Here’s a classic one from my days as a GoodHousekeeping.com blogger…because it’s summer, and I’m having a hard time putting together anything longer than a tweet today.
“where r u” my brother, Scott, texted me as I was racing around the streets of Newark, New Jersey, in my mini-van, desperately trying to find the garage where I’d paid for parking in advance.
“mulberry,” was all I could thumb back before the light turned green and I pulled out onto the wrong street…again. I asked yet another police officer where parking lot “Yellow 2″ was located, and she gave me yet another wrong answer. Finally, my kids, Nicholas, 11, and Christopher, 9, and I found the garage. I parked before we ran to the Prudential Center, where the American Idol concert had already started.
“We paid 50 bucks to hear some guy name Michael sing Aerosmith. What’s up with that?” Scott texted me while my kids and I ran up several flights of escalators to join my brother and my niece, Erin, 12, up in the nosebleed seats. I sat down with the three kids between Scott and me, listened to a song and texted back, “Bruuuuuuuuuce.”
Springsteen was playing last week just ten miles from the Prudential Center over at Giants Stadium, the Boss’s home court. And yet Scott and I weren’t there. Instead, we were with a bunch of screaming tweens at what can generously be described as a well attended amateur night. We did it for our kids. But that didn’t stop our running commentary via text message.
When Kristy Lee Cook took the stage, Scott texted me again. “Right about now,” he wrote, “I am wishing I was back at my last concert …Hannah Montana.”
“I think the people who just passed by with the beer have the right idea,” I texted back.
“The problem is that this is a two-case concert,” he answered. Nicholas wanted to know what we were laughing at.
“Uncle Scott is texting me funny things,” I explained. When he asked to see my phone, I said, “Never mind.”
But by the time Carly Smithson was performing her karaoke version of Heart’s “Crazy on You,” Nick looked bored. Not much of a rock fan, he probably wished he, too, was at another concert. I texted that to Scott, who answered, “Maybe he can get in line to perform.” I replied, “He’d rather be two blocks over at NJPAC.”
Certainly the New Jersey Performing Arts Center would have jazz or classical music that Nick would enjoy. Meanwhile, I tried not to think about Springsteen. It didn’t last long.
I texted my husband, who had wisely stayed home, “Bruuuuuuuuuce.”
“Really?” he replied. “Is he there?” Bruce Springsteen has a habit of showing up at other concerts when he’s in New Jersey, so I let my husband sweat it out a bit before I told him the truth. He texted back, “;-).”
When Jason Castro appeared on stage with his ukulele, I took the opportunity to take Erin to go get some ice cream for everyone. I asked her how the concert compared to Hannah (Miley Cyrus) Montana’s. She said she like Hannah better because she knew all the songs. “I only know one song so far,” she explained.
“Maybe that’s the problem,” I mumbled. “I know all these songs, and they’re not singing them all that well.”
But when we returned to our seats, everything changed. Teen sensation David Archuleta took the stage, and thousands of tween girls started screaming like the Beatles had just arrived in America. I texted Scott, “Can you hear me, Paul?”
Yet, Archuleta could sing well. He had a stage presence that none of the other contestants had exhibited. Also, he had fans. Lots of them.
Scott texted me one last time: “Pop thought Frank Sinatra was NOT one of the top crooners, and Dad couldn’t see why we thought ‘Bruce Screamstein’ was so great. And now we are the adults, wondering what these kids see in a bunch of variety show winners.”
The girls behind us shouted, “We love you, David!” And then Scott and I put our phones away for the night.
On the way home, I promised my sons, “Maybe next year, I’ll take you to a David Archuleta concert.” They nodded, and we headed home in the opposite direction of Giants Stadium.