I recently ventured into the D (that would be Detroit) to check out a band called 21 Pilots. Lest you’ve never heard of them and are simply assuming I am much cooler than you, rest assured, I am not. I was invited to the concert by my teenaged, Chicago nieces when their favorite little band sold are in Chi-town. I’m pretty much an un-hip pop/rock radio listener (yes, you read that correctly, I wrote “radio”) who has at least partially defended One Direction during some Facebook smackdown with my more musically inclined brother, and I may or may not have encouraged my daughter to purchase Taylor Swift CD’s. I’ve seen Barenaked Ladies twice in concert (shut up; it was fun), and I at least have Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly agreeing with me that Katy Perry’s Roar is one of the best songs of 2013. (Come on, if Ms. Perry’s roar-oar-oar’s can’t get people to finish the home stretch of their midlife crisis 10K, I don’t know what can.) (Pretty much all other songs mentioned in their “Best of” lists are foreign to me…except Miley Cyrus…wonders never cease.)
I’ll perhaps give a review of what it’s like to be 40 at a hipster 20’s concert night in a later posting (hint: it will involve my neck hurting), but for now, here’s a little story about parking that embodies the spirit of Detroit. It involves parking.
We drove downtown and found a lot (I believe the parking was $20; parking is much higher all over Chicago, and I’ve noticed that pretty much whatever the price of parking around here is, my sister-in-law will say “wow, that’s a good deal!”). My sister-in-law Jenny (responsibly chaperoning her two daughters and a friend, all of whom were pulling off a semi-goth look acquired with last minute purchases at 5 below), was instructed to back into the parking space.
“I have to back in? I’m awful at backing in. Why?”
“I don’t know. Probably so we can get out faster at the end,” I say.
“That makes sense. But I still hate it.” She rolled down her window. “I’m awful at backing in,” she told the attendant. He said he’d guide her in. He did so. Success! Not without some parking stress, but the attendant was very helpful about it.
We stand in the cold among twenty-some’s who are all hip and ironic. (I guess. Mostly there are a few belly baring girls who look really, really cold. They do have very nice pre-baby stomachs, though.) As we approach the doors, the door guy announces that we should have our ID’s ready at the door if we are 21 or over.
“That’s so we can get a drink quickly after that backwards parking,” I joke.
“No kidding. I think I need one.”
We hand our ID’s the doorman, a larger man who looks like he can bounce twenty-some year olds if their sense of entitlement gets all out of hand. Jenny mentions wanting a drink to calm her post-backing in nerves.
“The guy in the parking structure was having me back in. I’m awful at backing in.”
The doorman’s two cents on this backing in business?
“You should’ve said, ‘Fuck you, I’m paying.'”
And that pretty much sums it up the D.
What sums up the D for you? (Or, alternately, feel free to share your 2 cents on One Direction. My brother thinks they have the substance and artificiality of cotton candy. I think my brother needs to try cotton candy once in a while. It’s kind of yummy and magical, even if it shouldn’t be categorized as food.)