Thursday, May 24, 2012

You're going to WHAT?

I recently attended a concert featuring a couple of pretty big name bands.  It was an interesting experience, as I had not been to a concert featuring "metal" bands in quite some time.  I fully recognize that I am now firmly established as a member of the middle-aged group, but I must say that I was surprised at the number of people who expressed shock that I would be interested in seeing a live metal concert.

TDC Photography
Our concert-going party included three girls who were not quite 20 and three women who all had adult children.  I hadn't met any of the girls before, and it was obvious that they were curious about how I would handle the event.  We discussed optimal distance from the speakers and stage, watching out for concert goers who were enjoying themselves a tad too much, and the balance between staying hydrated and avoiding the porta potties.

Once in the venue, it was fascinating to see what a mix of people there were.  Plenty of young people, plenty of old, plenty of leather, and quite a few average mom types like me.  As the sun went down it was also fascinating to see how many marijuana smokers were in the audience.  I wasn't surprised to see people light up, but I was surprised to see how many were doing so.

This led, as you may guess, to something of a dilemma for me.  Working in the field of substance abuse prevention might logically preclude my standing in middle of a crowd surrounded by a haze of pot smoke.  I do not smoke marijuana myself, and would much rather that people don't use it, especially around me.  BUT, I sure do love live music.

I chose to stay, but I did do one thing that I felt was necessary to keeping my "prevention" badge.  During a break in the tunes I discussed the pot smoking with the young adults I was with.  We had a good talk about being able to have fun and enjoy the music without being stoned.  We then proceeded to dance, sing, and people-watch the night away.

We can't always escape the negative influences of this world, but we CAN discuss them with the young people who enter our lives.  Staying silent implies that we condone the behavior...staying away can leave us without the opportunity to engage with some pretty interesting young people (and the opportunity to enjoy some spectacular drum battles).

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