[Abby's Road] Caring about the young folks

“Let it be known across the land that 35 is the new 25.”

Ah yes, I remember the evening fondly, mostly the proclamation I made, whiskey in hand, on the eve of my thirty-fifth birthday. In this year’s mantra I bumped both double-digits up by 1. I plan to do the same next year (and the year after that). Of course, despite my numbers game and the plan to color my ever-whitening hair chestnut brown well into my 90s, one question remained:

When will I officially be OLD?

Well, friends? Last weekend my query was answered. Thanks for nothing, Hot Chip.

I want to be sure not to sound grouchy and misdirect what is probably my latent hostility toward skinny, young hipsters everywhere. That said, last Saturday, Hot Chip was the catalyst by which Mother Nature’s maniacal scheme to remind me who I am, once again, reared its ugly head. Aside from my 3 friends, a dozen or so others and a bouncer or two, the whole of the audience was a 16 to 20-something Age Army of Darkness with their weapons drawn and pointed at my dumb old heart. Wait. I almost forgot – The XX. Those dewy-faced beauts were on the front line.

I can’t help but see myself 20 years ago in the children (and they ARE children) monopolizing the shows I attend today. Eager to be up front, they push and shove the masses until they get there. I get it. At one time I did it, and these days, though I’m a “mature” fan, it honestly doesn’t bother me too much as they lumber into me, unless they are sloppy drunk and smelly, at which time they will be delivered a swift and annoying elbow to the ribs. Last weekend was a rarity, however – a sold out crowd and nary a guest list or house list seat in sight. I am usually lucky and spoiled that way and I avoid the chaos altogether in a seat meant for press or friends of friends of the band. Saturday it was just me, on the floor, versus them. And they seemed to be drunker and smellier, not to mention more nubile and more attractive, than ever. Egad.

I was able to look into the belly of the beast from inside the belly. While enjoying those lads from SW London, I took a mental inventory of those around me. It was like an H&M and an American Apparel had a baby. And the baby exploded. On everyone. Everyone but me. Of course I’m jealous. I wish I (still) had a body I could reasonably squeeze into black leggings (with zippers) topped with a sequined bolero jacket. Not that I’d ever wear such a ridiculous getup, but that’s not the point. Keep in mind, if it hasn’t happened already (and for most of you it hasn’t), there will come a moment in life when the trendiest trends of the day are no longer meant for you. This moment is directly related to age. Take heed. Even with a rocking body, I think we can all admit how desperate a person appears to be when they are trying too hard to be something they’re not. It’s not rocket science. Sad but true, the day comes when your ass has to be covered, even if you can bounce a quarter off of it.

I managed to drift away from the whole music part of things here. Music is an intensely personal entity but can, at times, be terribly social. It is a form of communication, and it’s easy to get wound up in a ball of fashion and attitude while communicating. It’s all part of the package; the scene, if you will. I’m not a scenester anymore. I’m a fan and a knowledgeable one at that and, admittedly, once in a while I do get a little bitter and resent the kids bouncing around me. It happens. It will happen. When it does, look back fondly, appreciate everything you once had, celebrate what you still have and smile.

The evening ended up being a fantastic one. We climbed the stairs to the balcony, had drinks at the back bar and thoroughly enjoyed the show until the last trumpet blast and steel drum pounding, all from above. I prefer to rest my head on the shoulder of the beast these days. Perhaps next time I will try sitting on his knee, being cerebrally hip, if that’s possible.

Happy weekend.

[Abby’s Road is a Knox Road feature published every other Friday.]

2 comments to [Abby’s Road] Caring about the young folks

  • Thanks for the good post. Enjoyable. “I was able to look into the belly of the beast from inside the belly.”

  • Aww sis, I sooooo hear you on this one!!! :) I’ll be 46 in 10 days and the thing that resonates with me the most is that no, I can’t dance with abandon like they do, so effortlessly. Yeah, I stand down with the crowd more often than not but back from the stage so as to not get that wildly swinging elbow in the head. When did I start fearing that????

    I don’t know, I don’t really care so much about looking desperate. I dress the way I like and truthfully I don’t like much of the fashion they sport. Skinny leg jeans never suited me, not once in my life, so fuck em. I always dressed oddly/differently. Short, curvy girls out there, you don’t have to wear that!

    But the music starts and I forget I’m 46. I don’t care if they see some old lady out there yelling and clapping for the opening band. I’m NOT OLD dammnit. I’m never getting old. :) xoxo