Lest you think all of my posts are going to be tales of dating woes, I’m switching gears today to talk about the time I accidentally insulted the Mayor…to his face.
I have eclectic taste in music. I love alternative, rock, folk, classical, even hip hop to an extent. My iTunes account has everything from Foo Fighters to Mozart. And I love seeing live music. In fact, my very good friend and I decided to see Ray LaMontagne when he came to town a few years ago.
As you can see from this photo, we are in Chicago. (I didn’t tell her I was posting this photo, thus the heart – though I do really love her!) I actually grew up in the city. It’s a very culturally diverse area of the country. And I love that fact. It’s one of my very favorite parts of having grown up here.
In any case, I was really excited to be going to the concert. Ray LaMontagne, for those of you who don’t know, has a very folksy sound, mostly acoustical guitar, and has a gritty voice. He’s very good.
So, the concert is at the Chicago Theater. Which is in the middle of…Chicago. Which is culturally diverse. As I’ve already established. Except…as I was watching the seats in the venue fill up, I started noticing something really abnormal.
It was not culturally diverse. At. All.
No diversity. Anywhere. Even the pages and other workers were not diverse.
And, I started to get really uncomfortable. In my entire life, I had never been anywhere in the city where I could not see the beautiful diversity that I loved. Old, young, all races, and creeds – men and women all blending together making this place great.
It started to make me feel anxious and really strange. And it suddenly became very important to me to find diversity. Why? Because I’m awkward, I guess. And I know you’re thinking that “of course there was no diversity at a folk concert, and of course the venue would be filled with yoga pants wearing, latte drinking moms who look the same, you idiot”, but at that time, it didn’t occur to me that this was the case.
So now, I was obsessed. I was watching all the people as they entered the auditorium. The yoga pants wearing moms who dragged their husbands with…people like my friend and me, who got sitters and were having a big night in the city…and others who all looked the same. And I pointed this out to my friend. And she patted my hand and told me to calm down.
But I couldn’t calm down. I needed to find diversity. I wanted to feel the heart of the city.
And then I saw her. I saw the one person I’d been praying to see. I needed to see. And she was beautiful. She was cutting across the aisle of seats about four rows in front of us.
So, at this point, a normal person would let it go. But not me. Nope. I gestured to her with my chin, while saying to my friend, “oh, whew, finally”. But this beautiful woman wasn’t alone. She had a man following closely behind her. In fact, she was showing the Mayor to his seat.
And the Mayor thought I was gesturing to him with my chin. So he picked up his hand and began to wave at us.
Now, I had only ever seen him on TV. And I live in the suburbs now, so I really don’t pay much attention to him. That is my excuse for what I did next.
I gasped. Then I said, loudly, “OH MY GOD IS HE SHORT! HE’S REALLY THAT SHORT?! MAN, HE’S SHORT!”
Simultaneously, he wretched his hand back down shooting me a dirty look, while my friend elbowed me in the side telling me he was standing right there and could hear me.
So, that wasn’t awkward.
In my defense, if you’ve met me, you know I am not what anyone would describe as tall. I say I’m 5’2″, but that is just when I’m standing on a chair, on a hill, wearing stilts. I think that maybe I was just in shock at finding a similarly sized person in real life. Or maybe I just don’t get out much. Either way, it’s clear that I don’t always remember to censor the things going through my head before they come out of my mouth. So…yeah.
But, you’ll be happy to know, as the venue started to really fill up, and more and more people showed up, the diversity of the city that I was so afraid I’d miss wasn’t an issue. More and more people came. All races, creeds, and ages. And it was a beautiful concert.
Except for the death stares I was getting from the Mayor.