My parents thought I was joking when I told them I was going to road trip to Virginia to see Fleetwood Mac — again — with Krissy and Cathy. We were joking at first. But then we entertained the idea. What if we did it? we asked ourselves. What do we have to lose? How many more chances in our lives are we going to get?
Krissy’s mom called us foolish to our faces. She shook her head. “They should write you girls thank you notes for coming to see them so many times.”
“Mommy,” Krissy explained sweetly, trying to make her understand. “They’re pushing 70. They’re our favorites. They kind of lived a life of debauchery,” she added with a laugh. “We only have so much time!”
She was right. We were both lucky and unlucky in that sense. Lucky enough to still see our heroes perform, unlucky enough to know that we were there at the tail end of things, that we had missed so many years.
So you do it. And this is how it works.
You go to New Jersey on a rainy Saturday morning. You drive an hour just to go to a record store, spend hours digging through bins and laughing and trying to decide which ones are needs and which ones are wants. You tell everyone how happy you are to be doing this because this is the first time you’ve ever truly been foolish. You stand at a park overlooking the Hudson River and view the Manhattan skyline with the fog hanging low. The next morning suddenly seems very close and very real. You drift off in the backseat on the way home. You’ve heard “The Chain” three times already today. You dream about tomorrow.
The next day you wake up early. You shower, pack your bags. The car’s check tire light comes on less than five minutes into your trip and you stop at a gas station and hope for the best, let the attendants give you the a-okay, and you’re off. It happens again more times than you can count, gives you unexpected pit stops and by the end, everyone knows about car tires and air pressure.
You ride shotgun as Krissy drives. “Is it wrong to listen to the band you’re going to see on your way to go see them?” she asks. Cathy shrugs and you both say “fuck what you’re supposed to do” and hit play on a playlist that’s 150 songs deep. That should be enough to fill the next five hours and 350 miles.
Five hours stretches to seven. You pass signs for Silver Spring, Maryland and you all know it’s silly, but still feel a flutter of excitement as you drive by the town that inspired a song that touches your soul so deeply.
You hear the iconic opening notes to “The Chain” again and get butterflies. You’re thinking about that night, you’re hoping you get up to the stage like last time. Hoping it will all be worth it. In the next several hours, you hear it again and again and again. By the seventh time the guitar riff begins, the entire car erupts into a fit of giggles.
Nothing goes as planned. The last mile to the venue takes nearly half an hour to creep through in the bumper to bumper traffic. Panicking, you give in and park the car in a McDonalds parking lot with several other concert goers, pray it doesn’t get towed, and start walking in your platform boots. You have twenty minutes. You run from entrance to entrance, trying to find will call. You finally find your spot on the floor. “You drove all the way from New York? We’ll take care of you. It will be worth it,” you’re told.
And it is. Because thirty minutes later you’re standing at the foot of the stage and “The Chain” is playing and you’re not giggling, but screaming, shouting “We did it! I can’t believe we did it!” excitedly as you jump up and down. Drunk Southern moms tell you excitedly how they flashed Lindsey Buckingham, and you try to suppress your laughs. They tell you how much you remind them of themselves when they were your age and you smile and feel some sort of validation. They ask you if you can see okay, overwhelmingly sweet — more so than other fans you’ve encountered — and gladly swap spots to put you closer to Stevie and Christine (and, let’s be real, so they can be closer to Lindsey…).
You laugh and sing along and hold each other’s hands when your hero starts “Sisters of the Moon.” You did it. The sisters of the moon did it. Later, Stevie Nicks tells you to believe in yourself and follow your dreams and they surround you with hugs as you begin to tear up, inspired. It’s all right in front of Stevie. Inches away. You wonder if she sees how much those words affect people, how supportive three young girls can be of each other. You think how lucky you are to have found such good friends, to have experienced this together.
You are supposed to sleep on the car ride home. You all have to be at work in less than 10 hours, and there are at least seven to drive. But you’re a ball of energy. You tossed animal crackers on stage with Daughters of the Moon — a mad, but ambitious and clever idea — and it worked and you find out that she got them and knows they were from you (“What does that even mean?” you ask repeatedly) and you sit in stunned silence, every so often uttering “whoa, we really did it.”
You get back to New Jersey two hours before you have to be in your Soho office, and you haven’t slept or eaten at all, but it was worth it. It was all worth it. Weekends like this are rare. Friends like this, even rarer.
You are supposed to be young and adventurous and foolish when you’re in your twenties. You’ll clean the mess up after. Typically, people your age party all night, get drunk, lose belongings in clubs and go home with strangers and get tattoos they’ll regret in the morning. Your preferred method of foolish is seeing a band you love, a group of people old enough to be your parents, for the sixth time in six months. You prefer to make memories. You can go out and party any time.
Krissy’s right. For certain things, things that you love, you only have so many chances. You have to take every one you can get. You won’t regret it.