Ally decided to see one of her favorite groups play over an hour away at a shore town dive bar. Her 40th birthday was on the horizon and she identified more with the younger set than her peers. She didn’t feel her age at all. The singer of the band was only three years younger than Ally, and she knew they had a young following. Undeterred, she arrived at the venue at 8:00 p.m., anticipating her group would start around 10:00 p.m., 11:00 p.m. at the latest. She was a bit put off by the sea of teenagers gathered by the entrance. It was then that she felt out of place, but she summoned her courage to go inside.
Ally paid the fee at the door and had a paper band placed around her wrist. No one carded her, and she was disappointed but not surprised. The group that was playing she did not recognize from the website’s lineup. She asked the cashier when her group was scheduled to take the stage. Midnight was the reply.
Ally looked at the woman like she spoke in tongues. Perhaps in her older age she heard incorrectly. Midnight was way past her bedtime, and this meant she would get home around 3:00 a.m. Ally returned to her car, trying to figure out what to do next.
She considered just going home, but she really would feel old if that was her decision. What did it matter how late she got home when she was off the next day? She occupied her spare time with her smartphone, and re-entered the venue at 10:45 p.m. By the time midnight came, Ally was fully awake and ready to rock. She was dead center of the stage, dancing and headbanging along with the youngsters, most of whom were under the legal drinking age. When she touched the frontman’s hand at the encore, it didn’t matter to Ally who thought she was a cougar or someone’s mom. She held her own with the kids and had a wonderful time.
No one had to know her secret. No one had to know she took a nap before the drive. She walked past the young fans on her way to her car. Ally noticed them popping something into their mouths, no doubt something to help keep the party going. She quickly downed two tablets from her purse in front of the kids in some sort of weird alliance. No one had to know that secret. No one had to know they were pain relief tablets, as standing for too long had caused her back to ache. What a difference a few decades makes.