Saturday, April 28, 2018

Screaming into the Voidz

One of Precocious Daughter's favorite bands is The Strokes.

And The Strokes' lead singer, Julian Casablancas, has a side project called The Voidz. And she loves them, too.

The Voidz are headlining the first night of the Fortress Festival in Fort Worth, which begins today.

And that's where PDaughter is heading right now.

She has my car, a full tank of gas, a GPS, a good friend...and a mom who is a nervous wreck.

My baby girl is going to her first music festival. It's not like she's driving to freaking Burning Man or anything - Fort Worth is less than an hour from our cozy suburb - but this is certainly the largest event she's attended without adult supervision of any kind.

Except that, you know, she herself is an adult.

PDaughter and her guy friend (I've known him and his parents for years, and they're wonderful folks, all of them) are good kids. Smart, level-headed, as mature as a couple of dopey high-school seniors can be. She's a good driver. I know Benedict Cumberhatch is in good shape, because I just got him serviced. The festival is being held in Fort Worth's Museum District, one of the loveliest and safest parts of the city. She has cash and, of course, her cell phone.

Nothing at all to worry about, right?

Tell that to the little voice inside my head that invariably laser-focuses me on every possible worst-case scenario in situations like this.

My ex used to say it was better to be a pessimist than an optimist, because optimists can only be disappointed, while pessimists can always be pleasantly surprised. What he never considered is that, for some people, pessimism goes way beyond simply being mentally prepared for bad things to happen. Some people (like me) become paralyzed by the crushing fear that the worst could happen at any time. Almost superstitiously, we force ourselves to mentally rehearse the most catastrophic potential outcomes, as if by putting ourselves through hell pre-emptively, we might actually absorb enough bad karma to keep bad things from happening to us or the ones we love.

For people like me, our reaction to a better-than-feared outcome isn't pleasant surprise. It's a helpless, exhausting rush of relief. And it doesn't fill us with hope for a good outcome the next time we face worry; it simply fuels our irrational belief that our fear and dread actually prevent catastrophes from occurring and are thus an absolutely necessary emotional reaction.

If that sounds like it sucks...yeah, it sucks.

Fear is a liar, but a goddamn effective one.

But I think I curbed my borderline-hysterical internal monologue pretty well as PDaughter was getting ready to head out. I  flat-out told her that I would be worrying about her until she got home - she knows me far too well to try to pretend otherwise. But I kept things positive and practical, making sure she had sunscreen and ID and a refillable water bottle, reminding her to keep her bag on her person at all times, telling to her to look out for crazy drivers on I-30. All normal mom-stuff, said with a smile.

If she realized I was screaming on the inside, she let it slide. As I said, she knows me.

So yeah, tonight she'll get to see her idols play, and tomorrow she'll go back for more. The closing act tomorrow night is Father John Misty, and I'm way jealous that I don't get to see him, but I'm glad she gets to see him.

Because I don't have a car, I'm going to stay home and watch documentaries and chill.

Maybe "chill" isn't the word, but you know.

I'm going to do my best.


  1. I'd like to see Father John Misty as well, but maybe not enough to go to a music festival for.

    I'm certain Fortress Festival isn't one of those music festivals where it's all sex and drugs.

    Seriously. She's going to have a great time and hear some decent bands.

  2. Usually I'm early to a concert--hey, sometimes the opening act can be great--but since I'm really late to the party I assume everything went well and that you even managed a bit of chillaxing.
    And that The Voidz played "Juicebox". I know that's a Strokes song but it's so long since I listened to anything by them I didn't know Julian had a side project.

  3. What happened to Benedict Cumberbatch?

    I need to talk to you. I'll be calling you Saturday or Sunday.


You're thinking it, you may as well type it. The only comments you'll regret are the ones you don't leave. Also, replies to threads make puppies grow big and strong.