Apparently, even after 25 years to this day, Emily the Groupie is not dead.
Oh yes, everyone … Emily apparently has some life in her just yet. At least after this past weekend, anyway. And what a weekend it was.
It started out innocently enough. Hubby & I drove to our Chicago apartment on Thursday night, knowing that we were going to see my favorite band, INXS perform Friday night at a casino just 20 minutes outside of the city center. As we drove around the parking garage Friday evening, Hubby pointed out the freight elevator at the far end of the structure. And as I looked over, we both noticed that the large elevator door was opening.
It was kind of a surreal moment, watching this group of people step out of the freight elevator; it almost appeared as if they were moving in slow motion. Actually, as I think about it now … it reminded me of the beginning of the 1982 “Don’t Change” video. What I hadn’t noticed — initially, anyway — was that it happened to be all the members of INXS. When it finally dawned on me, I was too stunned to do anything but smile and wave at them from inside our car. And I managed to get a big grin and wave from a couple of them.
Now … why didn’t I do the original “groupie” thing and jump out of the car at that time? I’m not sure. I think it was likely because I suddenly felt shy; felt intimidated by them. Which is ridiculous, right? Seeing that I managed to track them down a couple of times in my youth.
Except now, I was older. I had experienced things since those younger days. I was brave back then; not intimidated by doing silly things, not afraid to be different or unique in front of other people. Now … after experiencing sadness and disappointment, I had become afraid of rejection … of being laughed at or singled out.
I’d say that all of that sadness and disappointment and rejection (and not to mention, feeling isolated and and certainly singled out) came from my experience from Infertility, but the truth is, such emotions can come from a culmination of things. I say this now … after wrapping up my IF journey … only because when looking at everything that happened over the past year (loss of a job, birth of another new family member which didn’t come from me, the sudden loss of a parent, etc), I’ve felt every single one of those same emotions I did when in the depths of Infertility depression. Just not as intense.
Why am I telling you all this as I’m referencing my younger “groupie” days? Well, it goes back to that initial encounter in the parking garage before the show. And my mind telling me — based on my past experiences of sadness and isolation — that I would just be making more of a fool of myself be putting myself in the position to be possibly rejected.
My husband chided me for not “running” after them; saying that I should have been more aggressive. And it’s because of him that after the concert (and knowing exactly where the band would be exiting the venue) I found myself running up to the band and asking for a quick picture with them. While I originally got the standard “The band needs to hit the road” comment from their snooty band manager, two of the members took the time to take a picture with me. So yes … I was elated. And I felt myself gain a little more confidence in myself.
So flash-forward to the next day in Detroit, MI. (Yes … we did buy tickets for both locations. Don’t judge! ) After passing the band’s tour buses twice on I-94 back to our home in metro Detroit, we headed down to the Fox Theater for another night of great music. (In fact, if you ask my opinion … I’d say their Detroit performance superceded the Chicago show.) But seeing that I was in such a “lucky” streak, we took a couple of the band’s older vinyl records and an old photo from my first encounter with the band to get autographed.
At the end of the show (and with the little confidence I gained from my most recent encounter), Hubby and I hung around the back of the theater waiting for the band to surface. However; unlike the previous night where I had them all to myself, there was a crowd of other fans lingering around.
“Never gonna happen,” I thought; but since Hubby kept egging me on, we persisted.
Really, I only wanted one person’s signature. I wanted Andrew Farriss, the brains behind the band, to sign a photo of myself with my brother & LJC next to Michael Hutchence. I wanted that particular picture signed because — while Hutch was the main focus in this picture — the picture caught Andrew sitting quietly on a curb behind us in the background. To me, it’s such a serendipitous shot; especially since Hutch, Andrew’s songwriting partner and best mate, was always out front. While Andrew, the shy genius always avoided the spotlight. Since Hutch was no longer around, it just seemed appropriate that I try to get Andrew to sign my favorite photo. Besides, although I fancied Hutch to the nth degree … I secretly had a thing for Andrew; knowing that if we ever crossed paths and became friends, we’d have a lot more in common than I would ever have with Hutch.
I still had my doubts that I’d ever get that signature … especially since Andrew wasn’t one that liked crowds. That, and the little confidence I had from earlier seemed to be dwindling by the minute. But just as I was about to throw in the towel, I spotted an old HS friend who’s sister took us to one of the last INXS shows before “Kick” blew up. I think all of us had the same thought: that we’d never get the chance to talk to them. But now that I had friends to talk to, it made it worth my while to stay. In fact, within a half hour or so the tour buses left … as did the remaining crowd surrounding the theater.
Hubby had then left me alone conversing with old friends to get our car from the structure. While waiting for Hubby arrived with the car, HS friend and I stood talking amongst ourselves. A few moments later we noticed a flutter of activity next to us. HS friend nudged me and said, “There he is!” And a few feet in front of me stood Andrew Farriss. Stunned, but unwilling to allow myself to freeze up again — fearing that I’d be rejected again — I quickly walked up to him and told him my story about why I wanted this particular picture signed by him. And graciously, Andrew signed it.
Unfortunately, no stunning conversation or spark of friendship ever occurred from that encounter. Yet I felt extremely lucky and … happy. It’s something I’m just now realizing I wouldn’t allow myself to feel since the passing of my father 8 months prior. Even back then, I was only starting to allow happiness back in my life after a sh*tty year and after years of unresolved Infertility issues.
My happiness was something that apparently my Hubby noticed later that night. He smiled at me as I told him the story of what happened when he had left to pick up the car. When I finished he turned to me and said, “See? There’s the Emily that I remember. The one that I fell in love with the day we met.”
While I know our love is stronger now than it ever was back then, I couldn’t help but reflect on Hubby’s comment. I couldn’t help but remember who I was back before Infertility came into my world; before experiencing sadness and disappointment. And what I recalled was — despite teenage hormonal tendencies — I was a happy, free-spirit who loved meeting new people. And I loved having fun while experiencing new things. I was confident and daring; and I didn’t care what anybody thought of me.
And even though it had taken awhile to surface this past weekend, I realized a part of that Emily still existed inside. I understood that I could still be that same person I was so many years ago. I recognized that — despite thinking that the “groupie” part of me died many years ago — I was still, and will likely always be “Emily the Groupie.”
Hello. Meet Emily the Groupie …
Uhm … what’s my favorite band again?
Oh, Hutch … why? Why?!
Needing INXS tonight …
(Pssst … look over to the right for some awesome concert pics! –> )