by humanmama on July 27, 2011

I’ve never considered myself to be a big U2 fan. They are cool, but in a twangy-guitar playing,  leather-and-shades-wearing, loud Irish Rock Band way. And, I thought, the stuff of mostly white folks or people who grew up in more of the “U2/Berlin Wall 80’s” and not the “Bon Jovi/Big Hair 80’s.” So last night when my neighbor-friend had an extra ticket to the concert here in Pittsburgh, I said yes I would go, but not because it was my dream to be in the same city block as Bono. Mostly because I can’t remember the last time I had or thing I did away from my family.

(**And, for the record, if you recall, I was homeschooled and my parents started a church together, so I wasn’t really into U2 or Bon Jovi in the 80s. I was raised more in the “‘Psalty the Singing Songbook’ 80’s.” Yes, there is such a thing.)

On the way into town (I rode the subway–we Pittsburghers call it the “T” or the “Trolley,” thank you Mr. Rogers), I sat with another neighbor-friend and talked a little. It was great. I still couldn’t remember the last time I was without a member of my family.

Was it last year when I went to my dad’s house when my Uncle was dying? No, still family. Extended family, and my sister, and my dad, but still family. Also I wouldn’t call that the most relaxing experience. Awesome, and a great thing, very glad my sister and I went up. But certainly not something you’d do for fun.

I used to really treasure the times I could be alone. I would never have described myself as a “loner.” More of a party girl who loves people and who gets energy from a crowd. But as I’ve grown older, gotten married, had two children, pets, and a house, I realize there’s really not a lot of time that I’m alone.

Like, I’m talking, never.

And I treasure being alone. People think I like to be the center of attention sometimes, but I don’t. I like to be the one heckling the center of attention. I like to plan a huge party and then sit in the bathroom waiting for people to leave. I immediately get tired at holiday parties, and I have to remember, Hey! You’re a party girl! You love people! But it makes me so tired now, since I love to perform. I love to make people laugh and enjoy themselves, but I just don’t get a chance to recharge those batteries (by being by myself) very often.

I went to Michigan two years ago (or was it three? Yes, three, before Lilly) and my parents watched Helena while I stayed at a friend’s house, me and three college roommates and good friends from years ago, and that was awesome. But really, that couldn’t be the last time I was without any of my family, could it be?


Anyway, possibly because I haven’t been by myself in so long, and possibly because we don’t really go out very often, and probably because I absolutely love listening to live music, I had a Super Great Time at the U2 concert. Just me, and the 60+-thousand people who fit into Heinz Field. The last time I was there was for a Steelers Game, and that was the year I moved to Pittsburgh, 2001. Even though that seems recently, it was already a decade ago, folks!

I guess the best thing from the night, besides the band’s dedication to making the world better and also making really awesome stage set designs, was that I got a chance to remember those times, 10 years ago, fresh from college and new to the world, single and alone but not lonely, that I moved here. How much free time I had! And how I yearned for my life to “come together,” to find the right someone, to have a family, to put down some roots. I did all that! And I’m so glad!

But sometimes you just need to be alone to really appreciate it.

Thanks, U2. And, thank you, too.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess July 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm

“But sometimes you just need to be alone to really appreciate it.” Exactly. A concept, however, that’s so hard for a lot of people looking in from the outside and wearing different shoes to understand and not judge critically.

I can share with you without any accompanying shame and guilt, then, my plans for a mini vacation just for myself…the second weekend of August, just me in a hotel room down the street (probably up by Settlers Ridge), ALL BY MYSELF, for 2-1/2 days. That’s like a couple months in Standard Eastern Mom Time :)


aj July 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm

ooh, like light years! By then you might even miss the kids! Way to go.


holly weasel July 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Glad you enjoyed it! I saw them about a decade ago (we are old) and they were incredible. Also – subway?? What kind of a former Michiganander have you become?! :)


Chris N Rohrbach July 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm



DAD July 28, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Funny how we need to recharge- just like everyone else. And seldom do.

Glad you got to go!


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