My Night with Alicia Keys

I found my seat in a nice, quiet, everybody-will-stay-seated-and-enjoy-the-show type of area.

Before the show started, the two twenty-something-girls sitting behind me were screaming, laughing and talking loudly. I heard one say to the other, “I plan on losing my voice tonight!”

The other replied, “So do I!”

They kept screaming at different times at if seeing famous people like Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley or the Beatles.

I noticed the other people in my area turning around and giving the girls dirty looks.

I didn’t; I just kept plugging my ears. Who am I to try to take away their fun; I was just hoping they would lose their voices sooner than later.

When the lights went out, a sign the show was to start, the girl’s screaming intensified two hundred percent.

Two other young women sitting next to me got up and left the area, making it clear that they were disgusted at the two obnoxious young women behind us.

I am resourceful, so I searched in my bag for some Kleenex to use as earplugs. I didn’t have any tissue, so I tore apart a tampon (which wasn’t easy) and stuffed the cotton in my ears. Much better.

Once Alicia Keys started singing, I knew I was in for a long night (if I chose to stay). The girls knew every word of the song and they sang along. Great! I didn’t pay money to hear two girls sing Alicia Keys songs (and not very well), I paid money to hear Alicia Keys sing her songs.

About three songs in, Alicia Keys said, “Sing along with me!”

Oh, please. No! Alicia, please don’t encourage this!

After Alicia’s fifth song, the girl directly behind me started bumping my chair to match the beat of the song.

Okay, now this is where I draw the line. I turned around and loudly said over the music, “Could you please stop bumping my chair?”

I immediately recognized the look on that girl’s face. She said nothing, but glared at me with that no emotion, flat look of, I dare you to ask me again. It was that look of, say it again and I’ll F you up!

Her friend, jumped in and said, “Okay, she’ll stop!”

So I turned back around, feeling pretty confident that the thumping of my chair would get worse.

I was wrong; it didn’t, at least not right away.

One song later, Alicia Keys started telling the audience, “Don’t let anybody stop you from doing what you want to do!”

Oh… Great!

Sure enough, the thumping on my chair started again. It was as if Alicia had been talking directly to the chair-bumping-girl behind me.

So there I sat, trying to figure out what to do, with this pounding, thudding against my chair; she was testing me.

Should I just leave?

Should I ask her to stop bumping my chair again and possibly get into a fight?

Should I get up and tell somebody working the concert, create a scene, and probably make things worse anyway?

I really didn’t want to take away her fun… but what about my fun?

I’ve never been one to start a fight, but I wouldn’t back down from a fight to protect myself either.

I learned toughness from my childhood friends who are still my friends today. I learned to be tough through my own hard times. My experiences and friends instilled something in me that I’m thankful for.

I thought about that saying… “What Would Jesus Do?”

I wondered… What would my tough friends do?

I started thinking about my latest novel, Returning Injury and wondered…What would my characters do?

I even went so far as to think that maybe my husband would be proud of me if I got into a fight. Maybe his boring little wife would be a little bit exciting for a change.

Yes, I’m forty. I’m old enough to know better. Yes, I should be the mature one.

My adrenalin was pumping and I was getting pretty excited about the possibility of a fight. I haven’t had one for a very long time.

I’m not a huge person, so my mouth would have to carry some of the weight and maybe I could get her to back down…

I took a deep breath and stood.

I walked down the stairs and out of the building to my car in the Flagship parking garage.

The same people and experiences that made me tough, also made me smart enough to know how to walk away.

I called my husband on my drive home.

He assured me that he wouldn’t have been proud.

“Are you sure? You don’t think you would have been a little, just a little bit proud of me?”

“No… I don’t think so.”

I told my husband, that my conclusion was that it was a judgment call, just like so many other things in our lives.

When do you stand up for yourself?

Where do you draw that line that requires you to stand up for yourself?

And who’s to say you’re right?

…Even though I didn’t choose to stay for the whole show, I had a great time. Thanks Alicia Keys! Download Becky Due’s novels free today!

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