25: See Sheryl Crow Live
Some of the things on my bucket list actually carry meaning. Others are just random skills I want to acquire or things I feel I should make myself do. Someone once pointed out that it looks like a survival test: “Learn how to catch, fillet, and eat a fish;” “Milk a cow;” “Spend a night under the stars;” I think I may have read “Into the Wild” and Thoreau a few too many times. This isn’t about the wilderness though, this one has depth.
Number 25, see Sheryl Crow live, started as a beautiful drunken night of hick bar karaoke, graduated into a bit of a lyrical soul searching endeavor (much like my high school Billy Joel days), and is being crossed off as a restoration of my faith in kindness and people. But before we get too heavy, let’s start at the beginning: the drunk hick bar karaoke.
I met one of my soulmates late in college. I don’t mean this in the romantic sense. I mean one of the few people that your soul instantly connects with and who understands the world in the same way you do. Someone you can naively spend beer after beer dreaming about the Peace Corps and saving the world with. Someone who gets firsthand just how much your international Down Under excursions meant and began to change you, because theirs did exactly the same thing. This is the person that you know you can turn to wherever you find yourself in life, with your weird transcendentalist thoughts, and they won’t judge you because they will be feeling the same thing.
Rachel is one of those people to me. I knew it from the moment we went to our college town’s “Mug Night,” were handed back mugs that were clearly not ours, and after a few sips of fifty-cent beer, simultaneously began to belt out Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy” in unison. There’s something about being a wide-eyed undergrad with an unclear future, feeling like the whole world is in front of you, mixed with the lyrics of that song, that will form what I can only hope to be an everlasting bond between two wandering souls. Three, if you count Ms. Crow.
That moment started my love affair with Sheryl Crow. Since then, Sheryl’s been my go-to girl for all things emotional. You need to scream at the top of your lungs? Crank up “If It Makes You Happy.” Had your heart trampled on and having a hard time letting go? Grab the wine and hairbrush and sing along with “My Favorite Mistake.” Happy go lucky? Soak Up a little Sun. Misunderstood? “Strong Enough.” The woman gets it you guys. And, she’s just badass. This woman can make it through a called off engagement and being diagnosed with breast cancer in the same week. Inspiration at it’s finest. Shame on you Lance, shame on you.
So naturally, Sheryl made it onto the list as someone I absolutely needed to see. And one early December night, I was surprised with just that. Sadly I didn’t get to belt out her lyrics with her, but what I did get was even better. It was date night. I had a double dinner date planned, but when that fell through, I got a text message asking me how I felt about spontaneity. An hour later I received an email with two tickets to “A Night With Sheryl Crow at the New York Times” attached. People don’t often surprise me; this one did. And in a way that was above and beyond what anyone had ever done for me; this one took some digging. Faith in the human race: restored.
Usually I’m used to being let down, or at the very least, not being someone that people put an effort in for. And that’s the way I like it, for the most part. I’m not saying a girl doesn’t enjoy feeling like someone cares every once in a while, I just don’t like to feel indebted. I prefer to be the surpriser, the provider, the planner, the “coffee-maker” as I call it. In every relationship I’ve ever found myself in (lovers, roommates, family members), I’ve always been the one to get up and get the coffee going in the morning, or in my current situation, make sure it’s ready the night before. It’s a small and trivial thing, but the day someone brings me a fresh brewed mug of coffee that they prepared all by themselves? Well, she’ll be the one. For now, I'll take the spontaneity.
“I’ve had a great time being engaged (3 times), but I’ve had a better time not being married.”
- Sheryl Crow, December 2, 2013.