My daughter Abby turns eight this week. That’s a special birthday in the LDS church because it’s the earliest age at which you can get baptized. We call it the “age of accountability” and figure the kids are of an age where they can — and should — be held accountable for their own decisions. This would include a decision to get baptized. Granted, you can pretty easily talk an 8-year-old into baptism, but at least we’re not baptizing a baby completely against his will. Her baptism is Saturday and I’m excited for her. She’s pretty excited for herself and feels like she’s growing up.
Jen and I went to a concert last Saturday night. We got tickets to the Tim McGraw concert. This was Jen’s 5th or 6th Tim McGraw concert and my 3rd, so we were pretty excited to go hear the music. We both know his music pretty well and actually knew nearly every song he sang at the concert. It was held at the Usana Ampitheater just a few miles from my house and it was my first time at the outdoor venue. When we first arrived, The Band Perry was playing and people were trickling in. The grass seats we took were at the back so we really had a few hours of people watching before Luke Bryan and then Tim McGraw came on. The people watching was kinda fun and amusing for the first half hour and then it just started to get uncomfortable.
For some reason, a concert (Tim McGraw?) provides a free pass for clothing and actions people wouldn’t consider any other day of the week. I saw more Daisy Dukes than I could count. I saw skirts that barely obscured cheeks. I saw shirts a few sizes too small for the breasts they were supposed to be holding in. I saw people stumbling due to alcohol long before it even got dark. I saw a bunch of horny men whose sole objective was to find a companion for the night. It was amusing at first, but quickly got old.
Once the concert started, we wandered a bit closer to the stage for a better view. After a bit of time in our new location, we realized the music was going to be overshadowed by all the people around us. If I looked forward, I’d see a drunk lady trying to dance a little too adultish with a 10 year old boy (seriously, lady, stop stuffing his face in your breasts). If I looked behind me, I’d see a lady pull her dress up for the guy she was grinding with (“Oh look, honey, she’s wearing white panties…”, I said to Jen). If I looked to my side, I’d see teenage kids trying to grow up too fast. Someone threw a beer can that hit my leg. At one point, as we’re listening to music we actually like, I had to look straight to the ground and just kinda sing along. It was very uncomfortable, so Jen and I actually left early.
I kinda respect people’s right to drink beer, although it’s not something I’ll ever do. What I don’t respect is what the alcohol either causes or allows people to do in these settings. It’s not normal, it’s not responsible, it’s embarrassing and frankly ruined my night. Perhaps Jen and I are in a different place morally now than we’ve been in the past, but this concert kinda felt like, “Well, [concert going] was fun while it lasted. We can’t trust what we’ll encounter any more so perhaps we’re done with concerts like this.” Perhaps we’re prudes, but I think we’re okay with that.
On a happier note, I attended on night of Scout camp last week. Our ward sent 10 boys to camp up in the Uintas just north of Christmas Meadows. Back in 2002 a Boy Scout left a fire unattended while doing his wilderness survival merit badge and it started the 14,000 acre East Fork Fire. Those trees are still visible.