Last weekend I told my 30-year-old brother I was going to the Weezer concert in October. He looked shocked and said, "I like Weezer." As in, "Holy crap, my over-the-hill big sister likes the same music I do???"
To be fair, I just started listening to Weezer this summer, thanks to Ethan, so my brother could have meant he didn't know I liked the group. We don't talk about music. But, the comment hit a sore point for me, which is, how do I age gracefully?
I'm 37 years old, been married almost 15 years, have two kids, a cat, a mortgage, a pathetic IRA for myself and modest college saving accounts for my sons. The last time I went to a real rock concert, I had a husband, a cat and school loans. I focused on working my way up the editorial ladder of some business-to-business magazine. In other words, all I had to worry about was myself.
Those were the days I should have been going to Weezer concerts, but I was too busy trying to get established in a career and accumulate assets, like our first home. Then it was time to procreate, and after Ethan was born, we were too tired and broke to go to anything except "sing-song time" at the library.
And that was fine, really. But fast-forward to this spring, when Ethan forced me to listen to KTCL every day while we were in the car because he can only stand to listen to alternative rock music. That's when I first heard "Pork And Beans" from Weezer. Ethan would be nodding his head to the song while I was tapping my hand against the steering wheel to it. I hadn't felt this spontaneous in ages. I HEART Weezer!
So when I heard they were coming to town, I had to go, and managed to get the tickets. Now that I'm going, I'm nervous. I know this sounds silly, but what do I wear to a Weezer concert? Like I said, it's been years since I've been to a rock concert. Plus, I'm going with my girlfriend instead of my husband. I'm planning on wearing a tasteful, yet flattering, black top with jeans and possibly high-heeled boots. I want to blend in, but not look like a COUGAR. Because, let's face it, looking hot at a rock concert at my age probably sends off a cougar vibe.
I feel frustrated that I have to worry about this! Like I said, it would have been so much easier if I had discovered Weezer in my 20's instead of my late 30's. But I don't think I could have related to Weezer in my 20's. Back then, Rivers Cuomo, Weezer's lead singer, wrote songs about loving his hash pipe and surfing. I lived in Chicago in my 20's and didn't smoke pot. But, in the "Red Album," Rivers, whom is 38 years old, sings about how he needs Rogaine and has to "work out at the gym to fit in my underwear." Now that's something I can relate to!
And if there's one thing I learned post-kids, it's to be a little more "carpe diem." I look back at all the weekends I spent "recovering" from a hard week at work, when I could have been a) training for a marathon; b) knitting that stupid Aran sweater I started when I got out of college; c) teaching adults how to read; or d) all of the above. I feel ashamed that I actually thought I was too exhausted back then to do those things, because no one knows the meaning of exhaustion until he or she is up night after night with an infant.
So now that I want to live my life more fully, I'm going to this Weezer concert whether I look like a poser/cougar/WHATEVER. Maybe aging gracefully is worrying less about what others think and, as Rivers puts it, "doing the things I want to do."