A few weeks ago, I went to my first all-ages show in probably 20 years. My husband’s band, The Bishop, was playing in a battle of the bands at Reggie’s Music Joint in Chicago, and I, being his ever-faithful groupie, went along for the ride.
His band had played at Reggie’s before, and I fell in love with the place immediately. The bar and its patrons brought back fond memories of all the punk clubs I frequented in Detroit during my teen years (I mean, after I was 21, if my kids are reading this). Dyed black hair, tattoos, black leather, ripped denim, clove cigarettes. I felt right at home, although I’m sure I looked completely out of place. It’s not that I’m altogether uncool. I have my moments. But I’m a mom. And I’m 45. Enough said.
The good thing about being in your forties is you finally stop worrying about what other people think and let yourself go. The bad thing is when you let yourself go too far. And that is exactly what happened during our next visit to Reggie’s.
I was excited to go back to the bar and revel in nostalgia once again. What I didn’t know until a few days before the gig, however, was that it was an all-ages show. This rattled my nerves — and more than just a bit. It’s one thing to hang out in a dive rock joint with young adults, but teenagers? I have one of my own at home, and I’m fairly certain he wouldn’t want to be seen with his mother, or anyone her age, at such an establishment (thankfully he is only 13 and this is not yet an issue).
Do you know what it’s like to be a mom in a roomful of kids with blue hair, tattoos, mohawks and ear expanders? Unless your name is Courtney Love or Sharon Osborne, I’m guessing the answer is no. I immediately assumed the role of lunchroom monitor and found myself worrying about whether these kids would be up past their bedtimes. It was a Sunday after all, a school night.
The good thing about being nervous in a bar: alcohol. The bad thing about being nervous in a bar: alcohol. Several craft beers and death metal bands into the show, I made what seemed like a perfectly reasonable decision: I started a mosh pit.
What, you may ask, was a suburban mom doing participating in a mosh pit, let alone starting one? I’m not exactly sure, honestly. My best answer is that my inner teenager took over. My worst answer is that I was experiencing a temporary midlife crisis. Either way, I ended up on my ass in the middle of the dance floor in a bar full of death metal kids.
I learned two things about myself that night. First, I’m far too old, and clumsy, to mosh. Second, I’m just old enough to be able to laugh at myself when I do something stupid. Believe me, I laughed my (very sore) ass off over this one for days.