Writing Wrongs

August 16, 2005

Segment one of my American Idols Live concert report.

So the evening started out nicely. Andrew and I went to Target for treat-bag stuffers for his birthday party the next day. Then we had dinner at Arby’s. The gentleman had the regular roast beef. I had a beef ‘n cheddar.

When we reached St. Paul, I had some misgivings. On our way to the Excel Energy Center, we walked through Rice Park, where there was a large group gathered. Andrew tugged on my wrist after we passed. “Mommy, did you see that?” he asked. “That mom was smoking right in front of a stroller and the toddler was coughing!”

Andrew’s a sensitive kid and these things upset him. And I’m left trying to explain why some parents would do something like this. But as we approach the Excel, he starts dragging his feet and lagging behind. Something’s wrong.

Then I discover it: all the kids streaming into the Excel, with parents in tow, are elementary school girls, no doubt those who think they’re “all that.” And Andrew mutters, “There aren’t any boys, Mommy.”

I assure him there will be, and then start hoping like crazy there will be.

There are. Once we get inside, there are tons of kids, although the elementary school girl demographic is out in full force. We take in all the stuff to do, all of it comes with a price tag, so I suggest we get something for our money, like a concert t-shirt. I suggest this before actually seeing the price of said concert t-shirt.


A mass of humanity surrounds the sales booth. I know no matter what lump disguised as a line I pick, it will end up being the longest. We have fifteen minutes before the concert is supposed to start and Andrew is hopping from one foot to the other, anxious.

We get in line behind a group of teen girls with homemade idol shirts. The back of each proclaims something cute, along the lines of I skipped my sister’s wedding to see my Idol. Their idol, all four of them, is Anwar.

It’s five to seven when we reach the near-front of the line. There is no true front. At this point, it’s those with cash prominently in hand who get served. And I have correct change.

The people running the booth? I don’t know where they came from, but they are quite possibly the slowest people on earth. And it’s not like there’s any confusion about where the stacks of merchandize are, or difficult math maneuvers. The people would simple stop to chat with each other, about nothing, while the assembled mass worked on throttling each other and jockeying for position.

But cold, hard American cash does the trick and I catch the attention of Mr. I-couldn’t-move-any-slower-if-I-tired. “One youth size large concert shirt and an Anthony photo,” I tell him.

In what becomes an endless trek, he inches toward the box with the shirts. It takes all my willpower not to jump behind the counter and start directing these people to move, Move, MOVE. Finally, he returns with the shirt, and clearly he thinks he’s done with us. “The picture,” I prompt.

And he says: “Constantine, right?”

Huh? Do I look like a Constantine girl? Eww. No. I’m a Bo girl. The photo is for Andrew and Anthony happens to be his favorite. “Anthony,” I say and try not to be annoyed when another endless trek ensues.

We have shirt, which Andrew puts on immediately. We have photo. Now all we need are seats and a show, but that will have to wait until later.

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 11:49 a.m.