Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Universe is very strange. Very strange indeed.

Just when I thought I was going to possibly break my tradition of seeing U2 on every tour ( I've seen them on every tour since "The Joshua Tree")......

My friend Lisbeth in Houston mentioned a friend of hers at work ( she's a teacher) bought tickets to see them in October, and got one for Lisbeth because she knew Lisbeth was a fan. So Lisbeth is telling me about this, and how the tickets are ON THE FLOOR, and it's gonna be so cool....she and her friend are gonna take the day off work and get in line early to get a good spot ( it's open seating down there, so you have to grab what you can, as I understand it).....

I told her I was really f*&$%ing jealous and that I didn't know how I was going to afford to see them when the arrived here in Pasadena ( at the Rose Bowl, for crying out loud? WTF? Tix listng in the range of $265. ). I was gonna scrimp and save though, ( and look at ebay, beause I've gotten lucky before there with last minute cheap seats) because those I'd be damned if I'd mess up my record. That's when Lisbeth informs me that the floor tickets in Houston were $65, and her friend bought FOUR of them, for the purpose of selling them on eBay. She said, "I'll check and see if she still has any left."

But, I said to Lisbeth, I can't come to Houston! That's ridiculous. I can afford $65, but I can't go there. It's a nice idea, but I'll figure out something for Pasadena. No worries. But get me a t-shirt anyway!

Then she reminded me, "You know I've been asking if you wanted to come visit me all summer when you were so depressed. Remember, I offered to fly you down? I know you didn't want to come when your meds were all screwed up, and it was so hot. But it's in October, it will be much cooler and you're stable now, and the offer's still open. I can afford it, and I haven't seen you in 20 years! So come on down! Come see U2 with us!"

Okay, well. That was an offer I was tempted to consider. It certainly would be fun. God knows I haven't had any FUN all summer! Still, I figured, her friend probably doesn't wanna break up the set since she wants to sell them.

Wrong! She gave Lisbeth an extra ticket for the low low original price of $65.

However, even in the midst of this fantastically lucky turn of events, I'm a bit bug-a-booed......

The thing is, Lisbeth refuses to take any money. She's insistent on the charity. "Naw," she says "Don't worry about it." I say, "Hey, I appreciate it. But listen, that's some dough to shell out. Let me pay you. I can't do it all at once, but I can work it out. " She still won't budge: "No, really. I've got it." No, Lisbeth, it's too much. "Pah. Whatever. I got it". Okay then, can I at least give you half? The rest we can say is a late birthday gift? I mean REALLY, I must INSIST. " Okay, we're going to stop talking about this now." (I can see a fight of wills over this coming up...and I KNOW you're reading this, too, Lisbeth, I'm going to win this armwrestle whether you like it or not!) Needless to say, I'm feeling...

See, I was raised Catholic and... okay, nevermind, that's not going to explain it very well. Let me try again:
Somehow, I can accept these kinds of large gifts from people I've been in close contact and friendship with all this time, even though I STILL feel guilty sometimes ( R, you know I'm talking to you in particular....). I guess that's more acceptable because I feel like, "Well, I'll probably have the opportunity to make it up to them in some way, even if it's not monetary." ( ....And cut to me wrestling down GUILT GUILT GUILT inside my head constantly anyway.) I know gift-giving isn't supposed to be tit-for-tat, but I never want anyone to feel taken from or like it's one sided, you know?

But there hasn't even BEEN a long reciprocal history here with Lisbeth. I haven't seen her in forever, though we reconnected on Facebook about 6 months ago (?) . Granted, she's been a rock of support this summer, and I feel like we are true friends, because of those conversations, for real. Her support after so long apart is trustworthy and totally in character; I have no need to doubt it...she's just like that; always was in high school, apparently still is. I can rest assured that the gift has no strings, because she's just like that, too. It's tremendously generous. STILL...
Given the financial straits I am in, it is going to be some time before I can pay her back. So I feel very one-sided because of the newness of our renewed friendship ( if that makes sense), wildly guilty and indebted and like the judgemental eyes of the world are upon me for taking the offered thing I would so deeply appreciate, more than anyone could know.

And then there's the fact that I just WORRY, because I've accepted gifts like this before from people and ended up being very hurt and burned by them ( like that time when Jase threatened to leave me at the Grand Canyon because he decided to quit smoking on the drive and lost his mind in the process. And felt I was being "bitchy". This was a friend I'd had since I was 13. Needless to say, it left me with some trust issues about accepting gifts of travel from friends.). I doubt if Lisbeth would do that, but I didn't think Jase would either ( my parents, after receiving my panicked call, and wiring me money to take a bus home, were so shocked by the behavior of a boy they'd liked and trusted for as long as I had, threatened to call HIS parents. Mind you, we were both 26 at the time. I nixed that idea.) And hell, with the kind of year I'm having, we could also get hit by a tropical storm while I'm there and end up eating out of tin cans.

However, I think it would upset her more to NOT go, ( no, I'm NOT justifying. Okay, maybe a little). She could use the company, and if I were to guess any alterior motives, she just wants the adventure a little. And I WANT TO GO. Dammit. I want to go! WAAAH!!

So you know what? I say, OKAY. OKAY, Lisbeth, all right? I'm coming to Houston! And I don't care if we get into a wicked nasty fight before then and we decide we hate each other's guts, you BOUGHT the plane ticket, so now you're STUCK with me!! Screw the ambivalence and guilt, I'm showing up on your door on October 13. You made the offer, so THERE. I'm takin' it, and. I'm paying you back, like it or not, and....and....

I'm going to see my love, my hero ( Bono! *sigh*) up close and personal; my inspiration when times get low, my FAVORITE BAND OF ALL TIME in Houston where I also get to visit a dear old friend.

Who's going to see U2? Me! ME!! MEEEEEEE!!!!
(*jumping around the room in glee, bumping into furniture**)

I'm just praying the Universe isn't doing something weird and twisted and this is going to fuck up somehow. (Recall I thought my trip home in May was going to be bliss, har har.) So I remain curious: is this my ever-famous U2 mojo coming into play ( somehow every tour I manage to get to go, and often , something weird and magical happens to make that come to be, and when I go to the show, something synchronistic and magical happens while I'm there. I'm telling you, it DOES!!)?. Is this the Universe setting me up to be really disappointed? Or is this just a generosity I can accept and not fret over? ( Ha. Like I'm not gonna fret.).

We shall see. Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice ( certainly this year so far has been like falling down a rabbit hole....).

And OMG, I just realized: Sassy's gonna kill me. ;)