Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bleacher Bums

My neck is stiff. My back is tired. I have a knot in my left shoulder, kind of toward the middle.

Anybody want to come work out those kinks for me?

How come I’m so stiff, you ask? I think the answer lies somewhere back on Sunday when I put my body through a grueling torture. Something akin to being in a prison camp cell, since I was confined to a very small space in less than comfortable conditions and was not allowed to leave.

Sunday was the annual high school music festival. Correction. The “Holiday” music festival. It’s held in the gym to accommodate all of the various music groups, but because the performers, which included three bands, two orchestras, and three singing ensembles, took the entire floor space of the gym, the only place for the parents to sit was . . . the bleachers.

*cue ominous music*

Three hours on a bleacher will indeed give you a stiff back, neck, and any other body part you’d like to mention here.

Don’t get me wrong, I love going to this concert. I’m a mom. Moms are supposed to love three hour long concerts given by 370 kids I don’t know and one kid I do know. It is for that one kid that I gladly sat on the bleachers last Sunday. The one kid I love with all my heart and wouldn’t miss hearing her play.

Unless, of course, my back was out and I was lying flat because of pain, which is exactly the situation B was in on Sunday. The man should never touch a shovel.

Believe me, I wouldn’t have traded places with B on Sunday. I would gladly suffer gulag-like conditions before I would want to have back pain like he has, so, really, no comparison.

He was feeling terrible about missing the concert, so he asked if we would please tape it for him. Naturally, the battery in our video camera hadn’t been charged since the kids use it for every school project imaginable, but we still had a few minutes of life left in it, so we took it with us. Maggie was my videographer because, while I thought I had a perfect view of Abby in the orchestra, as soon as the conductor stepped onto the podium I couldn’t see her. Why does this always happen? You’d think by now, after nine years of concerts and recitals, I’d figure out where to sit to get the best view, but I just haven’t worked that out yet.

So Maggie, who had a little better view than I did, taped the show. Well, only the parts that Abby was in. I don’t think B really wanted to see the boys group sing “Mr. Grinch” in a mystery key, even if it was just adorable and funny. Besides, remember the battery life? Not so much.

At the end of the concert, some friends we were sitting with slowly got up and stretched, probably letting the blood rush back into their legs and feet and toes. I had explained to them earlier that B was flat on his back and couldn’t sit on the bleachers that long, which was why we were taping the concert for him.

Our friends, who seriously questioned B’s “excuse,” had a great idea. They said that, in order for him to truly get the full effect of the concert, B should watch the tape in a 2 foot by 2 foot space, with his knees pressed up to his chest, sitting on a hard board with the heat cranked up to about 80 degrees.

For three hours.

Only then will he get the full concert experience.

Oh, and good news! There's another concert tonight! This one at the Middle School. Pray for me.


  1. #1 My empathy is extended to B because I know what back pain is like and it stinks.

    #2 I know of that which you speak sitting on bleachers for a concert. I will be there tomorrow evening.

    #3 I know why we do it. So glad we have kids to love!

  2. Well, in defense of B, sitting all cramped up would probably just mess up his back even more. My husband has back problems, and the worst pain I’ve seen him in was just after sitting in a cramped space watching my brother in an opera.

    And yes, I do mean to imply that nothing good can come from opera. :)

    I hope B feels better soon!

  3. Oh, this is funny, because I just did this this afternoon. I was at Saratoga watching the 3rd-5th grade Christmas Concert. Although, it wasn't as crowded and only an hour and a half...my back was KILLING me!!! It took me 14 years to finally get a seat where I could see the one and only face I really want to see:-) My grandson did a great job singing his little heart out.

  4. Ah, tis the season for concerts and recitals and plays and ballets and such! So on top of everything else you have to get costumes and uniforms ready, work dinner into an already crazy schedule, charge the batteries on the camera (I always mess that one up), put the hair up in some French bun type thing like you know what you're doing, and get the perfect gift for the piano teacher. Madness, but we love it!

  5. Man, really want to know how can you be that smart, lol...great read, thanks.