For my birthday, Seth bought a pair of Blake Shelton tickets and set up a date night for us. As sweet of a gesture as it was, I wasn’t completely thrilled – on one hand, we all know how I feel about Blake and Gwen (aka Gwake Stelfton) and on the other, I have high doubts that Blake and I have the same political/social views and, as unfortunate as it is, in our country’s climate those sorts of things can start to influence where you want to spend your money. Nonetheless, it was a sweet gift and I didn’t want those things to take away from it. As the evening approached, Seth warned me that our seats weren’t that good.
“Babe, don’t get your hopes up. They’re not the best seats.”
“What does that mean? Like, nosebleed or just not front row.”
“They’re pretty high.”
“Like as far from the stage as they could be.”
Even still, I was optimistic we’d have a great time. But over the next few weeks I’d forget we were even going – it wasn’t until friends would ask what my plans were that I’d remember.
Last week, building up to the event, our entire weekend filled up. Early Saturday, the day of the concert, we went out of town to help some friends build a fence (well, Seth went to help – the kids and I went to have fun and visit). What we thought would be a few hours turned into all day. As the afternoon turned into evening, Seth and I both hesitantly left town to come back home. Neither of us were really excited.
When we got home, we both passively aggressively danced around other options. Seth said things like, “Babe, if you’re tired, we don’t have to go” and “What do you want to do? I’ll only be out, like, $40 dollars if we don’t go.” The moment I realized he wasn’t kidding about the shitiness of our seats. I said things like “Is there anything more fun?” and “well, we’ll have fun?” which confused Seth. I thought about the crowd and the lines to get alcohol. Seth kept hitting home the low quality of our tickets. With two hours to go before the show, we had to pull the trigger. We decided to just go on the premise that we wouldn’t have to stay if it wasn’t any fun – and that we’d sneak in some of our own whiskey.
An hour or so later, we were bellied up to a cash-only dive bar, appropriately named Happy Bar, drinking cheap whiskey and playing old country music on the juke box. A friendly patron walked over to us with a bag of Sonic corndogs (because when they’re on sale, you obviously buy them in bulk) and asked if we’d like one – or four. Neither of us had eaten dinner, so Seth graciously accepted his offer while I opted to buy a $1 bag of Funyuns. Let me just say, somedays there is no better dinner than a bag of Funyuns and some cheap Canadian whiskey – and NOTHING would have felt more appropriate.
When we finally walked over to the arena, we had already missed one opener. And as we wandered around, the second one started. While we were trying to find our section, we walked past a black curtain that hid a small balcony. Seth, having been to basketball games in the arena before, knew about the secret spot and pulled me behind the curtain. We pondered the idea of watching from there. It was behind the stage and there were large screens obstructing the views but as I looked down, I noticed an entire section of vacant seats that had obviously not been sold because of said obstructions. I forced Seth to sneak down with me down with me. We went to the first row and sat in a pair of unoccupied seats. Seth, being the little paranoid Polly that he likes to pretend he’s not, kept looking around suspiciously and was basically begging for someone to bust us. So, in true problem-solving fashion, I dumped our water bottle of whiskey into his soda.
By the time the show started, Seth was drunk; by the third song, he was laughing. By the fifth song, he was convinced him and Blake Shelton would be best friends in another life – or this one if “he’d only give me five minutes”. Every song Blake played Seth swore he knew. Every time Blake said Omaha, he impersonated Peyton Manning – Seth legit laughed every. single. time. I was impressed with how good Blake was live and by how funny he actually was. We sang, we laughed and we swayed. It was honestly one of the best times we’ve had together – and to think we almost let our no-fun adult pants get in the way of that! Dummies. Just another reason that proves growing up is no good and another reason why bending the rules is sometimes totally worth it.