One of the best days that I’ve ever had happened around 8 years ago this month.
The husband was The Boyfriend at the time. He and I had been together about 3 and 1/2 months. We had crammed a lot of relationship into those 3 and 1/2 months. We had broken up and reunited at least twice. We had fought and made up countless times. We had cried in each other’s arms, terrified at the breakneck speed that life seemed to be running at all of a sudden. We had been buddies and then suddenly lovers and at our feet was a messy puddle full of recent ex-lovers and confused friends.
But by March it felt like things might actually settle down. We managed to buy some tickets for the Washington, D.C. Weezer show and coordinated a caravan for the road trip. The boyfriend and I borrowed his mom’s old minivan since there was no way his Ford Escort would survive the trip. Our friend Paco was going to ride with us and our friend Andy was going to drive three other friends in his car.
We stopped at the store before leaving Pittsburgh to grab good road trip food, picked up Paco, and headed on our way.
The drive from Pittsburgh to D.C. isn’t too bad, but just long enough to potentially drain you of all energy. We kept each other going by making fun of people in other cars and giving our friends the finger when we passed them. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I remember that we listened to Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
We got lost outside of D.C. This was before GPS on iPhones and we were relying on an atlas, which is fine for general directions but not so great for finer details. We stopped at a couple of gas stations to ask for directions and employed some questionable maneuvers to turn ourselves around in the outskirts.
When we finally got to American University, we stumbled into the gym and stood amongst a sea of horn-rimmed glasses and old man sweaters. The sweaters soon disappeared since a gym is still a gym, whether there are basketball players or nerds present: hot and musty.
We endured one opening act (The Get Up Kids) and enjoyed another (Ozma) and in between danced and sang along to the music that they played over the sound system. “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” made everyone sing and dance and giggle.
In class rock show fashion, the lights finally went down and everyone started to cheer. Weezer played a snippet of a slow, sweet song in the dark until they switched to the unmistakable opening notes of “My Name Is Jonas.” I don’t think I can overstate how nuts everyone went.
For the next few hours, the audience sang along to all of the songs off of the blue album and Pinkerton. The boyfriend and I would catch each other out of the corner of our eyes and grin at each other, my friends and I would punch each other in the arm. Kids.
The band closed the show with “Only In Dreams.” I could feel the boyfriend behind me, wrapping his arms around me. In between molecules.
We drove back to Pittsburgh that same night, exhausted and happy.
At some point around that time, I got pregnant.
That trip and that concert always give me a feeling of “the last.” The last whirlwind road trip we took. The last big group outing. The last time that particular group of people acted goofy together. And, yeah, the last time Weezer was any good.
It sounds wistful, but it’s not. I’m just so glad that it happened at all, that I had that night and that I can remember it so clearly.