Music is my second language.
Some of my earliest memories? They're of my mom, at an aerobics class called "Jump" in the basement of some brown and beige church, exercising to A-Ha's Take On Me and Tears for Fears in pink Reebok high-tops.
I listen to music, but also, it listens to me — without talking back like my three-year-old. If I want to sing and dance to Sia's Chandelier, music doesn't care. That's what music is for. If I want to put on something really sad and melancholy while I write in my journal, I know I can find the perfect song in a heartbeat. Music is always there for me.
I know you get what I'm saying, because music is a universal language — we all have these stories.
Music was the first lie I told. Not like a "wasn't me" lie, but a real, BUSTED, you're in trouble kind of lie.
I was probably six years old, and I was over at a friend's house after school. Her mom had put some Whitney Houston on — maybe the same peach-colored 1985 cassette tape my dad had — and my friend mentioned that Whitney Houston was the first concert she'd ever been to. (Concert? I was probably thinking. What the heck is that?) But I couldn't help myself — it just came out: "Me too," I said. And instantly I felt the sting of guilt. Whatever notions I had about going to a concert were big and scary; I had zero interest in going to some "concert" thing, and my parents certainly weren't going to pay for it. That "me too" was a big fat lie just because I wanted to feel cool too.
My friend's mom had overheard.
I spent the entire rest of our play date praying that she wouldn't say anything to my mom. But I swear, it was like the second she walked in the door.
"Oh, Lexie tells me you guys went to a Whitney Houston concert too?" It's like she knew I was lying and just wanted to flush out the lie.
My mom cocked her head and frowned. (It wasn't the last time I'd see that look.)
We talked about it, about lying, but I was too young to really be punished for it. It just turned me, forever — I still quote George Washington's "I cannot tell a lie." All because of Saving All My Love For You.
The punchline? About six years later, a different friend and her family took me to my first concert, and it wasn't scary at all — it was Whitney Houston, for The Bodyguard World Tour. (And it was terrible!)
What was your first concert experience like? I shudder to think what my kids will be into when they're old enough to know what a "concert" is!
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