Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Date night - Decemberists at the Ryman.

As you may have guessed from my serious lack of recent posts, the unthinkable has happened:

Liam has stopped taking naps.

He still has quiet time alone in his room each day, but listening to cds for 30 minutes (his current fave? Lykke Li) before wandering out to tell me he had a great rest hardly makes up for the 2 to 4 hour break I used to get. And it's not like I was getting a whole hell of a lot done then so you can imagine how unproductive I am now.

It's a little scary.

Aside from mommy missing me time, the whole no nap thing is actually pretty great. We can do fun things in the afternoon without getting cranky half way through and having to run home for a nap, and Liam is forced to entertain himself more since there is no way in hell I could keep him engaged ALL DAY LONG (watching him wander around the backyard with the dog or listening at his bedroom door while he plays school with his stuffed animals makes me swoon). The best part is around 7:30 each night when we can start winding down for the day, knowing full well he will actually be tired enough to go to sleep (bedtime was becoming a nightmare - we would put him to bed at 8:30 and then spend the rest of the night trying to get him to stay in his room and go to sleep - he just wasn't tired!).

Even though this has been a positive change in our house hold (after 8 pm it's like we're on vacation!), things have still started to feel a little Groundhog Day around here. No matter where we go or what we do or how we spend the day, by the time I am helping Liam brush his teeth at night I feel like I'm in some sort of time warp where there is no way to distinguish one day from the next. It's all one big blur.

So several days ago when my husband got an email from one of his old advertising clients who offered him two tickets to see the Decemberists at the Ryman Auditorium, I jumped. A date! A night away from the mundane! Something new! Something different! I had no idea I was craving external input so much. I was thrilled!

Not thrilled enough to book a babysitter right away, though. Nah. It's just not my style to be on top of things like that. I like to wait until the last possible minute when all the regular sitters are booked and the desire for a night away compels me to ask friends, neighbors, people I just met, people I've never met (thank you listserve!) to please, for the love of God!, come to my house and watch TV while my child sleeps.

It's just one of the many ways I keep the monotony from getting to me.

By 6:00 the evening of the show we were resigned to the fact that we were staying home yet again. By 7:00 Liam had fallen asleep in the car. By 7:30 he was asleep in his bed. By 7:40 Bill had strong armed our friend Sean into coming over. By 7:43 we were shoving beer and food and the remote control at him and running out the front door.

We did it! We actually left the house together and were going on a date. And an interesting date, to boot! I didn't know the Decemberists all that well but what I knew of them I liked (I have several of their songs on on-the-go iPod mixes - if you don't know what this is, hit me up - it will change your life). Above all, I was pretty sure I could count on them to expose my brain to something completely new and out of the ordinary, which was just what I needed.

Exactly how out of the ordinary, I never could have imagined.

(Note - if you are a huge Decemberists' fan or are looking for a review of the show, please stop reading now. Thank you.)

We got our tickets at will call (I don't care who you are, saying you're on the list for Capital Records always feels cool), and settled into our very own pew with our $9 beers and the desire to be entertained. As the show started, I was as hopeful and supportive as I am when watching stand up on Comedy Central (I so want those people to be funny). Bill was...not so much.

Did I forget to mention he had been at the bar watching football all day? Yeah. While I absolutely do not have a problem with him drinking beer on a Sunday afternoon, I will say it did not leave us exactly on the same page with regards to the show. While I was all Fill my mind with something new!, he was like Dude, this is stooooopid! Oh, hello Guinevere. Hahahaha! What the fuck is this?

Usually we love to make fun of people together. It's one of our most favorite things to do. But I was trying so hard to be open minded and optimistic I just couldn't get on board. So instead I got annoyed. And a little drunk.

When I left to go to the bathroom for the third or fourth time (the beer was as tall as my forearm!), I ran into a couple of friends in the lobby who told me the show was supposed to be a rock opera and that was why it was so weird. They were on their way out - rock opera or not, they couldn't watch Liv Tyler from Lord of the Rings prance around the stage another minute.

I got back to our seats and told Bill.

"A rock opera?"

"Yeah. I guess the singer guy married that Guinevere chick and had a bunch of kids but then fell in love with an evil princess - the girl in black? - and killed his wife and kids so he could be with her."

"Huh. That would have been good to know."

The evil princess. Or whatever.

While we (and anyone else who was brave enough to enter our home this past winter) are very familiar with the hip-hopera genre - specifically R. Kelly's masterpiece Trapped in the Closet (the first 2 minutes of the link is a rundown of part 1 of the movie...oh shit) - rock opera was something new and different. Just knowing there was a reason for all the dramatics made us feel better. We even decided to stick around a little longer to see how the whole thing panned out.

Well that and we had to finish our beers.

Then, almost as abruptly as the show had started, it was over. At least, the rock opera portion of the evening was. The band said they would come back and play some more songs after a break so I went to the bathroom again and we got another beer (to share). The problem was, when they came back on stage and started playing songs, I didn't recognize any of them either (apparently my play lists are really old). And then Bill texted his friend Pete to tell him where we were and Pete texted him back to say, "You going home to watch Grey's Anatomy after the show?" (Oh snap.) And then the singer said something about corncobs and Cadillacs and that about did it for us.

On the way to the car (you gotta park far away if you want a free spot!), I said, "You know, they say that if something isn't happening easily it probably isn't supposed to happen. Maybe next time we have so much trouble finding a sitter we should take the hint and just stay home?"

"What are you talking about? That was an awesome date night! I'm starving. Let's get some food on the way home."

And for the first time all night, we were completely on the same page.


caroline said...

i just read this to larry and he's dying laughing. he was like "i thought bill seemed extra excitable that night!" we had thought about coming to sit with y'all but then thought that you might be big fans and we didn't want to ruin it for you with our constant lord of the ring talk. but glad to know we weren't alone. and if you didn't recognize any of the songs from the second set then i definitely wouldn't have.

sunT said...

making me giggle as usual!

Sara said...

I actually do love the Decemberists, but kept reading after being told not to - (and I tell my child to follow directions ha ha)... I have the feeling that the rock opera was based on their new Hazards of Love CD - could be wrong though... It's a great listen - but when you dig into the lyrics def. not a shiny happy theme. so sad it was oddfest 09 sometimes overcostuming, theatrics, and pseudo personalities just don't mix... but yay for the giant forearm sized beer! :-)

hezza said...

Now that Liam has uttered my name, you can always call me to babysit.
Sometimes stuff is just too cool for me and I don't get it. I would have had to make fun too.

Amber said...

Love it when that happens... not the rock opera part, but the being on the same page part :)

Linnet said...

laughed out loud - I owe you a night watching the little man. Next time I hope I'm free :)