I’ve never been one to think about age or aging, I’m happy for each year that rolls by. I’ve never paid attention to “Things to Do Before You Are 25” or “Items Not Wear After 50” – so superficial. I let my mood, curiosity and energy level drive my decisions of what to do, wear, and think. My goal is to have as many adventures as possible!
My mindset bumped into a challenge this week.
Last Wednesday and Thursday I flew to Miami to debut my new die cut line with Sizzix. I loaded five movies on my iPhone to pass the time on the flights. One of them was the new Sally Field flick, Hello My Name is Doris.
LOVED IT! It had me rolling laughing in my aisle seat, and then sniffling and sobbing. I didn’t have a tissue and had to wipe my tears on my sleeves. It’s about an eccentric woman, Doris Miller, who let life pass her by while she cared for her aging mother. Well, when her mom dies, Doris finally allows herself to open her mind to take on new adventures and make new friends. From listening to underground electronic music, attending concerts, and even possibly entertaining the idea that her crush (young enough to be her grandson) might reciprocate her affections. It’s funny, yet uplifting to see Doris go get her life, and at the same time, it’s unbearably sad to know she missed out on so much.
Fast forward to Friday – I’m on a plane to Las Vegas to speak at the Voto Latino Power Summit. It’s an event aimed to empower and engage millennials to share their stories, speak their minds, and take action in the election. Maya was also invited to speak.
Our plane landed and Maya and I walked through the airport and she told me she wanted to do something fun that night after our panel. I told her – “Go for it, it’s Las Vegas! Have fun, be safe, enjoy this beautiful summer Friday night!”
She received a message from one of our online influencer/blogger friends and shrugged. “Everyone is going to EDC tonight,” Maya said concentrating on her phone’s screen. “But I’m not really into that, I’m staying in.”
EDC stands for Electric Daisy Carnival. It’s like Comic Con for electronic dance music. It takes place every year at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and runs from 8 p.m.-5 a.m. It’s supposed to blow all the senses with DJs, dancing, games, rides, foods, music, costumes, vendors and exhibitors – all in the middle of the night under the electric sky.
I gasped in shock. “What do you mean you don’t want to go, that event looks so cool! You have to go just to say you experienced it!”
She paced along in front of me and shook her head. “Nope. Not interested.”
I jogged up to her side. I WANTED TO GO TO EDC! I’ve spent the last couple decades as a band wife. Outdoor concerts are my thing! I wanted to people watch, shop for crafts, and maybe weave a bracelet or two from neon necklaces.
“If you don’t go, tell them I’ll take your ticket!” I said excitedly, pushing up my progressives with my index finger while mentally scanning the wardrobe I’d packed for the conference. I didn’t exactly have anything for a neon desert dance party, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to impress anyone, I just wanted to make a new memory for a scrapbook layout. Finally, a decent use for the neon washi tape I bought at Target last month!
Maya stopped and face-palmed me. “Mom, no.” She said, firmly. “EDC is like a rave version of Coachella…on steroids…DJs, people on drugs wearing glow-in-the-dark body paint and rainbow tutus. If I can’t hang, you can’t hang. Don’t force it, please. I don’t want you to go. And since when do you like electronic and DJ music?”
Now I paused. Jaw dropped. “Listen kid,” I snapped. “You think I’ve never experienced an event like that? I’m going.”
“Mom, you are going to get hurt,” she warned. “It’s in the desert, you don’t have the right shoes, you can’t just take an Uber home. It’s 103 degrees. It costs $200. It’s not like the outdoor concerts you’re used to. Trust me, if I thought you would like it, I’d gladly go with you. People prepare months in advance. Please, think logically!”
My heart pumped hard from anger. Half from hurt pride and half from her truth bomb. I powerwalked ahead through the airport crowd, my purple rollie suitcase in tow. Who did she think she was? Trying to tell me, her mother, what I could or could not do?
I cemented in my mind that I WOULD GO to ECD!
Or, wait…ECD? Is that right? Electric Daisy Carnival. Oh! I mean EDC. Whoops. Anyway…
I approached the escalator and just as I almost set my foot down, the stairs went blurry and I broke out in a sweat. All of a sudden I had a vision of falling down the escalator! I think it must have been a mini random panic attack. I abruptly stopped and the lady close behind me nudged my arm and that REALLY freaked me out. I turned around and elbowed my way out of line to find the nearest elevator.
A slow Ride of Shame down to baggage claim.
Ding! The doors opened. There stood Maya, waiting for me. She didn’t have to say a word. Her expression did it for her. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have the same thought.
“You want to go to the Electric Daisy Carnival in the desert, in the middle of the night, but you can’t take the escalator down.”
To plunge the point deeper in my ego, in our shuttle to the hotel, the driver commented, “This weekend is EDC, ugh, I’m dreading it. I live right by the Speedway and those kids keep me up all night. It’s one big crazy party, who knows what goes on there!”
“I think it sounds kinda fun,” I chimed.
“Oh no,” he said. “It’s for kids 25 and younger, you don’t want to go if you are older. That’s just silly.”
That’s the moment I had my a-ha moment. Yes. Silly.
I really didn’t want to go. My ego wanted me to go to prove something to myself, and maybe to Maya. It’s as if our roles were reversed and I was a teen again. If Mom told me I couldn’t do something, it only made me want to do it more. So when Maya (in the mom role!) shut it down there at the airport, I became defiant. Wouldn’t you?
Plus, oh my God, if I went, I would be Doris from the movie. I’d be the crazy Old Lady Attraction. Flashback to my younger days: I’d be the lady my friends and I used to stare at and say, “I want to be friends with her, she is so old and here she is hanging out with us! I want to know her story, let’s take her for coffee and quiz her about her life!”
OK, wait. Doris in the movie is way cool.
If I could be like her, I’d be front and center at EDC. But I’m not Doris. I’m Kathy from Phoenix who can’t walk two steps without taking a sip from a frosty bottle of Aquafina. The lady who needs a Pepcid AC after dinner. Whose expensive shiny purple FitFlops would not stand a chance in the desert dirt. No neon concert would be worth destroying those. And really, $200 for an electronic dance party? I’d rather buy an electronic cutting machine for my art studio!
I didn’t dare share those thoughts with Maya. We didn’t bring the topic up again. Once we made it to our hotel, we ran into a friend of ours on his way out.
“I’m going to EDC tonight,” he said proudly. “But first I have to go to the mall and get a Camelbak Hydration Pack!” He pretended to sip from a tube that poked out of the top of his shoulder. “Gotta have water. It’s gonna be brutal out there!”
Maya turned and gave me a slow blink of her eyes. I raised my brow and nodded, a sign of surrender. We then broke into a giggle.
No Camelbak Hydration Pack for me, thank you very much.
That night, Maya went out with some friends and I stayed snug in my hotel room and wrote a new chapter in my work-in-progress novel. It felt great to crank out 2,000 words, THAT is the place I want to be! I then called Patrick and told him all about the ordeal. He laughed when I told him about the shuttle driver and my moment of realization.
“Kathy, we’ve done all of that,” he said. “The partying, the all-night concerts. What made it fun was that we were with each other and with friends. Sure you would have experienced it, but we both know you would have been over it about an hour. Trust me, we’ll have plenty of more concerts to go to, and in the meantime we’ll have our own electric daisy carnival. And you won’t need a hydration pack.”