Ridiculous driving conditions on the way home couldn’t ruin it (hugs to #1 Son for trading cars with us because we wouldn’t have made it home otherwise). Nor can the fact that schools are closed today — which means I’ll likely cancel yet another rehearsal because I won’t be able to get the Ranger out of my driveway — ruin it. Nope, it was fun.
For those of you who may not know, my vocal jazz ensemble sang the national anthem at the Cleveland Cavs game last night. Now, if you’re a teacher, you know that scheduling “field trips” can be a complete and utter nightmare. You’re worried about accidents, behavior problems, venue issues, missing paperwork…it can all combine to make you pretty miserable.
Not so with these people. They’re the Anti-Stress Bunch (well, with a couple of exceptions now and then). I always feel relaxed and confident with them. No worries about what they’ll say or do, or if they might behave in a way that would embarrass the district, or me, or themselves.
I also know that not one of them would ever consider, oh, skipping school, text-messaging from inside a jacket pocket, driving like a maniac, or thinking that the teacher is utterly clueless…heh. Gotta love it.
Still, to go to an arena with 20,000+ other people, and stand on the event floor having a conversation while 14 teenagers mill around freely — and not worry for one minute what anyone’s up to — is a blessing indeed.
All right, enough drippy sugar already. Story time.
So the Thriller and I get to Cleveland, right? We’re not any too early. I told the kids and their parents that we’d meet up at 5:30, and it was 5:25 when we got in line to pull into the parking garage. Before we left home, I said, “Did you get cash for parking?” He said, “Well, I have a ten in my billfold.” I said, “Cool – I have a five that I stuck in my blouse pocket; let’s go.” I figured anything extra we wanted to eat or buy could be bought with the debit card, so off we went.
We drive up to turn into the parking garage, where it’s fifteen bucks to get in, and T gets out his $10 bill. I reach in my pocket…nothing. Gone. The $5 bill I did have was sitting on my dresser, where I’d put it when I changed my sweater. And, of course, the garages only accept cash. It’s now 5:31 and I’m sitting in the Beast, having a meltdown.
So we drive. We find an outdoor parking lot — one of those small ones where they cram as many cars in as they can, and charge you $15 for the pleasure. I pull in and ask the guy, “Could you please let me wait here while my husband finds an ATM so we can pay you?” Fortunately, he says “sure,” and points us towards a downtown bank. T gets out and beats feet to the ATM and comes back to pay the guy his $15, and the man says, “Oh, yeah. An SUV is $20.” An SUV is $20. In a self-parking lot with spaces all the same size. Explain this to me. (Actually, don’t bother. I get it.) Whatever. We’re off and (literally) running.
After a minor issue with our tickets at will-call (they couldn’t find mine, but they were right there all along), and making sure the Thriller could locate the smoking porch, we were all set. Met the kids and our super-nice Cavs reps, went down to the event level, and all was good.
Little inconveniences aside, it was indeed a great gig, and they sang beautifully.
Now, off to get more coffee and start reading my next quantitative article. Real life is a gas.