Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Confessions of a Tween Dad

Facebook is awesome! It has reconnected me with friends that I haven't talked to in a long, long time and brought me closer to them now than I ever was then. I even got the chance to see one of my good friends from high school last weekend...but it came at a price. You see, my friend Big Bob Pinkley (you can probably see from the picture how he got that nickname; I'm not that short!) works for a company that does transportation/logistics for entertainment groups on tour, and was coming to DC...with the Cheetah Girls. He offered to get me tickets to the concert if I would just come downtown to see him. I'm not sure how strong of a lure he thought that would be, but Cristi thought it would be a nice treat for Addison.

Now, Addison's pretty level-headed (much like her mother!). She doesn't just go ga-ga over all of these Tween things like Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers, and the Cheetah Girls, but when she found out we were going, she was excited. We Metro'd down to the Verizon Center and met up with Big Bob to pick up the tickets, then stood around in the lobby for a few minutes catching up on the last 17 years of our lives. Then, we really got the red-carpet treatment. We went down to our seats...on the floor...on one of the center aisles, no more than 20 feet from the stage. Wow! I haven't had seats that good since the Def Leppard concert in college! He asked if Addison wanted a t-shirt, then brought back a t-shirt, a program, and this fancy tri-colored flashing light that separates into color bars when you shake it. Addison was lovin' it! He even brought a couple more of those lights for me to take to Brennan and Lauren!

We sat around talking some more while we waited for the concert to start, telling us lots of stuff about how they set up the show, how things worked behind the scenes, etc. After a while, Big Bob left to go take care of some stuff, and this couple comes in with their one-year-old -- I'm not kidding -- and sits down right next to us. They were the quintessential DC couple, too: Dressed to the hilt, little boy dressed in way-too-expensive clothes, and obviously way too young to be there enjoying the show, but little Johnny needs entertainment!.

Finally, the opening act comes out -- The Clique Girlz. I asked Addison if she had ever heard of them, and she said no; I hadn't either. The music was pretty decent, though -- except that this couple sitting next to us kept getting up in front of us -- to take pictures, to take the little boy out for whatever, etc. They must have crawled in front of us 4-5 times during the half-hour of the opening act. All the while, I'm thinking, "Just sit down and enjoy the show!"

When The Clique Girlz finished, Big Bob came back, and they announced there would be a 20-minute intermission, so we started talking again. All of a sudden, the couple comes up to us and asks if Addison and I would like to go backstage to meet The Clique Girlz since they kept disturbing us during the show. We're like, are you serious??? Addison certainly wasn't about to turn that down! (It turns out that the lady must have been some sort of publicist for them in this area, because she already knew them.) So we went backstage and met the girls, got autographed pictures (I picked one up for Brennan, too, since I knew he'd be disappointed if he was left out), and got Addison's picture taken with them.

Several minutes later, we were escorted back out onto the floor during the opening number for the Cheetah Girls. Now that's what I call an intermission! The Cheetah Girls were very good (in a pre-teen sort of way), and Addison really diggin' it in her shy-I'm-way-too-cool-to-acknowledge-this-is-the-coolest-thing-ever way. After the show, Big Bob led us backstage again so that we could avoid the crowds trying to leave. On the way out, he showed Addison the inside of one of the tour buses. Can you believe there's enough room backstage in those places to hold several buses and 18-wheelers?

Addison had an absolute blast...and I got Dad brownie-points...and I got to catch up with an old friend. All combined to make the outing a huge success and a great day. Even the 10,000 screaming girls were worth it for the smile on a little girl's face. Thanks, publicly, to Big Bob for the royal treatment and for being a great friend. Maybe next time you're in DC, we can do dinner.

1 comment:

  1. It's the smiles that make it ALL worth it.

    I've taken tours of several arenas and it always amazes me how much space they have down there. Even at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, the bus for the team pulls in under the arena for the guys to load up in. They go from the locker room to the bus and never leave the building.