I can’t pinpoint the exact moment it happened, but sometime between turning 22 and 30, I got old.
This is sure to elicit comments of the “If-you’re-old-what-am-I?” nature. (I can practically hear the indignant uproar now.) Whatever – it’s all relative. Despite the fact that I’m only 32, the events of the past few days have conspired to make me feel like I am one short step away from popping tennis balls onto my walker and scooting out into the sunset.
We left a decidedly persnickety Seabass with Grandma Lewis two nights ago to see one of our favorite bands of all time, The Black Seeds. We discovered this tight, funky, superfun act while we were living in New Zealand, and had seen them perform once already. Although the Seeds are hugely popular on their home turf, they were relegated to playing a tiny club on a Monday night in Santa Barbara for $10 a ticket. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Leaving a fussy baby with a babysitter – even if it’s family – is much harder than I ever imagined. I swear Seabass could smell my anticipation of a good time without him because he never quite mellowed out all day, putting me on edge. Between that and a tough day at the office for Jake, our departure for Santa Barbara was less than relaxed. Thankfully, time and a little distance did their magic and pretty soon we were the Jake and Jaime of yesteryear, laughing and chatting and excited to hear good live music.
We had a lovely, easygoing dinner wherein I pretended I could eat anything I wanted, breastfeeding be damned. The show was set to start at 8pm, so I had plenty of time to pump in the car (awkward) before heading over to the club.
Okay, this is the part where I started to feel old.
The entrance to the club was deserted, save for one bored, grizzled bouncer. “We’re here for the Black Seeds show,” Jake told him. “We bought tickets online.”
“Aw, yeah. We’re just pulling ourselves together. Give us just a few minutes to open the doors.”
We hung out for the requested few minutes and came back to be let into the club. It was now 8:15pm. No band in sight. We had told Grandma Lewis the show would definitely end by 10pm – 11 at the latest.
“Well, we might as well pick our spot,” said Jake. In the old days, we would have headed straight up to the stage’s edge and stood there, defending our place for hours until the show started. Not so anymore. Jake scoped out the venue and then looked sheepishly over to me. “Um, you want chairs?”
“Uh, yeah,” I meeped, a little embarrassed. Chairs. At a show. God help us.
With a couple of beers in hand, we sat and waited for the first opening act to start. We waited. And waited. And waited until 9:15 when the music finally kicked in. They didn’t finish up until 10, at which point the second opening band took the stage to set up for their act.
To the naked eye, this band appeared to be comprised of eleven-year-old hip-hopsters: a drummer, a bass player, a guitarist/vocalist and a guy with turntables and a Macbook.
This pre-pubescent group started playing their set and, subsequently, making me feel cranky and ancient. They strutted self-consciously across the stage – guitars slung ridiculously low – in a manner obviously absorbed from hours of watching MTV. The guy on the turntables spun records of simple keyboard tracks that a monkey could have played on an actual keyboard, but he bobbed and concentrated like it was the most complicated thing that has ever required a laptop. The bass player peeled off his shirt to reveal his white, underdeveloped chest as though it were 100 degrees inside (which it wasn’t). It was all too much. Not being able to stand it any longer, we walked back to the car so I could pump a second time (still awkward) before coming back to see the band for which we’d been waiting so impatiently.
By the time the Black Seeds took the stage to start rocking my world, it was 11:30pm. Seeing my inability to relax, Jake said, “There’s nothing we can do about it, now,” with signature practically. “Seabass will be just fine, and so will Grandma. Just enjoy yourself, sweetie.”
So I did. That band absolutely cooked. The groove was grooving and the vibe was vibe-ing. For about an hour, I forgot about all the challenges of taming the wild Seabass, and it was glorious.
Getting in the car to drive home: not glorious. In fact, quite painful.
Coming home at 2:30am and waking up at 6:30am to nurse Seabass: horrific.
Seeing Seabass smile at me and contentedly greet the day after a tough 24 hours: priceless.
Thank you, sweet little boy, for going on easy on mommy when she needed it most. Love you, little guppy.