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Then & Now

Aging is a subtle process. One day you are too big to fit into your Sit and Spin.Then, you go from riding a bike to driving a car. Before you know it, you find yourself peering through bifocals as you search for the gray hairs that seem to sprout overnight. I realize that I’m maturing, but last week, when Oregano and I went to a concert at the PNC Bank Arts Center, I realized just how old we’ve become. We’ve been attending concerts at this open air venue since we were in high school, but 10 years ago we saw REO Speedwagon and we haven’t been back. The shocking abundance of mullets at that concert must have scared us off. It was John Mayer who enticed us back this time. As we drove home from the concert with our ears still ringing, I realized there are a lot of differences between how we attended concerts then and now.

Then

We would drive down early and tailgate for hours before the concert. We’d sit in the parking lot languidly eating sub sandwiches listening to tapes (that’s right, tapes) of the music we’d soon be hearing live.

Now

We race home from work then fight rush hour traffic to get to the concert. The additional time sitting in the car gives us the perfect opportunity to scarf down protein bars for dinner.

Then

When we parked in the distant overflow lots, we would cram ourselves, our blankets and our lawn chairs onto the shuttle bus that took us the one mile to the front gates.

Now

Thanks to the traffic we were stuck in, we arrive late which means we park even farther away. Instead of squeezing into a shuttle bus full of people and lawn chairs, we choose to walk the mile to our seats because it is good exercise.

Then

My idea of protection was pepper spray.

Now

My idea of protection is bug spray.

Then

We would eagerly walk up to the vendors selling t-shirts. We’d plunk down our money to buy an overpriced shirt as a souvenir from the show.

Now

I walked up to the vendors, looked at their merchandise and thought, “Oooo, they have ear plugs. That might be a good idea.”

Then

Due to our limited income, we bought tickets for the lawn.  We schlepped our blankets and watched the tiny dot on the horizon sing as we danced in the grass. After college, when we started earning salaries, we still sat on the lawn because it was more fun. Sure, we could be rained on, but that’s what ponchos and garbage bags are for.

Now

After watching several arguments break out on the lawn because late comers put tall chairs in front of people sitting on blankets, we decided we were finally old enough to pay for the permanent seats under the roof.

Then

It was all about the free parking no matter where it was.

Now

As we hiked the mile from our car to our seats, we saw signs for VIP parking. This extra $20 gets you into one of the close parking lots. We looked at each other and said, “We’re old enough to pay for that.” We just have to hope one of us remembers that it’s available when we go again in 10 years.

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