Before I dive into this post head-on, I’d like to start with a diminutive disclaimer.
I have no problem with peoples’ choices regarding the substances they ingest. I do, however, have an issue with discourtesy and unmannerliness.
Disclaimer over. Let’s get to the good stuff.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a Journey concert at my local outdoor amphitheater with the rest of the family. Despite minor altercation from sister to sister, or worse, sister to parent, we were having a splendid evening.
When we first arrived at the venue, our first objective, naturally, was to find something to eat. Heaven forbid we all agree on the same food truck, so we split up and stood in multiple, seemingly eternal lines with rumbling bellies.
Once we’d all purchased our dinners, we rendezvoused at a small picnic table with one of those umbrella things puncturing the middle, providing relief from the scorching, July sun.
There were three other concert spectators sharing our table with us, due to the ratio of tables to concession consumers. One of these was a stout woman, perhaps in her mid-fifties, with glasses and more wrinkles than both of the other table mates combined. While I was scarfing down my absolutely disgusting, and completely overpriced salad, this woman turned to me and inquired whether or not smoking was allowed in our current location.
“I don’t smoke,” I replied, “I don’t know, I’m sorry.”
She nodded and we both went back to our own business. She turned to her other table mate, another woman of similar age, who was sandwiched between the smoker and a man of similar age, presumably her husband. The smoker told the woman in the middle that she was going to take a smoke. My mother overheard their conversation and politely asked that the smoker wait until my family had finished eating and had left the table to start smoking.
The smoker responded, “Why yes, of course, I’m not THAT disrespectful.” She then got up and searched for an authority to receive directions for the designated smoking area.
After a moment, the other woman stood up and addressed my mother. She said, “Y’know, I don’t think that’s right of you to ask my friend not to smoke. You came and sat with us. We were here first.” She was holding a plastic cup containing approximately four ounces of Budweiser. Unfortunately, she lacked the ability to contain herself.
She continued babbling pathetically at my mom, saying how disrespectful and wrong it was for her to ask the smoker to wait until we’d gone to light a cigarette. After a few more seconds of her slurring and complaining, my father interjected and informed her that smoking was not allowed at this event.
She responded that there were no signs prohibiting smoking, to which my dad reminded her that there were signs all throughout the entrances. They argued for a while, my dad getting increasingly more flustered and choleric.
If we wouldn’t have picked up our stuff and simply walked away from this woman, my dad would probably still be sitting at that table, arguing with her.
I learned a few things from this experience. First of all, despite signs that indicate that there is no smoking allowed, people will still sneak in drugs and light ’em up at the Journey concert-especially marijuana. Second, don’t order salads from food trucks at concerts. Just be a normal human and get pizza or a burger or something. Third, I may not be able to attribute ALL of my sass to my mother. My daddy’s got a little in him, as well. And fourth, Journey has an Asian lead singer now who sounds practically identical to the original.
Life lessons are everywhere, folks. Even at Rock N’ Roll concerts.