Last October my sister and I were lucky enough to see T. Swift in concert. She was AWESOME.
As we walked in the Arena-Formerly-Known-As-The-Delta-Center, we were surrounded by thousands of girls. We milled around, and finally got in the mile-long line to get my sister a shirt. As we waited, I watched everyone around us. I noticed most of the girls were 8-16 years old, and everyone was very dolled up. There were a staggeringly huge amount of 8 year old girls decked out in full makeup and hair (you cannot even imagine the amount of blonde ringlets that were present.) This was obviously a very special night for most of the young girls, and their mothers had made sure that the both of them were looking fabulous.
We waited in line for over an hour (for real), next to many extremely unpleasant people.
“How hard is it to just give people their shirts, honestly?“
“Just walk up to the front, no one will notice.”
“Can you believe this?”
We eventually got the shirt, and found our seats just as the opening act was ending. As Taylor (we’re on first-name basis now OK?) was getting ready to come out, I noticed the two people sitting next to us. It was a mother and her daughter, about 10 years old. You could tell by the way they were dressed, and the way they carried themselves, that they didn’t have much. And they looked miserable. They were both plugging their ears, hunched over in their seats.
As the concert started, I couldn’t help but keep noticing them. The daughter was seeming marginally more excited, but the mother still had her hands planted firmly over her ears, with a pained look on her face.
In my ignorance, I had some pretty nasty thoughts run through my head.
“Her mom could at least pretend to be having a good time.”
“You would think they would have realized a concert like this was going to be loud.”
“If they were going to be so miserable, why did they even come?”
At some point the mother disappeared, leaving her daughter by herself. She looked so small. With her shoulders hunched forward and her dark hair falling down into her face, she sat quietly watching the concert. This was a girl who was shy, painfully so. This was a girl who needed her mom, someone familiar, to really be enjoying herself. And her mom had left. ”Probably just to stand outside where it wasn’t so loud,” my judgmental thoughts hissed at me. I felt so sorry for this little girl.
When her mother finally came back, I was relieved. When I saw her pull out a t-shirt and blanket for her little girl, I was floored. So was her daughter. She was ecstatic. As the concert continued, she stood up the entire time and sang every word of every song. Her eyes were lit up, and her happiness could not be contained.
As her mother contentedly watched the show and her daughter, I stood in quiet reflection. This mother, who, it was apparent, had very little, was somehow able to bring her daughter to the mega concert of the singer she obviously adored. She had quietly slipped out to buy her a t-shirt and a blanket, which, let me tell you, were expensive. She was noticeably unenthused about the entire affair, but she did it because she loved her daughter. Without the makeup, and the ringlets, and the “I deserve this more than you” attitude, she made her daughter’s night. There was so much love there, it twisted my heart. I wanted to cry.
I will never forget that.