Have you ever experienced a moment when you seriously thought you would never smile again? You think that nothing can turn that frown upside-down, but something happens that makes you realize that that is an absurd way to go about your life. This is exactly what happened to Amanda and me on August 25, 2012 in Danbury, CT.
One week prior we experienced the saddest event of our summer. Hyannis Sound held their final show of the summer, and there wasn’t a dry eye in attendance. We had gone to the final show the previous year and knew that it was going to be sad, but we weren’t quite prepared for how hard it was going to be to say goodbye to the many people we had grown so close to throughout this short 10 week span of time. We had attended every show on Mondays and Fridays for the entire summer (with the exception of the Friday we were in Mississippi) and a few other special shows that happened to pop up on other days of the week. The final show marked our 20th Hyannis Sound show that summer. We knew it was going to be hard not to go to the Cape the following Monday like we had become so accustomed to doing. We were sad and zombielike for the entire week despite distractions like new teacher orientation and tutoring at Sylvan. Many people noticed our change in demeanor and were all too kind to point out how sullen we looked all the time.
Saturday snuck up on us, or maybe we were just oblivious to it while we walked about in our sullen stupor, but either way we both agree that this Straight No Chaser show was the one we have been the least prepared for… ever. Amanda had to babysit that morning and then she would be driving to my parents’ house (where I was dog sitting) to collect me before heading onward to Connecticut. Amanda sent me a text message when she was on her way, and I made sure I was sufficiently ready for the night’s festivities. I knew she would be arriving in about an hour and a half, so I had plenty of time to ready myself. Around the time I suspected Amanda would be pulling into my driveway, I received another text message from her that said that she was about to “murder a cowboy and it was all my fault.” You see, Country Fest was going on at Gillette Stadium and causing A LOT of traffic. Amanda deemed this my fault because I happen to be a fan of country music and had attended the concert the previous night. I graciously apologize for being so inconsiderate and continued to wait patiently for her arrival.
She finally made it to my parents’ house and we began our journey toward Connecticut. As we made our way onto the Mass Pike, the look on both of our faces was one of disbelief. There before us was yet another wall of traffic. This had to be some kind of joke. As we slowly approached the first rest area, we realized that there was some sort of event going on there. We took a few minutes to stop and see what was going on. All of this traffic had made us realize we were starving, so we figured we might as well stop. Much to our amusement and disbelief, there was a farmer’s market going on at the rest area…complete with live chickens. This was beginning to be too crazy to be funny, but we couldn’t help but laugh about this outlandish situation.
Upon exiting the rest area, the traffic appeared to clear and we made it to Danbury without any other obstacles to hurtle and plenty of time to spare. We found the nearest Dunkies…coffee was a necessity at this point, and navigated our way to the venue (with only a few moments of feeling we had absolutely no idea where we were going). We successfully parked in the parking lot of the college campus the venue resided on, and sat in Amanda’s car for a while. We had some time before the venue opened, and Jenn had our tickets, so now seemed like a perfect time to continue wallowing. We literally sat in the car, listened to Hyannis Sound, and reminisced about some of our favorite moments from the summer. I’m not going to say there were tears, but we were definitely making ourselves sad despite the excitement of seeing SNC in a few short hours (what an oddity and true mixed emotion feeling).
|The water added something|
The time finally came to meet up with Jenn to get our tickets, and we left the car and our sadness behind. The venue was outdoors which led to a lot of bugs, and a stage that was floating creating a moat between the stage and the audience. The guys visibly had a blast onstage, we were visibly moved by more songs than usual (Fix You stands out in my mind…it was so emotional despite seeing it performed many times before this show), and the show felt like it was shorter than normal (which it probably wasn’t, but we weren’t ready for it to end). During the group introductions, Walt announced that they were going to be at Mohegan Sun in December, and we got super excited! We had come to terms with the fact that we wouldn’t be seeing the guys this fall with the exception of the cruise, and this announcement literally blew our minds. The smiles that had been sneaking onto our faces throughout the show had finally reached perma-grin status!
The show came to an end (much to our dismay) and we went to say goodbye to Blake. We expected this would be the last time we would see him for quite some time (which thankfully ended up not being true). As we approached him, he tried to call security on us. We feel so loved, Blake. He reassured us that we would be seeing him around and we took his word for it. We let Blake go back to work, and made our way to the very long meet and greet line. While in line, venue staff made their way by offering us refreshments of chips and sandwiches. We kindly declined the offer, but were quite amused by the notion of feeding the waiting guests.
We made it to the signing table and were instantly harassed by Jerome. He began mocking our love of Hyannis Sound by repeatedly exclaiming, “OOO Hyannis Sound!” He told Mike that they (SNC) were now our second favorites and asked us how we handled going 6 days without seeing each other (the longest span of time Amanda and I had gone the entire summer without seeing each other…crazy, I know). We explained that Hyannis Sound filled a hole in our hearts when we didn’t get to see them as much this summer. Mike seemed to be understanding of this fact; however, Jerome was resistant to the logic. I told him that he was cut off and could no longer look at our tweets. He was emitting too much jealousy.
Ryan then scolded us and told us he was waiting on blogs. We told him we’ve been busy. Tyler inquired “aren’t you guys teachers?” Yes we are…does that mean we can’t be busy in the summer? He asked us what grades we teach. Amanda said 4th, which he was accepting of, and then he asked what I taught and I told him 7th grade. He seemed surprised and then said, “I was a jerk in 7th grade.” We then explained we had been busy because we had been spending time with Hyannis Sound (this was forced upon us because Jerome kindly yelled back down the line “OOO Hyannis Sound”). Tyler then exclaimed “What were you doing with them?!” Is that more jealousy I hint?
Ryan and Tyler then asked how we really had been, and we told them that this had been the worst week ever. We had been so sad. They seemed confused and we told them it was Hyannis Sound’s final show. Tyler reminded us that he had told us not to go to the final show because it’s sad. I told him I cried the whole time and he said “Me too,” but then clarified that he cried at his two shows, not the most recent one (that would have been weird).We were prompted to keep moving down the line and made our way toward Randy as Seggie yelled, “How about those Red Sox.” Amanda got caught up in a conversation with him, and Randy looked at me and said, “Hey watch the Tyler throw.” Randy was signing a t-shirt and explained that Tyler would throw the one he was signing on top of his. It happened, I laughed and said; “Tyler isn’t even paying attention” (he promptly turned around to talk to a guy behind him). Randy laughed and said, “Nope, that’s just Tyler.” At this point I joined the baseball talk with Seggie, Don and DR, which had turned from friendly baseball chit-chat to more serious topics like contracts and money. Amanda and I looked at each other and then looked at the guys with a look of “yeah, you lost me.” I blatantly just stated, “This is all jibberish.” Seggie laugh and yelled “Chowda and Havhid”… now we’re back on track.
As I moved down toward DR, the woman behind us became impatient and began pushing me along (rude!). We briefly said hi to DR and told him it was like being on a moving sidewalk. He laughed as we stopped by Walt, who was singing, and made it a point to talk to him about Mohegan Sun. He needed to know that we got so excited when he told us. His response was, “oh was that not announced yet? Maybe I should have waited.” Charlie put his mind at ease and said that his announcement was fine because they had met with the PBS people earlier that day and everything was confirmed. He then told us Randy informed him that tickets for that event would go on sale the first week of September, but he wasn’t sure if that was true. We’re holding you to your word, Mr. Mechling, and it’s not nice to throw Randy under the bus like that.
|Us with Blake!|
We exited the meet and greet line and waited to see if pictures would be done (no one was really quite sure, but there was no way we were leaving without confirmation from Richard). We took this opportunity to break into song…our logical song choice was Call Me Maybe (duh). During this time we noticed a lull in the meet and greet flow so we went and leaned up against the barricade in front of Seggie. We told him he looked bored. He talked to us for a bit while waiting for the people to get to him (blaming Mike for the holdup). Ryan made faces and crazy poses in our direction (I had no idea what he was doing and he laughed at my confusion). Jerome yelled at us some more and I believe he even stuck his tongue out at us (how rude). Tyler got up and was ready to go despite people still in line. Some seriously funny events happen as the meet and greet line starts to come to an end, and I made a mental note to try and pay attention to this more often.
As Jerome walked away from the table he became a Hyannis Sound Cheerleader by cheering “Give me an H, Give me a Y…” We kindly obliged until we got tripped up on the N. He shook his head at our craziness. Blake sauntered by and we (and a few of the other Chasers) took this time to snag him for some pictures. Richard then informed us that we had 5 minutes to do group pictures so we had to be efficient and quick. We took up the rear of the group picture line. When it was our turn, Tyler said, “Come on, Boston. Move it.” He then apologized and said he wasn’t trying to be mean (that must have been due to the look we gave him). I told him it was fine. Everyone else had been mean to us, he might as well too (If you read about the meet and greet convos, which I assume you did if you’re reading this, you should be inclined to agree with this statement). He then tried to soften the blow by saying that he always appreciates our “glowy garb”. Thanks, Tyler. While talking the picture Jerome continued with his Hyannis Sound banter and Tyler told me that he also likes taking pictures with us because we make him feel tall. The only response I could muster was “Oh thanks,” he laughed and said “I know, right.” I guess he was back to being mean.
We said our goodbyes and made our long hike back to our car. As we were walking, cars of SNC guys drove by us. Jerome honked the horn of the car he was driving and yelled out the window, “OOO Hyannis Sound!” Ryan rolled down his backseat window and yelled, “Help!” This sent us into a fit of laughter and created smiles that were difficult to erase from our faces. We breathlessly made our way to the car and made the two hour journey home without any incidents. Our sadness had successfully disappeared, and our sights were set on the cruise we would be setting sail on in about a month with some of our best friends in the entire world!
Next up: Cruise blogs! Stay tuned...we're working on them, we promise.
Next up: Cruise blogs! Stay tuned...we're working on them, we promise.