A few weeks ago at a splash pad, my friend Lori asked if I thought Christian and I could get away for a weekend and drive up to party town Thakerville, Oklahoma for some kid-free time and to gamble and the WinStar Hotel and Casino.
I told her I didn’t think so. I mean, who would watch our kids?
“Just drop them off with your parents in Dallas on the way up. That’s what we’re doing.”
And I said, “Oh, Iiiiiiii don’t knowwwwwww……..probably not…..” Big sigh of disappointment.
But Lori was all, “Come on. It’s your anniversary weekend! They’ll be fine! It’s just one night! We can play some poker, enjoy time with NO KIDS, and, I don’t know, Tears for Fears or somebody is playing there that night….” Her voice started to trail off, but not before I caught onto the most important bit of information.
And I was like, “WHAT? TEARS FOR FEARS?”
I LOVE Tears for Fears. I’m a little young to be a true child of the 80s, so I was originally introduced to them through their 1993 album Elemental, which featured one of my favorite songs of all time. I still remember sitting and watching it over and over on MTV. Because yes, kids, MTV did show music videos at one time.
And she was all, “…..Do you like Tears for Fears?” She looked at me incredulously, like I had just admitted to carrying Justin Bieber’s love child.
And I was all, “Are you kidding?” I started sit-dancing on my little towel and jamming out, “Break it down again!”
And she was all, “…………”
And then I was like, “Shout. Shout. Let it all out!”
And she looked at me like, “…………..”
And I looked at her like, “………..Sowing in the seeds of love! The seeds of love!”
And she was all, “Well, yeah, I guess we can –”
“SOWING IN THE SEEDS!”
So then I went home and completely flooded her Facebook wall with Tears for Fears YouTube videos, because although she’s 3 years older than me, she obviously isn’t hip to the music of her 80s brethren. I will forgive her.
We booked the hotel, nabbed some VIP-seating concert tickets, and then I was like, Oh. Maybe I should call my mom and make sure they can actually watch my kids that weekend.
This was a big step for us. See, I’ve never really left my kids with anyone else before. We stole a night away a couple of years ago when my mother-in-law was in town, but that was here in Austin. We were only a few miles away. This time they would be in a completely different setting where they’ve never slept before, and I would be over an hour away. Where would they all sleep? Could my parents and sister handle all three of them, plus my sister’s daughter? Would they brush their teeth?
I may be a bit of a control freak.
And then Lori was all, “Who cares?”
We got to Thackerville around 2:00, checked in, and headed downstairs to the casino to find our friends. Massive doesn’t exactly describe the WinStar – it’s an understatement – and I regretted not bringing my step counter, because I imagine I walked about 10 miles in the 22 hours we were there.
We hadn’t gambled since we got married and spent a couple of days in Shreveport. You know, the post-nuptials trip that you don’t really want to describe as a “honeymoon,” because spending 2 days in a musty-smelling riverboat isn’t exactly how you want your honeymoon to be perceived. But it is what it is. Christian was looking forward to playing some Blackjack, but I hadn’t planned on much of anything. Some of those Blackjack players were SERIOUS. I was like, “Dude. This is a $5 minimum bet. Take your drama over to the $10 table.”
Lori taught me how to play 3 Card Poker, so that’s where I lost most of my money. The odds were crappy and there was a $.50 ante every hand, but what the hell. It was more fun and comfortable and I didn’t have to pretend I wasn’t holding a flush, which is a shame, because I actually do have a killer poker face.
Now you may laugh and say, “What in the hell is Tears for Fears doing playing in a ballroom in a casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma?” I’ll tell you what they were doing. They were killing it.
Sometimes I think about bands that have been together for 30+ years (they did break up from ’91 – 2000), and I wonder if they still love the music, or are they just keeping their noses to the proverbial grindstone? Do they still get a thrill playing their biggest hits, or do they groan every time they have to play the songs that gave them their greatest success?
I really hope not. Roland and Curt (can I call you Roland and Curt?) really did seem to have a great time on stage with each other and with the rest of their band. They were personable and funny and oh-so-British.
The next day my children were all present and accounted for when I picked them up, and 30 minutes into our drive home I kinda wanted to take them back just a little.
And now, a million concert photos.