Every once in a while Linda and I have a “theme” weekend. The themes tend to be whatever bullshit idea is running through my head on a Friday afternoon at about quitting time. Sometimes the idea comes forth during happy hour and is somewhat influenced by the consumption of the chosen liquid.
About a month ago, I decided we would do “back-ass-ward weekend.” Meaning Linda and I did the exact opposite of what we would normally do. It was my homage to George Costanza regarding the Seinfeld episode where he did everything the opposite in dealing with dating women. It was quite successful for him. Let me give you an idea of what went down. We usually go somewhere in Dallas that is pretty high-end for brunch on a Saturday or Sunday. On that weekend we did the opposite, we found a dive down on Industrial Blvd., 3 blocks down from the Dallas County jail. We sat at our booth and watched the prostitutes walk by as we waited on our eggs. The place was called, “My Mother’s Daughter’s Diner.” It was fantastic and I highly recommend the place….just don’t wear heavy make-up and spandex and you should be fine.
When my mother was alive I did the same thing with her. Every once in a while I would tell her to pencil me in for her entire weekend. I would take her anywhere in the state of Texas that she wanted to go…and sometimes we played the theme game too. I did the “back-ass-ward” theme with her one Saturday in Dallas. Now normally with Jewel, I would take her to the Dallas Arboretum, or the parks to look at flowers, or the women’s museum. But that was all out on this particular day….she had to agree to do things she had never done before.
We started the day at the Majestic Theater for a special concert with Lilly Tomlin. She was doing her one woman show called “The Search for Signs of Intelligent LIfe in the Universe.” Jewel had never been to a comic show where someone just stood in the middle of the stage and talked. She remembered Tomlin from the TV show Laugh-In, but this was a definite stretch for her….a true opposite thing for her to do. At one point in the show Jewel turned to me and said, “I guess she doesn’t appeal much to men?” I broke out laughing….I was out, but Lilly was still in the closet, for all of those that couldn’t see the forest for the trees! “She must be a feminist,” mother said.
From the Majestic, we ventured to the south-side of Dallas and ate a nice dinner of true soul-food. Fried chicken, collard greens, grits, corn bread….we had a feast. And we met some wonderful people at a little shack that never in a million years did we believe we would ever have stopped….save for back-ass-ward Saturday.
It was about 7:45pm and we were going to head westbound back to Fort Worth, when we passed the State of Texas Fairgrounds. On the flashing marquee for the outside amphi-theatre it read, “LIVE TONIGHT: CROSBY, STILLS, AND NASH.” I had wanted to see them my whole life and did not know they were playing Dallas that night. I looked over at Jewel, who had NEVER been to a rock concert before and said, “How serious are you about being back-ass-wards?” Jewel’s reply, “Let’s do it!!!”
We parked the car and I illegally (opposite) bought two tickets from a scalper after walking down a side road two blocks. I was a police officer at the time and had a duty weapon strapped to the inside of my right ankle. (before you start thinking I had lost my mind) I jogged back to find Jewel standing at the entrance ready to rock on back to the 60s! We found our seats, about 16 rows back from the stage and took our places….we were just in time for the start of the show. The usual haze of smoke was hanging above us, as was the unmistakable smell of weed. Jewel asked what songs they sang, so I gave her my best effort of a short medley: Suite Judy Blue Eyes, Woodstock, Ohio.…oh, oh, okay…I know those guys she said, “I am going to get a drink.” My back-ass-wards trick of the day was surely bringing my 70-year-old mother to a rock concert.
As she stood to go get a drink, a guy seated behind me, with his two friends, also got up. He looked at me and asked if I could watch their stuff while they went for a beer run. Jewel took it upon herself to shout to the young men above the crowd noise, “you can trust my daughter watching your stuff, SHE IS A COP!” And with that she turned and walked away. What she didn’t see was a mad frantic rush ALL around me…five rows in every direction, hiding, stuffing, eating….”things” were moving and disappearing. I sat there alone and all I could do was just laugh.
Jewel returned with two drinks and some popcorn. She was alarmed when she saw the rest of our row now vacant and the guys behind us gone with their stuff. What happened she said, “did they cancel the show?” No Jewel, they just decided to try to go closer to the stage for a better view. Jewel and I sat on an empty row of an otherwise packed amphitheater and enjoyed a killer show, without smoke nearby to choke us.
I encourage you to have a theme weekend for you and your significant other. It can be back-ass-wards, or have an ethnic theme, sports theme, whatever you like. They sure can create fun and some great memories…and they get you outside of your box. We can all stand to venture out of our routines from time to time. IF you find your weekends are looking similar, then take my advice and go for it.
That was a good day. That was the day I drove back home to Fort Worth with a senior citizen loudly singing Marrakesh Express in my right ear and wishing I hadn’t eaten the greasy fried-chicken. As I dropped my mother off at her house, she turned and told me, “How stupid do you think I am Julie, I knew my comment would make those kids scatter. I wanted more elbow room for the show!” About a month later she made me take her to see Neil Diamond….she leaned over to me and said, “now THAT’S a singer!” As we got up to go, we were walking up the steps of the old Reunion Arena in Dallas…I yelled, “make way senior citizen coming through!” All the people in front of us parted like the Red Sea…..red as in my mother’s face. Jewel punched me in the back as I turned to tell her, “now we are even.”