It really shouldn’t be held against me. I was only a kid. How was I expected to know any better? We’re all allowed to make bad decisions in our lives. The important thing is that I learned from the situation.
My name is Kelly, and my first concert was Michael Bolton. With my mom.
And let’s be clear. It was not this Michael Bolton:
It was this Michael Bolton:
I could try to make excuses by saying the whole reason we ended up going to this concert was because one of my mom’s friends won the tickets on the radio and then ended up not being able to go. And that is 100% true. But the reason she called US to unload the tickets on was because she somehow knew my middle school self and my mom were fans of Sir Bolton of Hair-a-Lot. Which means I was public enough about my age-inappropriate love for “Time, Love, and Tenderness.”
Age-inappropriate? Surely Michael Bolton didn’t croon anything so suggestive as to be deemed unsuitable for a preteen’s listening pleasure. (This was Bolton pre-“Can I Touch You…There?” And that song is just not appropriate for the entire sense known as hearing.) No, that’s not what I meant. Upon arriving at the concert, it became immediately clear that I was the absolute inappropriate age to be there…meaning I was the only attendee under the age of 40. The only people who looked anymore out-of-place than I did were the husbands and boyfriends of all the 40-and-over women who had likely made some serious relationship faux pas that needed atonement.
But I didn’t care. I was at my first concert. And I loved it from the moment Bolton emerged and the carefully staged wind started dramatically blowing through his mullet. Unfortunately, so did the woman sitting directly in front of me. She loved it. A lot. And it made me uncomfortable. I had never seen a grown-up express so publicly such raw animal desire for another person. Especially one with alarmingly frizzy locks that seemed to eerily move in one large uniformed flap.
When Bolton was jammin’ to upbeat tunes like “Love Is a Wonderful Thing,” Mrs. Bolton-Wannabe was dancing without regard to anyone else’s personal space and screaming “I LOVE YOU MICHAEL” louder than any human should be able to. And when he slowed things down a little, and made sure everyone had a clear view of his hairy man chest protruding from his white silken shirt, singing lyrics like, “Said I loved you but I lied, ’cause this is more than love I feel inside,” Mrs. Bolton-Wannabe just let the tears flow.
I honestly can’t remember anything about the show aside from this woman’s over-zealous reaction to the Fabio of pop music.
Thankfully, having a pretty lame first concert experience did teach me a few things that would serve me well later in life. The first lesson was how NOT to act at a concert.** Had my first concert been to see the typical teeny-bopper populated heart-throbs of the moment, that type of squealing mentality would have seemed totally normal. But seeing that behavior in a grown woman made it clear how ridiculous it looked. And that saved me from not knowing any better, and being the moron who wigged out at a Dave Matthews Band concert, drawing the subdued attention of the rest of the pot-smoking audience who just wanted to experience the spirituality of the music while munchin’ on some grub.
**(I may have, however, forgotten this lesson during The Monkees 2011 Tour. I’m not proud of my behavior there. But Dolenz sang “Steppin’ Stone” to me, damn it. That’s not playing fair. I was able to keep my sh*t together at the three Monkees concerts I have attended since. Yeah, I am a groupie, and they are old. But Bolton is still lamer.)
The second lesson I learned was that going to a concert with your mom isn’t such a bad thing. She paid for everything, which meant I didn’t have to spend my hard-earned babysitting money and could instead save it up to blow on novelty pens from the mall and Wet ‘n’ Wild makeup from Target. But it also meant that I would not be going home with an overpriced concert t-shirt. I’m sure at the time I thought this was horrifically unfair. Yet in hindsight, I think mom knew exactly what she was doing. Good things could never come to a middle school girl wearing this:
Thanks, Mom. You were a lifesaver.
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