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The teen years are just one of a myriad of trials and customs that I confess I’m unaccustomed to generally, and those of teen girls in particular. Seemingly a millennia ago, I was a particularly dorky teen. This all but ensured I was all the more detached from any involvement in the habits of teenage girls even of my day.

Now, having one of these creatures living under my roof is an immersive experience that offers me both a front-row seat and a seemingly unlimited opportunity to support financially. On rare occasions, I’m permitted to do both things at once.

Easter Sunday was just such an event. Steeped in a tradition perhaps more important to me than the Teen Girl, I locked up the doors and windows after an intruder—that presumably took on gigantic bunny rabbit form — littered several rooms with plastic eggs, each containing treats and baubles. In due time, Teen Girl emerged from her chamber and dutifully collected those same eggs and was amused (actual or feigned, I may never know) by finding an assortment of Sour Patch bunny candy, a hodge-podge of coins totaling 73 cents and a bright pink amoxicillin tablet for a recent ear infection. 

Just another day of hijinx in the house visited by the hare.

By early afternoon, the gears shifted from a lazy Sunday to the frenzy of pre-concert preparations. Gone were the sleepy eyes of waking too early (which I’m told is anything before 10:30 a.m.), replaced by a manic state of make-up, re-selecting an outfit for the umpteenth time and anxiously asking about traffic conditions to San Francisco. Teen Girl also crafted an outfit to be worn by her Old Person (her term; I’d have chosen something a touch more edgy). 

She’s on a mission to get to the music in NOPA in San Francisco. (The alliteration of it being in the Mission District would have been better, but no one asked me.)

With an outfit finalized, a drive-and-dine dinner arranged and digital tickets acquired, it was time to go. Sixty minutes of monologue on the subtle genius of Daffo and the overlooked artistry of Sir Chloe filled the drive; both artists were performers playing this evening, neither of whom I’d heard of outside of my evening’s docent as she tried to educate me.

In my zeal to find parking, I nearly missed Google informing me of the venue’s lack of parking, despite being able to host 500 patrons. We arrived two hours early. Teen Girl was delighted to be just third in line even if the doors wouldn’t open for another two hours.

Driverless taxis expertly snaked through traffic as we watched, narrated by even more Sir Chloe commentary. The only break in the narrative was when orders were being given.

“We go in, and you find a spot at the edge of the stage. Just off of center.”

“Understood.  Which side off center?”

“To the right.”

“My right or the performer’s right?”

“Our right. Saying their right would be dumb, wouldn’t it?”

“As you wish.”  Because it’s never a bad time to include a homage to “Princess Bride.”

The doors opened, we split up according to plan and I stood guard over the front, but just off center to the right, of the stage. Looking around, I muse about how the venue will cram 500 people in this sold-out show. Not being the fire marshal, that also wasn’t my concern (and I had a straight shot to the fire exit, so that wasn’t my concern, either).

Daffo opened up first as we stood wedged between a lass I’ll call Abby, and “Sabrina” and her friend “Lulu.” Abby spent the entire opening act toggling airplane mode on and off as she frantically web-searched her concerns (“Can you go deaf standing next to a concert stage?,” “Does hearing come back?”, “What are those big things on the stage pointing to the singers?”).  

The answer to the last one is monitor speakers, or so I learned from Abby’s phone.

Sabrina and Lulu were more annoying to Teen Girl than anything. They tended to crowd those around them. Plus, they were given the set list from the first act despite confiding to one another that they’d never heard of them.

Sir Chloe came on stage in due time and Teen Girl was in her happy place. I wasn’t doing so bad myself, having donned silicone earplugs at the onset and heard most of the performance without all the excess noise.

Glancing around, I confirmed while I was vastly outnumbered by the Abby and Sabrina set, I wasn’t utterly alone. Here and there were a few other older dudes like myself who were also standing as though on guard at Buckingham Palace. Completely still and seemingly devoid of emotion, recognition or involvement. We’d occasionally make eye contact, sharing an unspoken bond of, “I see you; thank you for your service.”

The drive home was faster with less traffic, but no less animated. 

I would be lying if I said I’ll remember this show in a year beyond the few grainy photos I took on behalf of Teen Girl. Heck, I usually don’t even remember all four items on the shopping list on any given day between when I leave the house and arrive at Costco.

But Teen Girl will remember the Easter concert with Abby’s airplane mode, Sabrina’s crowding and her Old man who not once asked who these people were or why their music was so dang loud.

Paul George is the copy editor and a columnist for The Express. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @paulgeorgePIO.

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