A Night Out With The Girls!

Dara LevanBlog8 Comments

The night began with a conversation reminiscent of high school. The topic: Where to eat dinner. My hi-tech friend, Lola, brilliantly suggested linking our calls as we drove. We interrupted one another during the three-way chat because we had to figure this out quickly. The defining difference? We are all in our 40s and using cell phones rather than land lines.

“I thing we’ll be late and rushed if we go to that other restaurant,” I said to Lola. “I want time to hang with you and Deb. We haven’t seen each other in a long time.”

“I totally agree—I was thinking the same but Deb already made a reservation at another restaurant,” said Lola. Deb asked,  “Where should we go? We need to figure this out now.” She was right. The show started in 90 minutes. 

We yapped while attempting to find a closer restaurant to the concert hall. We decided to try Doc B’s and fretted when there was no parking. Deb had witnessed a horrible accident on her way to meet us, and I was grateful she was safe. Our much anticipated evening had begun with blunders and indecision. I was already entertained.

The young fellow at the bar said, “What can I get for you, ma’am?” That. Word. Again. Our cool factor had just plummeted. Truth be told, we were all feeling rather chic in our jeans (with comfortable, stretchy fabric, of course), I-phone watches, and I was even wearing a leather backpack! We laughed as we all began to realize the first of several shifts from our teen years to now.

We coincidentally sat down in a booth near a group of women we knew. They generously offered their menu recommendations and declared that “omg the cauliflower is to die for.” We were of course concerned about being late, missing the opening song, and parking.

Our waiter looked barely old enough to legally work; I could’ve been his mother! He was thankfully patient and certainly amused by our ordering process. Here’s a sample of what this zen guy endured: This dish looks yummy but can you please make it gluten free? And I also do not eat nightshade vegetables. (I was NOT going to further torture the young dude by explaining the connection to lectins and inflammation.) 

The food was fab, and we jumped from topic to topic like frogs hopping onto lily pads. We covered a year in an hour and a half. We talked about our kids, families, and work in between bites and “mmmmm, this is amaaaazing.”

The next debate: Do we Uber the few blocks? Do we take one car? Would we get towed if we abandoned our innocent SUVs near the clearly marked signs “parking for Fresh Market customers only.” I again giggled about our conversation. High schoolers wouldn’t even think twice. I checked with the manager, being the rule follower as always. He warned me it was risky. We decided to “chance it” anyway and took one car to the venue.

After parking the car, which was nowhere near the building, we walked together and wondered if we’d find it after the show. We headed directly to the already busy bathroom. My restroom experience warrants its own paragraph (or multiple).

As usual, there were four times as many women as there were toilets. I opened the door and was instantly wedged between multiple bodies. Lovely. I really needed the facility. I caught a glimpse of the toilet. It looked smaller and lower than the ones from kindergarten! I am not exaggerating.

So it was finally my turn. I silently noted to myself how a squat over this particular contraption would be a leg workout. Shame I didn’t have weights with me to complete the training session. Flushing with my foot while not slamming against the barely-latched door proved to be an abdominal exercise. As I washed my hands, I remarked to the next person to prepare herself for potty boot camp.

She looked at me while simultaneously grabbing paper towels. With a smirk, she said, “Oh no, no, no. I am a mother now. Since giving birth, I cover — I don’t hover.” I am STILL roaring. It was one of the best lines I’ve ever heard. I wish I knew her name so I could give her credit!

We sat in our seats. Lola immediately noticed and commented on the “wonderful leg room.” I appreciated it, too. Who wants to be smushed and squashed while attending a show? For the umpteenth time, I noted the distinct difference in a high school concert (or mosh pit) experience versus now. I also glanced at my phone. My daughter was texting me and asked that I try to video some of her favorite songs. It was a powerful moment as I realized my teen deeply connects with this dynamic duo, too. 

The Indigo Girls moved my soul Friday night–they always have and always will. I’ve seen them at least 10 times. And their unfiltered, soulful sound and melodious harmony continues to embrace my being like a soothing bath. Reminiscing with my college roommate to my left and my high school friend to my right made this particular concert one I will never forget.

As I sang with the audience, who was thankfully rhythmic and relatively on pitch, I thought about how each phrase has such profound meaning. I reflected on the words of “Galileo:”

“And now I’m serving time for mistakes 
Made by another in another life time
How long ’til my soul gets it right 
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light
I call on the resting soul of Galileo king of night vision
King of insight”

The themes, stories, and images the songs conjure remain relevant. As I evolve, the songs’ context changes, deepens, and expands due to my life experiences. Each song triggered memories that were “poetry in motion.”

The Indigo Girls reach me and others on the planet with their pure, raw, and honest music. They don’t resort to deafening amplification, vocal modification, or obnoxious outfits. Their messages of justice, truth, and compassion powerfully enlighten listeners through their ballads and folk rock.

They are true to themselves, which is refreshing in an age of superficiality and self absorption. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers “multiply life by the power of two” with contrasting voices–one edgy and one angelic. They always pause during their performances and speak from their hearts. They encourage the audience to sing with them—it’s a collective concert of connection. 

Amy and Emily have been singing, writing, and creating together for more than 30 years. What an incredible testament to not only their creative kinship, but also who they are as individuals. Whether it’s during high school, college, my early 20s or now, the Indigo Girls continue to resonate with my spirit. And I’m grateful for my two long time friends Lola and Deb–my “girls”– who also bring such light to my life. 

“And when you’re learning to face
The path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while.”
–Excerpt from “Watershed”

8 Comments on “A Night Out With The Girls!”

  1. Your story brought me back to our college days – dancing and singing to their awesome music! Sounds like you had a blast ?

  2. I so enjoy your stories and writing. It’s as if I was there with you and re-living the precious times together with your close friends! xo

    1. Thanks for reading, Dot! You can, if you’d like, read all of the past blogs at everysoulhasastory.com
      Big hugs of gratitude!

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