On my birthday, in late December, a friend took me to our local music venue – The State Theatre. The State is right in the middle of town and maintains its beautiful, original façade. It was originally a movie theater and still has the original marquis and balcony seating. My husband, who grew up here, remembers seeing Jaws and the original Star Wars movie there. Now, it is a great local music venue that hosts a lot of tribute bands as well as some nationally-known, albeit long-in-the-tooth acts.
Sarah and I each brought a new toy so we could be entered into a toy drive contest they were having. Prior to the show, another friend took me out for a drink, which turned into two. Ok, three. Unfortunately, by the time I reached The State, I was, myself, in a state.
I quite forgot about the contest and the toy drive until I received a phone call in late January telling me I had won. “Great,” I said. “What did I win?” I was quite shocked by the answer. My name, plus one guest, will be on the guest list for every performance at The State for the rest of 2018. This prize was a life-changer. I rarely went to The State only because it’s difficult to get buy-in from my husband and friends for most of the performances. Now that I can get in for free, everyone has suddenly become a music lover.
One night, after getting home from a neighborhood birthday party, I asked my husband if he’s like to go see the Legwarmers – an 80’s tribute band. Walter seems to have skipped the 80’s altogether, at least musically-speaking. He doesn’t know any Madonna songs, he’s barely heard of The Cure. His musical experience seems to have gotten stuck in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead concert.
But now that admittance was free, Walter was ready to Wang Chung. It was 10 p.m. The concert had started an hour earlier. So what? It was free, so off we went. Guests of Legwarmers shows tend to dress for the occasion. Lots of bright colors, cut-up Flash Dance sweatshirts, and of course legwarmers. We counted not one, not two, but three grown men dressed in Maverick flight suits. (ala Top Gun. I guess you really can buy anything off the Internet.) We stayed for about an hour, and then when our fun was waning, and our old bodies tired of dancing, we decided to leave, despite the fact that the show wasn’t even over. This prize has completely altered our general tendencies to squeeze our money’s worth out of every experience.