“Look how white my legs are,” I said to Dave. I was getting dressed for a Jake Owen concert on the beach -the Coastal Country Jam- and I’d put shorts on for the first time this year. It felt like summer outside, but my legs are nowhere near summer ready.
“You’re going to a country show. You will definitely not be the whitest person there. That’s the last thing you have to worry about,” he told me.
My husband’s funny.
Usually when I go to the beach I put on board shorts and a tank top over a bikini (I don’t know why – it’s not like any part of me except my feet is going in the water), pull my dirty hair into a ponytail and throw on a hat. But this was a concert. I wanted to look cute. So even though it was at the beach I put on make-up and ran my dirty hair through a flat iron, hoping it would hold off the frizz the humid beach air likes to gift upon me for a little while. I was bringing a hat, but if I chose to put it on my bangs would be smashed and my hair would be under the hat for the rest of the day.
“Okay, look how old and jiggly my legs are,” I said.
“I’ve got to go outside and play with the dog,” he responded.
My husband is also smart.
I then had the following text exchange with my girlfriend:
I decided to go with the shorts. I definitely need more time at the gym (which is impossible right now because my plantar fasciitis is flaring up), but my legs are not going to get tan under leggings.
I put the leggings in my beach bag along with my favorite jacket from Costco and pushed aside the memory of Marley telling me I looked like a suburban mom going to the gym when I wore the same jacket/legging combo last week. It really shouldn’t matter what I wear to a concert on the beach. I’m 50 (alright, 51, whatever). Who cares? It’s not like I’m hanging out backstage with the band. It’s just… when I’m at a concert I feel young and free which is harder to do when you’re dressed like a suburban mom.
When I got to my girlfriend’s she was wearing leggings. And of course she looked cute. Not like a suburban mom at all. (Maybe because she isn’t one.) I decided to change into mine. Fuck it. Be comfortable. I reminded myself nobody cares what I’m wearing.
When we got to the beach it was actually kind of hot so we changed into our shorts in the car. As we walked into the show I saw a guy on his cellphone who looked exactly like Jake Owen. As we passed him, I mentioned it to Simmah. She said she didn’t see him. She’s the one who really loves Jake Owen, so if it was him she would have noticed. Plus that’s crazy – he wouldn’t be in the parking lot at his own show.
We’d picked up lunch on the way, but since there was no outside food or drink allowed, we sat outside the entrance to finish our sodas (or rather the Costco trailer trash margaritas we’d poured into our soda cups).
As we were sitting there the dude I saw on the phone walked onto the tour bus.
Do you understand what just happened? It was Jake Owen.
So, not only did I have a chance of getting a selfie with Jake Owen at his own concert in the parking lot, I had a chance to get a selfie with Jake Owen at his own concert in the parking lot before my hair frizzed and I started piling on the mom clothes and still looked cute. But I blew it. I suck.
We went into the show. There was a huge stage with an open pit to stand in with a designated area for beach chairs behind it. In the back there were vendors, a smaller covered stage, and a mechanical bull riding pen. We set down our chairs, settled in for the day. I felt a little sorry for Jake hiding on that tour bus all day. The weather was perfect. The people watching was prime, so I took in the fashion show. Perfect-bodied twenty-somethings in thong bikinis. Daisy Dukes and cowboy boots (yes, cowboy boots – on the beach). Cute little rompers. (Who wears a romper to a nine hour show when your only bathroom option is an outhouse?)
Then, I saw these shoes.
Did they know where they were going? A concert, yes, but we were on the beach! That was when I laughed at myself. Who cares what I was wearing? The weather was beautiful, the music was great, I was spending the day with one of my best friends and we had a day drinking margarita buzz. Everything was perfect.
Around 6:00 it started to cool down. We changed back into our leggings. (Yes, in the outhouses, which were plentiful and surprisingly not that gross.) I put on my mom jacket. I even traded my flip flops for tennis shoes because my foot was flaring up again. You know what? I didn’t care.
We headed over to the pit before Jake took the stage. (And really, when you’re smashed in with all those people nobody can see what you’re wearing anyway.) When Jake took the stage I sang along.
“Never gonna grow up (Whoa-oh)
Never gonna slow down (Whoa-oh)
We were shinin’ like lighters in the dark
In the middle of a rock show (Whoa-oh)”
Oh yes. Yes, I was.