Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Girls in the Restaurant

The other night I had a rush of memories flood over me while eating dinner. My husband and I were eating at a local restaurant famous for its barbecue. This restaurant just happens to be located right across the street from the coliseum complex. When we pulled in my husband remarked on how big the show must be that was taking place that night. Being the parents of two sons who work in the music business things like that always catches his eyes. Lil’ Wayne was in town. After being seated we noticed some of the crew at a table nearby. (I know crew members. Comes from being the Mom of two.) A short time later a group of girls came in headed for the rest room.

These girls came in to change clothes. They sure needed to change their clothes; they had on their pajamas. You know those flannel pajama pants that so popular? I love them; they are very comfortable. But, hey, they are not supposed to be worn out in public! You wear them at home. Or at least that’s what I think. Maybe it’s my age showing. Indulge me-wear your pajamas at home.

When the girls came out of the bathroom they were all dolled up for the concert. As they walked by our table, leaving a trail of glitter from their tee-shirts, I smiled at my husband and said, “Been there. Done that.”

A lot of you reading this can say the same thing. I did it more in my Elvis days than my Barry road trip days. Those were fun times. I was watching that group of young ladies make memories. I understood how they felt and the why of it. Fans are a very misunderstood group of people. All groups have members who take things too far. Go to extremes. It happens with golfers or race fans. Some people have addictive personalities. Fans of people, or in Manilow fans’ case, a musician are all thought to be a touch strange by people who are not fans. That’s a misconception. Most fans are normal people who happen to have an interest in a certain person. Like we do for Barry. It’s hard for people who don’t share that interest to understand why we seek each other out. It’s no different from being in a book or sport club. People like to connect with others who share a common interest.

I understood those girls in the restaurant because I had shared the same experience. In some of the Manilow groups I see people talking about how awful it is that people pay such high prices and go to Vegas. Why? Ten or so years ago it was fine for these same people to be paying to travel all over the country going from show to show to see Barry. Why isn’t it ok now? What’s the difference? As long it brings happiness,who should criticize? Maybe it doesn’t suit the place some people are in life right now but things are not the same for everyone. Go and have a great time. Write about your memories in blog or something. Share your experiences. Plenty of people appreciate your sharing.

My hope is that the girls I saw in the restaurant had a wonderful time at the show. I hope everyone who goes to see Barry enjoys the shows. Know that I appreciate and read when you share your stories. Somehow I suspect the stories from the Li’ Wayne concert got shared by that group of girls on the Internet with friends. Fans always find one another. That’s why I have blog readers, so that’s a good thing. We have to all stick together- we are the only ones who understand what it means to be a fan.