• jtbelangela

Life's Soundtrack

I suppose we could blame it all on Elvis. While that was before my time, it’s fair to say he was the first musician-cum-massive heartthrob who captured the affection of girls around the world in a way that no one else had. Musical heartthrobs are now commonplace, but in my mother’s day it was a new concept as she and millions more went crazy for Elvis, Buddy Holly and Ricky Nelson. In our family, it didn’t stop there. One of my aunts was OBSESSED with the Beatles, and the other one was a massive Barry Manilow fan. Hey, don’t judge! As for yours truly, I confess that in the eighties I not only had a huge crush on Michael J. Fox, but an equally large poster of him circa Back to the Future.

As we moved into the nineties, the posters of my musical heartthrobs were markedly different. I still had that MJF poster, but also those of Bon Jovi, White Lion, Britny Fox, Europe, Great White and Winger. I also had a poster of Nelson, a musical duo with waist-length platinum blond hair who ironically, were the handsome twin sons of Ricky Nelson. Talk about your circle of life!

Flash forward to the present and I am now on the parental end of this equation. You might think the parental side is the easier one to be on, but reflecting back on the events of the last seven days, I can assure you it is not. Not when the man who caused such a frenzy in my home is Ed Sheeran.

Ed Sheeran’s music is not a new occurrence in our home. My teenage daughter has a thing for British music and Ed was on her radar long before A-Team hit the states. I didn’t have a problem with it as I enjoyed the music right along with her. At the end of the day, you can’t escape the fact that Ed is a talented young man who writes one hell of a song. None of this became an issue until last week, when that adorable blue-eyed ginger announced he was going on tour. I knew a pair of those coveted tickets would be tough to get, but I had NO IDEA exactly how impossible it would be.

I feel like a dinosaur saying this, but back in my day when you wanted tickets to a show, you packed your backpack with Diet Coke, pretzels and a copy of Rolling Stone and waited it out on line down at Ticketmaster. Sure, there were big shows who attracted long lines at the window, but NOTHING like this. Buying tickets now is a multi-step process for which you need endless patience, a Ph.D., and nerves of steel. Every day my daughter reminded me that 1) the presale was on Monday and 2) the last time Ed played Connecticut I failed to procure tickets.

I wasn’t going to let her down a second time, so I prepared for battle. First we had to sign up for the code. Of course you need a code. You can’t just go on line and buy tickets, can you? Then I got my mile-long email from Ticketmaster explaining how the presale worked and all the things I’d have to do to . . . wait for it . . . go on line to buy tickets. Seriously, I need instructions for this? Yep. On Monday morning as I drove my daughter to school, we were feeling pretty lucky. We both agreed that we’d take any seat available, even if it was in the last row. Armed with a jumbo matcha green tea, my code, my instructions and credit card, I logged on at exactly 10am and prayed that no work crisis would preempt my efforts. My heart was in my throat as I punched in the codes, and then clicked ridiculous Google images to prove I wasn’t a robot. Precious seconds are slipping away as I’m confirming all this information and I finally reach the coveted screen. My heart is racing. It’s something like 10:02 or 10:03 when I learn that all the tickets are gone. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Gone? In complete denial, I keep refreshing, praying and sweating. Still no tickets. After a few more minutes it’s obvious that I will have to tell my daughter we are not going to see Ed. I dread the text that comes from her about thirty minutes later, but she took it like a champ. I, however, did not.

I started looking around on line for tickets that folks were re-selling, and the prices made my stomach churn. I wanted nothing more than to see the delight in my daughter’s face, but those prices were insane. I promised my daughter that I’d try again on Friday when the general public sale began, but I knew it was pointless. I found myself longing for the old days when life was far less complicated. Even though modern life and ticket buying had changed with the times, one thing had not—a parent’s desire to do something for their child that they know will make them crazy with delight. I just wanted that moment, and through a little bit of luck, I got it. We might not have the best seats in the house, but this summer when that indigo-eyed troubadour storms Connecticut, my daughter and I will be right there with thousands of our new best friends singing along with Ed. It won’t be long before she’ll be off to college and heading into that wide-open world, so having this experience is extra important. I’m sure I’ll embarrass the hell out of her when I beginning sobbing to “Thinking Out Loud,” but a parent’s job is never really done, is it?

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