Wearing a coconut bra is good for the soul.
aging , Atlanta - June 11, 2012 - 6 Comments
I’ve got so much in common with Jimmy Buffett. He and I grew up in the same town – Mobile, Alabama. We both went to Auburn. I’ve been to most of the haunts he sings about. I share his love of the sunshine, the Gulf Coast, and of course, good seafood. That wonderful seaside ‘have-fun’ attitude is as much a part of my DNA as it is his.
We are both ‘water people’ – a term I coined for people who grow up in coastal towns. Water folk are different, I swear. We have different spirits. The water, the salty air, the sand between our toes does something to our brains. Enjoying life is important to us.
I’ve always wanted to hear Jimmy Buffett in concert, but never got around to it. The job, paying bills, cleaning out that closet, carpooling, and PTA meetings . . . I let the ‘must-dos’ – the seriousness of life – get in the way, take precedent.
Shame on me.
For an early birthday gift, my sister surprised me, flew in from Maine, and invited a few of my good friends to attend his concert here in Atlanta. We packed a light dinner, some margaritas, a few Coronas, some chips and dip. Oh, and a shaker of salt. She brought leis and pirate eye patches. Off we went to Lakewood Amphitheater, a venue I’d never visited other than to dutifully pick up a car full of teenagers.
I’d heard about Parrotheads, but was not at all prepared for the cult following I witnessed. Parrotheads seem to be fairly normal people who have a streak of madness running through them. I’m sure most of these people have regular Monday through Friday, 9-to-5 jobs. They spend their days raising kids, cutting their grass, paying their bills, you know, all the regular stuff we all do. But when a Jimmy Buffett concert comes within 100 miles, they transform into fun-loving, music-loving people who remember how to enjoy life. They make it a priority.
One family of 50 rented a luxury bus for the evening. Another group brought in sand to cover the entire floor of their tented area. They set up a full bar for all to enjoy. Another had a pirate ship built to fit on top of their pick-up truck. No, these weren’t teenagers. These were people who we hope are nearing maturity . . . like 50- and 60-year olds! Some 70.
At 65, Jimmy Buffett was an inspiration. He sang for a solid three hours last night, without one single break. After 40+ years, he still seems to love what he does and that is making people happy. His message is that it’s ok to let go, pour ourselves one too many margaritas once in awhile, dress up in silly costumes, make fools of ourselves, laugh at life . . . staying “one step short of the jailor.”
Being a water person, I should know that. Where did I get so caught up in routine, in job, parenting, volunteering . . . that I forgot how to have fun?
Thank you, dear sister, for such a wonderful evening. But more important than the surprise, thank you for the reality check.
I needed that.