Freshly washed, shiny, and flat ironed hair swooshed past us. After a few outfit changes, a bit of lip gloss, and a quick dinner, my daughter yelled across the house, “Hurry up please–I don’t want to be late.” In response, I swallowed three Advil along with waves of nausea.
She’d been waiting to see Shawn Mendes for more than a year. Zoe loves to sing and has recently taught herself how to play the guitar. We’ve all heard her belting Shawn songs from upstairs. Zoe’s excitement emanated from her; she would finally attend her teen heart throb’s concert! I wondered how I’d make it through the drive to Miami and the entire show. Zoe chattered and shared trivia about her “omg he’s gorgeous” singer. I took more deep breathes.
We finally arrived at the American Airlines Arena. I exhaled relief and slowly exited the car. I could already sense the teen spirit vibe as soon as we parked. But I had no idea it would be like a modern—day Beatles audience.
A multi-step escape plan assembled in my foggy mind. Zoe still didn’t know I had a blinding, blearing migraine. Her heart throb awaited as my head throbbed with excruciating pain.
Our first stop was the long line to purchase overpriced tour-merch. As I waited, I looked at the playlist and thought “Mercy.” Ah. A perfect song for tonight. SOMEBODY please have MERCY on Me.
In the arena, every smell, fluorescent light, and sound seemed to be amplified. As we headed to our seats, I saw flashing lights on wrists. I tried to focus on the stunning, single rose planted in the middle of the arena. Then Shawn strutted onto the stage.
Zoe gazed at him with adoration and admiration. After the first song, I could understand why! He is talented, charismatic and a phenomenal performer. The teenager next to Zoe was literally crying. I wanted to join her for different reasons.
Despite the earplugs, I heard the shrieking and squealing of a high-pitch gaggle of teenagers. It brought me back to my Duran Duran, U2, and Police infatuations. I totally got it. But as the music pounded, so did my head. I think the three Advil stooges giggled inside me like “ha—nice try Chica! You should be in bed you fool!”
So after a stoic forty-five minutes, I excused myself. The lounge area had obnoxiously bright lights and music, too. Ugh! My entire being was on sensory overload. Then I went to the bathroom to hide. It was a bit better, but I got dizzy and seriously thought I’d be sick.
I was determined not to ruin my daughter’s night. I’d eaten at least thirteen ginger candies, guzzled four cups of water, and nothing was working. We ended up leaving just before the encore.
Zoe said, “OMG, did you look at Shawn’s biceps! Did you know he does yoga? And he’s only 20 years old!! How totally amazing is his voice?”
After the show, when we were all finally in our beds, Zoe sent us such a loving, appreciative text. Zoe also said I should’ve stayed home. She was right. But I wouldn’t have missed this moment for anything.