize that my kids aren’t super girly or anything, but they ARE girls, so dress up, purses, accessories, fairies, ponies and pink sort of rule our lives.

But sometimes you just want to hang out with the guys. I think that’s what I really needed last week. And at an Alice in Chains concert at the Madison Square Garden? Even better. Totally last minute and unplanned, Ben, who is a good friend and a dad in the neighborhood, and I met up after work and took our time walking up to the Garden because walking around Manhattan on a crowded, balmy Friday night was just something that neither of us do that often. We got ice cream after dinner and didn’t have to think about licking the sides of our kids’ cones so that it wouldn’t make a hot melted mess and then we just people watched at the entrance of MSG for a good hour before going in.

Back in the early 90s, Alice in Chains got lumped into the whole Seattle grunge thing, but they’re a fairly heavy band and the 2 opening acts (which we didn’t go see in favor of people watching) were definitely metal bands, so the crowd coming into the arena was all leather, tattoos and black t-shirts. A lot of ladies wore spiky heels, fishnets and tight, short dresses. There was definitely a moment when I was standing there among all these rocker dudes and chicks and wondering if I totally looked like a mom. I mean Ben and I were trying to pick out all the people who looked like they were from Jersey, so who knows…maybe someone was standing there looking at us and saying, “dude, those people…look like…parents”. There were lots of old people around though as Alice is kind of a nostalgic act, so I didn’t feel like I was the oldest person there which seems to happen to me a lot lately. At least I knew the guys in the band on stage would be older than me for sure. I haven’t been to a concert since, what…2001? And I think I must have changed my outfit 4 times getting ready (I’m a girl, ok?).

As for the concert, Ben sat next to a middle aged, single woman with big hair and eyeliner who came to the concert by herself. She was chatty and kept calling us Ben and Jen. I don’t think she was trying to pick my friend up or anything like that, but she definitely lit up when she saw that there were people next to her that she could talk to. When she told us that her name was Daneene, we both looked at each other and just about died because Ben’s wife’s name is Janine and you just can’t script this sort of thing. It was like some kind of Seinfeld bizarro moment. I let Ben enjoy the company of Daneene because on my side was a really enthusiastic rocker chick lady who warned me more than once that her shirt might accidentally fall off. She did actually end up flashing us near the end of the concert, which is something that I didn’t need to see and I think I averted my eyes too late, but she was really REALLY into the show and was therefore *AWESOME*.

As for the band itself, they were great and don’t even need to replace Layne Staley because the audience sings all of the songs word for word anyway. They looked like they haven’t aged in 20 years, at least from where I was sitting, plus the bass player has the perfect, most amazing ringlets of long lush dark hair that I’ve ever seen that just seemed to grow more perfect and halo like as the show went on. Seriously, it was amazing hair. Jerry’s hair didn’t look so bad either.

As for me, I hurt the next morning. HURT. And not because there was excessive partying going on, but because despite the fact that I still feel no different inside from my once younger 20s self, I’m practically an almost middle aged woman and my body feels like it. All that standing around for hours at the show and people gawking outside the Garden did terrible things on my bad back and sciatica pain. Judging from all the groaning and hands on hip action each time I got up from sitting down all weekend, I officially feel old. I can’t deny it anymore. The body’s not like it used to be.

How humbling.

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  • Paige Davidson September 27, 2010 at 10:22 am

    We broke routine of going to bed early last Sunday when we stayed out til a whopping 2pm to see the Pixies play in Dallas. Completely worth it, but it has taken me a full week to get back to normal.

  • Christie September 27, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I love that you are a mom of two little ones and you still went to an Alice in Chains concert. That’s the spirit! Rock on, Jenna.

  • Renita September 27, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Rock On! I love it ….

  • Maria Iglesias September 27, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    This post made me smile.

  • Claire September 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    So good — 🙂 Sounds like a great time. The aching body must be totally worth it.

  • Em September 27, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Hi, delurking after discovering your fantastic blog a few weeks ago. Had to tell you that I LOVE that you went to the concert and that I met up with Alice in Chains back in 1991 when they were new to Polygram and in New York with their manager. I was staying with a girl who was told to keep them busy for a night or two and as it was my first time in New York as well, we had a blast! They were the loveliest guys although even then I would say Layne was somewhat sad. Jerry was all up for going to these biker bars where I was telling myself, it’s ok I’ve got my eyeliner in my pocket if it all turns bad. Well prepared, me! Anyway, your post made me feel old too…

  • Lyn @ A Photogenic Life September 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    What’s that they say? Age is just a number. Rock on… 🙂

  • Annie From Seattle September 27, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Humbling? But….but…Jenna, dear, you’re still rocking and ultimately that’s what counts!

    (insert wailing guitar solo here)

  • Carol September 28, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I’ve been following your blog for a few months and I can’t stop reading! Your life with your freakishly adorable family inspires me to raise a family in New York, even though the hubs and I were wondering if that would be bearable. I LOVE your writing “voice” and am secretly hoping you would write a book or something. =)

    Hey, if moms can get into TWILIGHT, then an Alice in Chains concert seems way more normal, if you ask me!

  • Michelle from Holley & Gill September 29, 2010 at 11:07 am

    What a great opportunity to be impulsive and nostalgic all in one evening. Loved the way you recounted it all. The people watching, flashers and aching body am sure were all worth it. Thanks for bringing grunge back with you and onto your blog, so many fantastic memories even though it all makes me feel so ancient too.

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