big expectations

This post is about boys, and music.

Recently (the past two days of my life), I worked the Merch table for this guy Josiah Leming. He had two shows in Michigan, and I sold his Tees and stickers and CDs, etc, for him while he was here. It was a really cool/great experience: getting let in (for free!) through the side door (or creepy dark alley,   whatever the case might be), getting to hang out with Josiah, meeting fans who appreciate his music like I do, feeling like a part of something really amazing (if only a tiny, brief, part).

During my time working at the shows, I began to notice something.

When girls go to a concert/show to see a band/singer they really like, they dress nice. Right? Yeah. That’s an obvious statement if you’re a woman, or just a slightly observant human being. Why? Well, because they probably want to like, talk, to the band/singer, and/or get a picture, and even if they don’t plan on doing those things, you know, that band/singer might like look at them, and they want to look good if so.

But that’s not the only reason. You, yes you, think that by looking really cool/cute/sexy, that person will know you. Or, that band/singer will notice you. They’ll know that you’re alive. They’ll see you, only you, out there in the middle of the crowd, or when you go up to have them sign something, and they’ll see you.

I saw this desperation. I saw all the skirts and makeup and smiles. I saw this yearning for something more.

And it killed me! I couldn’t stand it! Was I doing that, too? Was I just another girl who thought she was important to these people in some way? That because I was selling shit for Josiah, or smiling at the really attractive drummer, therefore I meant something to them, automatically? That we were buddies?

You know, band members are, like, real people.

So – you know that guy friend of yours, who you’ve known for a while, and you had to like, build a relationship or friendship with them, and that took time, maybe years, maybe months? Remember how you had to get to know a person over a period of time, and your friendship or relationship wasn’t formed in four minutes of talking and smiling and looking pretty?

I know, I understand, why people do this. Because you wait so long to see this person/band, you follow along with their career, and their Facebook statuses, and their tweets, and you kind of feel like you know them a little bit. And maybe you do. But most of people’s lives aren’t posted on the internet. Between each tweet, they are living their life. They are doing things, and going places, and meeting people, that you don’t know about. At concerts, or shows, they are doing their job, and you are just their customer. Honestly. They love you, they appreciate you for coming out and supporting them, but not as the person that you truly are. They don’t know you! You don’t know them! You can smile, and wink, and hand them your number on a scrap of paper, but that doesn’t change the facts. You can’t become a part of their world after one night, after four minutes (or, for me, after two days). It takes time to build relationships. It takes time and effort from both sides.

Fame is so strangely one-sided. It has to be, by definition. Maybe that’s not fair, that they can be so exclusive. That’s how the world is.

How about when you talk to a stranger on the street, say hello, or that you like their shirt – and then you leave them. They’re gone, out of your life. But it doesn’t bother you, does it? You didn’t know them before you met them. You didn’t get all dolled up for that one minute meeting. It didn’t matter so much to you.

I’m not saying that there’s a cure for this. This is what (partially) makes concerts so popular to attend, so exciting. The chance. Finally! This person/band will get to meet you! There will be a moment in their life where you were in it, where you stood next to them as they signed your shirt, as you took a photo with them with a group of your friends. There will be photographic evidence, and memories! Who knows what could happen?

I got to experience so many of those four-minute-moments first hand. I saw all these lovely people wanting something more out of their concert-going experience. They wanted understanding. They wanted attention. They wanted relationships (of likely varying degrees).

But concerts aren’t magical. Not really. What they are is really talented people showing off their talent and having a good time, which can easily be confused for magic. Those things you want out of concerts? You are not going to get them. Not totally. Not satisfyingly.

It’s best to just enjoy the music.

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