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Monday, September 13, 2010

So this is how one falls into old age...pushed from behind.

I have always been spontaneous. Or an optimist or something. At least other people see me as someone who does things on the spur of the moment and has fun. These people are wrong, but I'm okay with the perception, fuzzy though it may be.

Yesterday, thanks to a friend in high places, my two sons, one of their girlfriends and I found ourselves loaded onto luxury VIP tour buses...and I mean REAL VIP buses, they had a potty in the back and working air conditioning. We were then driven in relative comfort downtown where we found ourselves on the periphery of the Video Music Awards.

We got to rub elbows with the rich and famous of the current music scene. Some of them I'd actually heard of, although I only recognized one of them on sight. And, may I just say, Justin Timberlake? You are HOT. Seriously. The elbow rubbing, btw, lasted for approximately 3 seconds until someone got us the hell out of the cool people line and back into the ancillary venue line we belonged in.

We were all lined up according to bus number and proceeded, in an orderly fashion I might add, up several escalators. We hung over a short wall and gawked at the pretty people going by until we were finally herded into the "club". It said it was a club. Right there, on the outside of the building. Now, when I hear I'm going to a club, I figure it's either something like the Elk's Lodge or the Coconut Grove.

Our VIP seats got us 4 on the aisle, three rows in front of the back wall in the upper balcony of what turned out to be a small arena type venue. The "club" utilizes stairs. Up we went. And up. And up. After the fourth landing one of my sons noticed my wheezing and gave me some kind words..."I can see the top, Mom, you can make it". Like HELL. There was a bar at the top of the stairs however, this made the journey somewhat worthwhile.

As I reached the top I had become aware that the muscles in my butt were starting to burn. And twitch. I started to wonder what possessed me to GO to such an event and why hadn't I just handed the tickets over to my kids and said "have fun, buy me a present" but I was pretty much committed now, I couldn't leave until it was over anyway. I was on a fun bus.

We found our seats. We then left, braved the restroom lines and got in line for souvenir t-shirt. About six hours later we were almost to the front when we were told they were shutting the concessions down (briefly) and everyone needed to take their seats so they could start letting in the standby ticket holders. Okay, made sense. We filed back in to our seats. Which were no longer empty.

This is the second time in a little over a WEEK that I've arrived at my ASSIGNED, TICKETED SEATS to find other peoples asses in them. This is getting old. Very old.

My son's girlfriend was the first one in our little line and she seemed to be handling the "out of my damn seats" duty. Well, that's the way I would have handled it, she, I believe, was being a bit more gracious than that. Well, after a minute of staring all over the room and ignoring us the young woman in the aisle seat got up. And then sat back down. Another conversation I couldn't hear ensued at which point she rose again and moved out of the seat. Her three companions continued to occupy their perches. The second girl moved out and now there were just two of us left. Numbers 3 and 4 continued to sit. After several seconds one of them FINALLY opened her mouth and uttered the first words ANY of them had spoken since we arrived back at our seats: "Do we have to move too?"

Well, let's see. Do YOUR tickets say Row H? Gee, sorry, no, they don't seem to say that. Does MY ticket say Row H. Well, I'll be dammed, it DOES! YES, you vapid twit, you DO have to move. Am I out of line here? Granted, it's been awhile since I've had the opportunity to attend social events. Have the rules changed? Does one now buy tickets for a show, receive a seat number and then show up early in order to plunk your ass down in a better seat? In both instances, the show hadn't STARTED yet. These were not people who tried to better their really lousy seats with slightly less lousy seats that had remained empty throughout the first act. These are not people who look at their tickets and say "Oh, I'm so sorry, we're in the wrong row".

These are idiots who come in before the show starts and effing sit down someplace that looks nice and then stare, blankly, at the actual ticket holders when they come in and attempt to utilize their seating assignment. WTF?

I attempted to sit down in my hard won seat, only to discover I didn't fit. A foot and a half of chair space isn't conducive to two and a half feet of my ass. I started to sit and immediately felt the arms of the seat pressing on my butt. I shifted forward, settled my rear end on the front part of the seat and attempted to slide backward, assuming I could just slide my backside UNDER the arms of the seat.

This method has worked before, and technically should have last night. Except the seats were upholstered. So was by butt - I was wearing corduroy slacks. The pants stuck to the upholstery as if they'd been made of Velcro and sliding wasn't an option. My ass moved but the pants stayed, effectively cutting off all circulation to my legs.

After about 10 minutes of this position, I checked to see that the previous occupants of my seat were safely ensconced in their own chairs and suggested to my son that we hit the souvenir stand again, thus allowing me some relief. As we stood in the line I started considering my problem. I realized that my butt is basically soft. It SHOULD compress. So, what if I just sat down? It should compress enough to go through the fixed arms of the seat and then I'd be fine, right?

So back I went, I took a deep breath, and sat. Well, I was right, basically. The arms pushed the sides my ass up and up as I sank lower and lower into the seat. it wasn't a comfortable feeling. Just as I thought I was stuck, the saddlebags suddenly popped through their cage and landed with a thud, eventually settling on either side of my lap and UNDER the arms of the seat. I was in.

As the nature of the show we were seeing was one of high energy and a frenzied audience screaming with enthusiasm we were being directed to stand up about every two minutes. Stand, wave your arms in the air, scream and pretend you can't get enough of Lady GaGa. I finally got things worked out. To rise, I just twisted to my right and was able to sort of drag myself out of the embrace of my seat. To sit I discovered that, if I bent my knees slightly and leaned back until I felt the back of the chair I could then sort of slide down and under the arms from the back, thus avoiding the unpleasant tremors caused by my ass suddenly dropping like a bag of bricks.

And this was my evening. Standing, sitting, waiting in lines, walking in lines and realizing that I was doing this to see performers whos names I had heard but who's faces I wouldn't recognize if they sat on my lap. Well, except for Justin Timberlake. And the guy from the Old Spice commercials, he was there too. Now THAT'S hot.

And as I staggered out this morning and sat in my living room, rubbing my sore feet and gingerly trying to ease my bruised thighs into a pair of jeans I flashed back to a scene from the movie "Stripes". Towards the end, Warren Oates has to jump on top of a moving bus and hang on to the top. As he lands, he announces, to on one in particular:

"I'm gettin' too old for this shit."

Me too, Warren. Me too.

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