Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
Last year, around this time, I did a couple of blogs about my mother and her strong desire to see Neil Diamond in concert.
According to my mother, she could die happy if only she could see Neil one more time in concert and it was all she would ever need to make her life complete. Not counting the new mattress she wanted for Christmas and the car starter she is already drumming up Birthday and Mother’s Day donations for, it now seems as if Neil Diamond did not make her life complete. In fact, I don’t think it was long after the first concert that she started saying she really needed to see him again to die happy. I could point out to her that die happy seems like an oxymoron to me anyways, but I don’t think she is going to stop using the term, because when you are eighty-six I guess it is a good weapon to have in your arsenal.
Well, it has been less than one year since the blessed concert and here we go again. It started a few weeks ago when she called to tell me that Barry Manilow is coming to her town and she was thinking about having me come and take her to this concert.
The fact that it is a 600 mile car ride to get to her house to pick her up or that I have no desire to see Barry Manilow in concert did not seem to concern her at all. As the conversation went on, she added that she had also asked my brother-in-law to take her, but apparently he was mulling the idea over, which I took to mean he was stalling for more time as he worked on an airtight excuse to avoid having to go.
My mother is of the firm belief that if she tells you someone puts on a good show and even if you have never had the same taste in music ever, one endorsement by her is all it should take to change your mind. I grew up hearing about Conway Twitty, Porter Wagoner, Eddy Arnold, The Lettermen, Charlie Rich, and George Jones, and even though I can probably sing most of the lyrics to “Behind Closed Doors,” doesn’t mean I didn’t wish my mother would listen to Charlie Rich and all of her music behind closed doors.
She is good, too. She knows I call her in the morning when I am not always alert and she just drops this information into the conversation without batting an eye. Oh Laurie, I had so much fun at movie night with Florence and Dottie, my knee and back are killing me, those dogs of yours are like having two little children, and by the way, I thought you could come and take me to see Barry Manilow. By the time I figure out what just happened she is asking me to look up the seating chart for the venue and send it to her in an email and is getting giddier just talking about going to that concert. A lesser person would break at this point, but not me. I just try and wait for any lull in the conversation or a point where she has to catch her breath from hyperventilating over Barry and his adorableness to tell her I don’t want to go. The forthcoming wails do tug at my heartstrings, and her cries of, “don’t you want to hear him sing Mandy?” are hard to ignore, but she took it better than I thought when I said, “Mom, somehow Barry and you are going to have to find a way to smile without me.”
Hey, and before you think I am completely heartless I almost suggested she advertise on Craigslist for someone to go in my place, but then I remembered Craigslist can be a dangerous place to advertise, especially for an elderly woman, but for your information I would have warned her to put in the ad, “Convicted felons need not apply.”
I hate to be this way, but I have been burned before by different family members and swore it wasn’t going to happen again. I’ve been to see The Lettermen with her and Neil Diamond and we were almost late to an Alan Jackson concert and by the time we got there I wanted to drive up to the gate, throw her from the moving vehicle, and yell, “enjoy your concert and lose my number.” My own daughter made me take her to see N Sync for her 16th birthday in what can only be described as an ear splitting night of hell.
First of all, she and her friend had made signs that said, “Lustin’ for Justin, digital get down with Joey, and something about pants and Lance.” Thankfully, the guard acted on the anonymous (wink wink) tip he was given at the door and confiscated the signs upon entry. It was on that night that I learned something important about myself. I was too darn old to be at an N Sync concert with screaming teenagers who wanted to stand for the entire show. The sound was deafening and if I experience any hearing loss in the future, I plan on blaming it on that concert and repaying my daughter by screaming, “WHY DID YOU MAKE ME TAKE YOU TO SEE THAT STUPID N SYNC CONCERT?” every time she asks me why I am not responding to her. I figure that will drive the point home better than if I just keep saying, “huh?”
I also discovered that Megan could be a bit touchy at concerts and here is the proof, 1) She did not respond well when I said, “those girls don’t seem all that innocent to me,” about the opening girl band act called Innosense, 2) she did not laugh when I said, “I saw Blue last year in concert and she was much better,” after Pink sang, 3) she almost killed me when I said, “Oh my gosh, I think that is Joey Fatone on stage!” when in actuality it was only a sound check guy. Apparently, I have a loud voice that carries, young girls are highly excitable, and a sixteen-year-old girl at a concert with her mother is easily embarrassed. Who knew? In my defense, a mother has to learn to entertain herself at these kinds of events and N Sync made us wait over 90 minutes until they appeared, which I also stated repeatedly was very rude. She got me back, however, when she wouldn’t leave until the last song was sung and we ended up in a traffic jam for over two hours trying to get out of the parking lot.
I think you can now clearly see why I have had to get tougher about my concert choices and be firm when necessary. My mom promised Neil Diamond would be the last concert on her list and played on all of our sympathies to make it happen. It took a village to get her to the Neil Diamond concert with one niece driving her from Indiana to Cleveland and my sister, nephew, and friend, flying in to Cleveland from Baltimore to meet them there. The concert was on a Sunday night, but they had to be there on Saturday in order to make sure everyone got there on time and hotel accommodations were involved. People missed work on Monday and some hadn’t even made it back home before she was on the phone trying to figure out how to get to Anaheim, CA, to see him again. Obviously, we were duped by an elderly woman and I think I said once, “mom, have your ever heard the story about a boy who cried wolf one too many times?” I doubt she even heard me because she was already trying to figure out if her brother, who lived in California, might fall for the old I could just die happy if I saw Neil Diamond out in Anaheim and you could take me act. I don’t know if she just gave up or if her brother, who is 89, answered back that he could just die happy if he didn’t have to go see Neil Diamond, but she ended up not going.
For a while it seemed as if she had forgotten all about going to concerts, until she mentioned the Barry Manilow one in April. Somehow, the woman who cannot open up one attachment in an email without involving twelve people and insists on a regular basis that operating a computer is something she will never understand can pull up a concert schedule on a favored artist in a matter of seconds.
Either this is the only note she kept from her computer class or she has been lulling us all into a false sense of security so that when we say no concerts are on the horizon she can double check our honesty. Even her doctors have orders to keep her alive and get her in the best shape ever for the concert date in April. At her recent checkup, her heart doctor even asked her if she had anything planned for this year and when she told him Barry Manilow he was pleased. He played a big part in helping her get to her Neil Diamond concert and even asked her to take a picture for him when she was there. He loved the Neil Diamond blog, too, that my mother sent him. That picture of my mom at her concert hangs proudly in his reception area and he told her that is what makes his job fun and worthwhile. When she told me what he said I did wonder for a moment if he meant he liked helping people fulfill their dreams or he just enjoyed having a fun story to tell about a kooky patient at a dinner party. I think when it comes to my mother; the answer could go either way.
P.S. She found someone to go with her to the concert and that person loves Barry Manilow. Life is Good!!