So Chris and I walked up to the Lakewood Amphitheater gates on Saturday night and I held out my purse to be searched. The woman eyed my purse for a moment, and then waved the two of us in without checking anything else. The boy in front of us had been asked to empty his pockets a la TSA, and the girl behind us was shaking out her Hello Kitty blanket to show that she had nothing stashed in it. Chris and I were all like, “Huh?”
We had lawn “seats,” so we followed the crowd up the stairs. The amphitheater was an actual hill covered in, like, grass and ant mounds, if you can believe it. I checked our tickets to make sure we were in the right place because I was sure that we must have accidentally stumbled into a Roman gladiator arena instead of the concert venue for the Zac Brown Band.
Chris took my elbow and carefully helped me climb the hill. We decided to sit in the very back, so we could lean our backs against the wall. We spread out our blanket and sat for several minutes before I decided I had to use the restroom. So I was like, “I have to go use the bathroom. Do you want me to get you anything while I’m up?”
Chris was like, “Sure. I’d like a bottle of water.”
The line for the ladies’ restroom snaked around the concession area. I swear I waited like 30 minutes to get in. I was doing my thing when the girl in the next stall started barfing. I have that sympathetic barf reflex thing, you know? So it was all I could do to keep my dinner down long enough to flush and unlock the door. Unfortunately, the girl hadn’t made it to the stall in time. There was upchuck all over the area by the sinks. I’m like, “That’s so gross,” but I managed to hold my breath long enough to wash my hands.
The water line and the beer line were one and the same. It was long. I stood in it. Young people in various degrees of intoxication bumped into me, splashed beer on my shirt, and burped in my face. I finally made it to the front of the line and asked the woman for a bottle of water and she was all like, “Really? Just water? You know I have to take the cap off of that.”
I was like, “That’s fine,” but it wasn’t really fine, because I spilled half of it on my shoes while I was climbing back up the hill. I collapsed next to Chris and closed my eyes. He gently waved the gnats away from my face.
It started to get dark, and that’s when we noticed that the young couple sitting/lying next to us was, like, you know? They were totally oblivious to everything but each other. Chris smiled at me, and I thought he was fondly remembering when we had been like that, but then he whispered in my ear, “Do you think he remembered to bring protection? Maybe I should ask him.”
The Zac Brown Band started to sing at 8:40PM. At 8:42, it started to rain. It hadn’t rained in Atlanta for 6 weeks, and now it was raining. Hard.
The music was awesome. And when the rain let up a bit, we could see the band almost as well as you can see them on YouTube. I’m pretty sure Zac Brown was wearing his signature ski cap, anyway. It was, like, cool.
Up on the hill, the angst grew to fever pitch. The girl half of the couple slapped her boyfriend and he stomped off. She promptly began wailing and, like, texting, and in no time, girls from all over the amphitheater had flocked to her. We could hear her sobbing over the music. Boys shuffled past, eyeing the girls in their short skirts and cowboy boots squatting on the ground next to the heart-broken lover. It was, like, an impressive sight, I’m sure.
At 10PM, I decided that I had to stand up because I was feeling stiff. I grabbed Chris’s hand and managed to half-stand. A few creaks and groans later, I could actually stand up straight. We couldn’t help it; we started to laugh. Chris folded up our blanket and we pushed our way through the throngs of drunken young people to the exit.
What did we learn from this experience? First, neither of us uses the word “like” correctly – you know, instead of “said.” Second, we think like parents when we see a young couple making out. Third, we have already met our quota of angst for this lifetime, and we don’t care to see more. Fourth, fifty-year-old bodies don’t like to sit on Georgia clay in the cold rain for an extended period of time. And finally, despite the physical discomfort we endured, neither of us would choose to be 18 again for anything.
We drove home, happily tapping our wet toes to Zac Brown on the iPod. “Life is good today.”