Bag Ladies and the Arena Conundrum

Spectacles, testicles, wallet, watch.

It used to be that everything the average person needed to carry with them out into the world could fit in a few pockets. Well… sort of. Bespoke tailors regularly add extra pockets to custom-made suits for well-to-do clients. In a recent conversation my husband had with friends about how people used Crown Royal bags once the booze was gone, someone admitted that his grandfather would have the elegant pouches sewn into coats and jackets as extra pockets.

It seems we all have more to carry than we think.

Women, of course, didn’t even have the relative convenience of a couple of pockets. Before handbags became common in late Victorian times, they literally wore a small sack attached to a ribbon around their waist, accessed through a slit in their skirt seams. Housekeepers carried a small version of their tool kit around via a chatelaine; a large brooch that was pinned to the waist and which might include a pen, thimble, scissors or other items attached by small chains so as not to be lost or misplaced.

Times have changed, and we now carry a lot more stuff with us pretty much everywhere, to the point where bag-related neck and shoulder issues are common, especially for women. Clothes for the gym; the ubiquitous water bottle or reusable coffee cup; a phone at minimum, but probably also a tablet, e-reader or laptop; cosmetics; a wallet; probably a lot more if you have a kid, or any kind of health issue.

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How to Go to Concerts When You’re Middle-Aged

Let’s face it, middle-aged folks don’t go to many concerts. We’re busy doing other stuff. Or we can’t afford it. Bands we like, that are still around with some semblance of the original line-up, are pretty rare. Mostly we take a pass more often than not. Bands also tend to go on stage well past our bedtime.

I am mostly fortunate to not fall into those parameters (except maybe for the late set times and early bed times, those kill me) and probably go to more concerts than the average 50-year-old. I’m lucky enough to live in a major city, and have a household income that allows for such extravagances. I spent part of my twenties and thirties as a concert promoter and ran a small record label for a few years, so those connections still come up occasionally to lure me out to see bands, in addition to checking out bands from my youth that I missed back in the day because I grew up in a city that few bands bothered to travel to.

The concert-going experience has changed a great deal, though, and it’s important to keep that in mind if your most favouritest band from when you were twenty reforms and comes to town. Especially if every concert you’ve seen in the last decade has involved children dressed as angels or shepherds. It’s not 1987 anymore, people.

Some tips for your middle-aged GenX concert experience…

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Some Day My Prince Will (Probably Not) Come

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I got tickets to see Prince on Saturday night, totally spur of the moment, outstanding 8th row seats with an amazing view, regularly $200, available day of for $67. Apparently this happens a lot with big shows, where a block of tickets is reserved for guests or promos and isn’t used, so the seats are sold off cheap. This would be good to know for future shows, except that I am fairly certain that I won’t be going to another stadium show any time soon.

Let me remind you, dear readers, of some facts. Sheryl = agoraphobic. Also, misanthropic curmudgeon. I don’t deal with other people very well, and particularly not in large groups. I work from home so as to avoid crowded buses, etc, etc. So with the exception of one very foolish decision to attend Lollapalooza in 1990, I haven’t been to a stadium rock concert since 1987. Literally. The Cult at the Halifax Metro Centre. And I was so stoned that my girl Sharon and I, in an attempt to get to the front of the stage, crawled on our bellies, military-style, under four rows of seats. So there’s not even a real point of comparison.

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