Carefully she got ready. The children wanted to take a picture.
The babysitter was picked up by 5:15PM. He brought home pizza (at her request). The children were happy, the babysitter instructed, and they were off!
Not even a block into their date, he pulled the car over and asked her if she was up for a gamble. oh, jeeze! she thought --it was supposed to be his plan. He explained that he had been in contact with a few people online who were selling tickets. To a concert. For that very night. Do you remember what concert is tonight? he asked her. She couldn't remember. It's in Stockton, he suggested.
He proceeded to explain that they could do the following: Get floor tickets towards the back for $x each, get floor tickets on the 11th row from the stage for $xx each, (both through sellers on the internet) or take their chances with the box office and get cheap balcony seats. It didn't take her long to consider the ramifications of spending $xx on concert tickets. Was Josh Groban worth the money? She replied:
Are you kidding me?!? Why didn't you just buy the expensive 11th row tickets in the first place?! This is JOSH GROBAN! Of course I'd want you to spend the money!
Happily, but fearful that the tickets might no longer be available (Worst, case, honey, we miss the concert, eat dinner, and go see Bourne Ultimatum. So don't get your hopes up too high. She replied with dignity, but slightly shrilly: Don't you dare get my hopes up and then tell me we might not get in! We're going!), they drove to Stockton, California through beautiful winding hills behind Mt. Diablo.
They arrived, and after finagling with the seller of the tickets (who could have been running a scam, but luckily was not), they were able to pick them up 3 miles from the venue. However, the concert had started 15 minutes earlier. I don't know if I want to go anymore. Was it worth the money if we get there and they won't let us in until intermission? she worried aloud. I don't know. But if it's like any other concert we've been to there will be people coming and going, food and beer... he stated surely. WHAT!? There would never be something like that at a Josh Groban concert! BEER? He's classier than that, she quipped. How much you wanna bet? he laughed.
They arrived near the stadium, parked the car a little too closely to the fire hydrant in a scary looking neighborhood, and then proceeded to hoof it to the doors. Hearing music, she asked the ticket tender Did it start? The lady replied Yes, but it's the opening act and they just barely started. Hooray!
Realizing, because of the gamble they chose to make, that they missed their reservations at a delicious Indian restaurant and may not eat again until very late, they chose to buy pizza and soda at the counter. Where they sold beer. Luckily, she was not arrogant and was able to admit she was wrong about the beer, much to his delight and laughter.
Entering the floor, they walked towards the stage. Closer and closer, until they found their seats. She was amazed! She couldn't believe how close they were. Eating pizza, they enjoyed the music of Angelique Kidjo and her amazing band. The lights came up; there was an intermission. She sat there and thought about how lucky she was to have a husband that wouldn't forget the pleading she had made months before about wanting to see Josh Groban live. At the same time, she was glad to be there, but not overly excited. After all, she had never signed up to be an official "Friend of Josh Groban" or anything. And then he started to sing. And then there he was, on stage, only 11 rows in front of her.
She screamed in excitement like a little girl.
The entire concert was thrilling and wonderful. She wasn't swooning over his boyish looks or great jeans (they were great jeans, though). His voice was just breathtaking. The cellist and violinist were phenomenal. The orchestra behind him was amazing. Josh himself was engaging, hilariously funny, and very gracious.
She found herself wrapped up in the evening. She didn't care about the funny looks some people gave her because in reality, she was one of thousands who felt like giddy school girls. And those people giving the "looks" were the only ones not screaming. Silly people!
[Go here for a great review of the concert. Although there are a few differences (no strip teasing, and he wore a Stockton ice hockey jersey at the end).]
When the show was over (after three encores), they both realized that they needed to get to the car as quickly as possible, hoping it hadn't been towed, ticketed, or broken into. Another hearty jaunt over and across a street or two and they found the car exactly as they had left it.
Making their way home (on freeways this time), they talked about how incredible the concert was. She thanked him over and over for the experience; he was grateful the gamble paid off! The drive also gave them a chance to discuss things that are hard to discuss in front of children (i.e. finances, schedules, feelings, and the children).
Arriving at home, they found the house clean, the children in bed, and the babysitter watching the History Channel. After taking that awesome-girl-of-a-babysitter home, they settled down, ate some more pizza (starving, I tell you!) and had a little ice cream. Quickly falling asleep, she dreamed of a beautiful baritone voice and how close he was --eleven rows, only!
[To top off the night, #4 slept until 4:30AM. Beautiful, beautiful boy!]
P.S. She now knows that her husband is simply the best in the entire world. Sorry, girls, but she got the best one. That's just how it is!