Monday, September 06, 2010

"This is a song about weddings....and LL Bean..."
-Joshua Radin

Anyone who knows me well, knows that the end of summer is not something I like to talk about. Or think about, or acknowledge, let alone celebrate. I just quietly switch from shorts to jeans, wear hoodies a little more often, and try to keep my tan as long as possible- all the while acting like nothing really was changing.

For a long time, the end of summer was unspoken because it meant I had to go back to school, which was hard. I had to leave the people that supported me and made me truly feel happy, and go back to a town where I forced myself to fit in, had few people I could really trust, and spent cold nights alone. Granted, the semesters got better and better, but only recently have I reached the pointwhere the smell of a fall evening doesn't give me a tough knot in my stomach.
but here I am. holding my head high as we wave out Summer 2010. I am learning to embrace Memorial Day, and Labor Day, as more than just fake holidays where people don't work, but as the seasonal bookends to that time of year when my heart is happiest.
Memorial Day 2010 was a pretty fantastic kick off, as we had our entire family together, and I got to ring in being 25, and this Labor Day weekend, has been a quieter sort of fantastic as well.

Friday night was spent at a birthday party for one of my "faux little sisters" who used to live next door to us. We're not really related, but I remember the days both she and her sister were born, so may as well be right? There were 12 or so little girls from ages 6-8 and they made pizzas, and played games outside, and watched the birthday girl open presents. I sort of just drifted about in a cloud of nostalgia, realizing I don't even know what the "cool toys" are any more. (Does anybody understand the
zhu zhu pet hype??? ....anybody? I thought we were still on Webkinz!) At the end of the night the "grown ups" had a glass of wine, and I just completely caved as Gracie ran over to show me her newest color of nail polish, and the body glitter one of her friends had given her. I asked to see it, and rolled the scented body glitter all over my shoulders, just as I would've done for a dance in 7th grade. Then to end the night we all picked a pack of silly bands and went on our way. All in all a successful Friday night. And a conclusion that body glitter should probably make a comeback (although- it really only grows up into "dry oil shimmer spray" but please, all girls love to sparkle)
Saturday was the star of the weekend though
We were a little worried for awhile with the impending "hurricane Earl," and like any good over reacting Mainers, my family was stocked up on water, canned goods, and was ready to batten down the hatches. I predicted, that much like every other big weather event we get our hopes up for, it would be anticlimactic, and if anything happened, it would rain enough to ruin our plans, and that would be that.
And although I had secretly prepared myself for a quiet rainy day of putting away a months' worth of laundry and staying in bed to watch my weekend dose of Reality TV, I was quickly excited to see that Saturday morning proved to be absolutely perfect! Sunny, with just the lightest breeze (ok maybe it was a little windy) and the sister and I were off to the madness of the outlets on Labor Day weekend, and to see a free concert of: JOSHUA RADIN!!!!!!!!

Joshua Radin is sort of an unknown name to most. He sneaks in places like the movie Post Grad's soundtrack, or the soundtrack on Grey's Anatomy. Just little places, enough to stomp on your heart, and make you cry tears of joy and hopelessness all at the same time. But for me, I knew more of him.
I first discovered JR the summer after I graduated college, before my life had really taken off, and there were some remnants of the past just hanging on by a summer thread.

It was this song.

I began to find more and more of his stuff, and he took up most of my "sleepy time" playlist. Literally, every night, his voice would calm my ridiculous, overanalytical mind, a
nd I'd drift off. He was with me when I spent the early nights alone in the giant house in Auburn, when I was searching for purpose in Gray, and he always makes an appearance on my ipod when I need to crash on a plane before getting to Who Knows Where.
One of his more upbeat songs, that I'll end with, has also been made into an alarm that frequently wakes me up when I need to wake up on the right side of the bed...

So Maisy and I met up with some friends for lunch at Sam's, snagged some amazing deals at the Abercrombie outlet (don't hate) had a round of pregaming at Starbucks with the necessary girl talk, and finally parked our camp chairs on the LL Bean lawn to wait for the show to begin.

It was a very chill vibe, and with the exception of a few obnoxious teeny bopper girls shrieking, the group was well behaved and downright quiet and peaceful. I sort of couldn't believe we had such an opportunity for free! We sat there under the stars, and listened to him sing, and tell stories about every song (most of which were about ex-girlfriends.... and yet... who would leave THAT!?!?!?!... although- he's a musician, and probably either overemotional, or apathetic...or a Sagittarius.... but I digress) and it was just so perfect. I was reminded of the power of live music, and how there is something about the thump of bass that you can just feel deep in your heart and it makes you feel alive. ....and why I tend to have a thing for musicians....
He sang a few favorites, including Closer, but nothing too emo, and he was actually so freaking funny, he didn't really give us a chance to get into a slump, which was good too. He did some new stuff too, which had never been performed live before, and his new album comes out on October 12 so that went on the Ical.

It was over way too soon, and Mais and I hit Starbucks one more time and wandered the town to unwind before heading back home, and admitting to ourselves that summer really was over. But with that performance, and seeing the man live who has seen me through so much without even knowing it (ew that sounds cheesy right?) It just felt good. It was a good night.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing more shopping, relaxing, and clocking in a few more hours at the pool before it's covered with snow again. It was pretty perfect.

So there you have it. Mal v. 2010, is ready to bid this amazing summer farewell, and ring in the fall.

I'll let Mr. Radin kick it off for us, cause well... I couldn't say it better myself.

Happy Labor Day.


Therese said...

thanks for your fabulous insight and riveting writing skills! I love reading your go girl....

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I wasn't even there but I feel like I was. Ad you describe that end of summer thing sooo well!! MOre!! MOre!!