Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hangin' Tough

Happy Father's Day! I hope all the dads out there are having a rocking good day.

My dad is one of my favorite people in the world. Like my amazing mother, my father is pretty rock star. He puts up with our jokes, crazy schemes and general ridiculousness. He rolls out the cookies at Christmas time and makes a mean pecan pie.

I've learned a lot from my dad: how to fix things, why you need to rotate the tires on the car, how to organize a car for a cross-country move, laundry, why you should drink red wine (although I tend to ignore this), how to colorfully swear at slow traffic (and mumble so other passengers in your car don't hear), that men should take care of their of their families, and that dads can fix just about anything. It's true - they can. Even by phone when I'm having an anxiety attack. Dads are superheroes and my dad is right up there. I thought about buying him a cape for Father's Day but then I realized he's super nice and he'd probably wear it and that would be embarrassing (mainly for him; I would think it was funny).

First concerts are a very important rite of passage for most people. I remember my first concert very well. I was eleven years old (which is sort of young by most people's standards), it was 1990, and the concert was New Kids On The Block. It was at the Superdome. My dad went with me.

Yes, I save everything.

Imagine the Superdome filled with rabid Saints fans. Maybe this will help:

Now replace the Saints fans with pre-teen girls obsessed with NKOTB. Screaming, singing along, wearing band t-shirts and buttons, wavering posters (that the band will clearly see in the nosebleed section and will of course, immediately fall in love with you and ask you to marry them or something), dancing around. Standing next to each pre-teen is a bored and overwhelmed parent whose ears are about ready to bleed from the screaming and the music they can't stand. True parental love.

I got tickets to the New Kids concert for my birthday that year. One ticket for me, one for my dad. This was not a time when parents dropped a kid off at a concert and went to hang out with other parents waiting around for the madness to end. Remember this was 1990 and this concert was at the Superdome. No one would let their eleven year old go to any show at the Superdome alone. So my dear dad had to suffer through the screaming and the singing and the dancing. I don't remember his ears bleeding or him complaining. It's also possible that he spent part of the concert remembering the Rolling Stones show he and my mom saw a few years before at the Superdome (Steel Wheels tour, 1988). Maybe that got him through.

Eventually (like a year later) I was no longer interested in boy bands. I had moved onto rock bands (and punk and metal bands). My second concert was Def Leppard on election night in 1992. I remember Joe Elliott announcing that Bill Clinton had won the election. And guess who my concert buddy was? You've got it - my dad. I think he might have enjoyed this one a bit more. He even knew some of the songs and didn't seem to hate it at all. If I remember correctly, he even shared that one of my uncles used to get stoned and listen to Led Zepplin and Def Leppard (he liked On Through the Night).

Over the years, I've been to a few other concerts with my dad but none of them were as amazing as NKOTB. I even tried to convince him to go see them with me again when the band toured a few years ago. He respectfully declined and I just couldn't go to see them without him - it wouldn't have been right. Parents do a lot of stupid stuff they don't want to when they have kids. I'm sure no one wakes up one day and says, "Gee, I'd like a two-tone blue Ford Aerostar minivan." Or "Yes, let's watch Annie again. I love that musical too." That's what you do when you love your kids.

So thanks Dad for doing the stupid things and the great things and the awesome things for me all my life.

Just for fun, here's a flashback to the early 90s for your Father's Day enjoyment. You're welcome.

Superdome image from
Video from


  1. I swear to God, Erin, we need to stop being the same person. I'm doing a father's day post after I go kayaking, and while I'm not doing concerts, I'm doing music too.

    1. Great, awesome minds think alike!!

      Happy Father's Day to your dad and I'm excited to read about his musical influence too.