do you remember when i got my first concert t-shirt?
3 min read

do you remember when i got my first concert t-shirt?

you're probably too young to remember... i was probably too young to be there but my cousins nancy and lisa brought me and my older brother ed to see Stone Temple Pilots at Jones Beach ampitheater and we thought we were THE coolest. we sat in the sixth row off to the side, right in front of an enormous (!!!) wall of speakers -- it's an outdoor arena that seats thousands -- they are BIG speakers. big enough to feel throughout a little body like mine was and give a lil' rumble in the butthole... almost as soon as the concert started, i had to use the bathroom (this has been an ongoing problem in my life) and my poor cousin nancy had to take me and had to miss almost half the show.

on the way back, we stopped at a merch stand and she bought me my very first concert tee. i ditched it years ago in a furious purge of clothes and how i regret that now. i remember swimming in it but wearing it anyway. my cousins had bought the tickets at their local record store, looney tunes in west babylon.

last time i was on long island, i got the chance to hang out with lisa and her family. her oldest son michael had just gotten a record player from his grandmother (my aunt) and he wanted to go to looney tunes to get some records with the money he's earning at his new job. i was happy to go, i hadn't been in years. the store was MUCH nicer now, twice the size and everything was 10 times the price. :) he's 18 and this record trend is just hitting him and now they are producing more and more current popular music on vinyl.

he loves lady gaga but they didn't have the record he wanted so he decided to save his money. i bought a sweatshirt. and then when i was in san diego with my brother andrew,  i bought michael ABBA Gold to celebrate his high school graduation.

michael loves to dance. he spends every holiday gathering trying to get us to play the 'just dance' video game. if he can't, it doesn't matter. he will dance anyway and yes, he will dance to the avatar that looks like an anime cheerleader while singing along to "come on barbie, let's go party (ah ah ahh yeah)" and he will be having a better time than anyone else there. i join him for a song or two when i can -- his love of the game is infectious -- but i get tired.

at his graduation party, there was no 'just dance.' michael's friends from school came and they went in the pool and goofed around just like regular ol' high school kids do.

it is so nice to see him growing. he's very comfortable with himself and came out to our family a few years ago. our family isn't known for its overwhelmingly tolerant and accepting manor, so i was impressed. i like to think that my marraige the year before helped make him more comfortable but now i see he didn't need that at all. i am the one with more to learn.

michael texted me the other day - it was a short clip of ABBA on his turntable and he thanked me again and told me this was his favorite. i'm thankful to pass music on in our family. that's what nancy and lisa did for ed and i. they were older than us by just enough that we thought everything they did was cool and we wanted to listen to what they listened to.

we were behind the trends because we were young and suburban and there was no internet yet. so our big-haired, hair-metal-loving cousins were the ones we followed. we listened to all the grunge before anyone else in our school and then laughed at them when they latched on to "jeremy" ... the worst song on that pearl jam record...

by sharing music with us, they connected with us beyond age and location. and that's what i'm hoping i can share with michael. even though we don't see each other often, this is a way to be together and share love. nancy and lisa and i have ebbed and flowed over the years in terms of staying in touch and hanging out. since you came out, talula, we've been in touch more and i really like it.

oh, and that stupid t-shirt is on eBay for $750 now. i'm not buying it...