I’ve been going to see Brad Paisley in concert for about 4 years now. I think. It’s something like that.
It started small; Heather and I turned it into a girl’s weekend and took a trip down to North Carolina (incidently, I’m not sure how or why we picked North Carolina, we just did, and I’m glad. Because I just love NC.) Later that summer, we went to see him again in Delaware at the State Fair, and by that time, we were hooked. The next year we repeated the same pattern, only that time, Heather was pregnant, and far more, um, entertaining than usual. We skipped the year after that because she had just had the baby and was adjusting to mommy-hood. The next year, we included my sister Andrea and our other highschool friend, Emily.
This year, my friends, it blew up.
Not only was it Heather, Emily, Andrea and I. Oh no – we brought out the big guns. My brother and his girlfriend Nikole came, as did our other friend from highschool – Andrew, and his wife, Melonie. Eight people. But we didn’t just go to the concert together. Melonie’s family let us crash their beach house for the entire weekend. Eight people. In one beach house. For two-ish days. Surprisingly, no one left with claw marks or bruises (well, except for when Heather tripped Emily on purpose and sent her flying into the glass coffee table. But nothing broke.) There were no fights or people getting cussed out. It was surprisingly uneventful. Eight people. We should write a book on large groups getting along together in small spaces. Eight people.
The most exciting (or terrifying, but you know, semantics) event (besides the concert) occurred at the beach on Saturday. It was 4,647,284 degrees outside, and we spent a lot of time in the (arctic-temperatured) water. A lot. Except for Emily, who doesn’t get into any body of water unless its main ingredient is chlorine. After Saturday, I can’t say I blame her.
We were standing all leisurely-like in the water when I saw my sister gasp and her eyes grew to the size of dinner plates. Before I had a chance to think about asking her why she looked so freaked out, I was head-butted, really hard, in my thy by what I can only assume to be a shark. Not long after my encounter, he swam by Heather’s leg, and in spite of all of the stuff they tell you about sharks and what not to do, we panicked and began our flailing, frantic swim toward the shore. While the rest of our group stayed put in the water and looked at us like we were idiots. Idiots we may have been, but we were idiots who were alive. It took a little while to re-gain the desire to get back in the water, but we got back in. Apparently, 4,647,284 degrees is the precise temperature that justifies getting back into shark-infested waters. Who knew?
There were threats Sunday of tornados and gale-force winds at the concert, but fortunately, that little disaster never happened. Brad, as usual, was superb, and canijusttellyou? His opening acts were phenominal. Go check out Steel Magnolia and Easton Corbin (isn’t he cute?) they’re fantabulous!
I’ve mentioned this eleventy-bajillion times, but I’ll tell you again – Brad throws his guitar picks out into the audience during his performance. I have never. gotten. one. never. I’ve been to seven concerts, all in the front-ish section (within the first 6 or 7 rows) and have never gotten a guitar pick. NEVER. Are you sensing the depth of never yet? NEVER!
Something flew through the air, hit my sister in her shoulder and when she went to pick it up, there it was in all of its glory: Brad’s guitar pick. I couldn’t believe it. This was her 2nd concert, and the thing practically landed in her lap. She pocketed it and I continued through the rest of the concert hoping that one would fly my way too. It didn’t. But it was ok, I was ok. No big deal, right?
At the end of the night, after my sister and I parted ways, my cell phone beeped; a text message.
“Check the inside pocket of your purse. :) Love you!”
I did what I was told, and dontchaknow, my little pumpkin slipped Brad’s guitar pick in my purse when I wasn’t looking.
So, even though technically I still have never (NEVER Brad, are you reading? Next year I want you to sign one and hand it to me. Because clearly, you can’t aim worth a lick.) gotten a guitar pick, this one that was gifted to me is twice as special. Because even though I’m sure Andrea wanted it just as much as I did, she gave it to me. And even though at one point Brad had it in his hand, I will always think of my little sister when I look at it.