Do you remember this band?
What about these guys?
Right. Me too. I remember all of these bands, but didn’t especially love any of them in the 1980s. I think I owned one Tom-Tom Club cassette. I didn’t not like them – I was neutral, but I still remember a surprising number of their songs. The soundtrack of the 80s.
The Departed, on the other hand, loved Tom-Tom Club, so when, last summer, an old friend of mine from high school posted on Facebook that all three of these bands would be playing in one night at an outdoor stage not five minutes from our house – well, we had to go.
I thought it would be great – get together with my friend and her husband, have some beers, enjoy some 80s music and memories. The Departed and I never seemed to have any couple friends – when my friends paired off, they seemed to do things with other couples we knew, but not us. I noticed this but chalked it up to age and other differences. Different interests. Our kids were different ages. Schedule conflicts.
I was disappointed, of course, when my friend told me her husband had made other plans for them on the night of the concert – unbeknownst to her – but since we already had our tickets, we decided to go anyway.
We got to the concert and spent some time people-watching and drinking beers while watching the opening act. We staked out a nice area to sit at on a grassy hill where we could see over most of the crowd, and periodically one of us would wander off to get more drinks, see what was for sale at the t-shirt booth, or use a rest room. I chatted with people nearby from time to time.
At some point, The Departed disappeared for a longer-than-expected time, and when I finally thought to look for him, discovered he was sitting a bit further away from the stage, with a group of people I recognized. College friends of his – people he would have known right about the time all this music originally came out.
A big group of them.
One couple had driven down from Bellingham just for the occasion – to see these bands at a stage not five minutes from our house.
They made, quick, vague remarks to gloss over the fact that we had not been called ahead of time to join the group. “Oh, we thought about calling you but didn’t know if you would want to come.”
Right, I think. That’s usually why you call someone. To find out if they want to come to something.
These aren’t my friends and although we exchange Christmas cards with some of them and see them from time-to-time, I don’t especially care. It’s nice to have other people to hang out with and talk to, not unlike the strangers seated near me that I’d been chatting with ten minutes earlier.
But I know now.
The Departed doesn’t notice.