How Long To Sing This Song
Thursday, September 24, 2009
And there you have it. The reason I went to Chicago for the hot man I spent my birthday night with, (well, him and The Hubby.)

I waited with bated breath for U2 to announce the dates for their North American Tour and when I say I waited, I mean I checked my U2 fan club site everyday, a couple of times a day.

Yes, that's right, fan club. I'm in a fan club, OK?

And, honestly I wish I was a little more like Marcia Brady right now because she was Miss Aggressive when it came to clawing her way to the top to become the president of the Davy Jones fan club. 

Well... that wasn't part of the show's plot line, but it was definitely implied with her "I'm prettier than you, Jan, especially when I brush my golden hair 100 times every night" demeanor and her bossiness and her super overachieving, popular show-offy ways. She definitely must have backstabbed and serviced a few fan club folks to become Davy's (snort) head fan. And once she besmirched her way to the top of the fan club she then had enough leverage to get him to the school dance and once she snagged him there with her well brushed, golden hair, she ahem, coaxed him into being her date and then she got that kiss where she claimed she'd never wash her cheek again. I wonder if her face is still unwashed? Must make for some major blackheads. 

How I wish I could be more Marcia-like. 

I mean, I really, really want to be President of his fan club because I really want to get a kiss from Bono and not on the cheek. Wink-Wink. And I really, really want to have the opportunity to convince him to come and hang out with me at my house. I don't have a school dance to invite him to, but we could dance on my patio. Yes, we could. We could dance and drink wine and kiss but not on the cheek. Because, I really, really want to be able to say, "I'll never wash my tongue, again." (Sorry, Mom, if you're reading this, but this is my truth.) 

And mostly, I really, really want to have Marcia Brady glossy, golden, super gorgeous hair. 

But, I don't have it in me, to be Miss Cutthroat, Service Queen Marcia. I just want to be the number one fan without any smut.

Because mark my words, Internet. Someday, somehow, some way, I will dance, kiss, and scream as I jump into Bono's arms and wrap my legs around his Irish torso. It is the only item on my bucket list and it will come to fruition. I promise you that.

On the day the tour dates were announced, I quickly scanned the list to see when they would be headed to my fair city and that's when I saw it....

The opening date of their North American Tour on my birthday in the great city of my old home town. 

A birthday present from Bono to me. 

I told you he was born to sing for me. 

It is more than coincidence that the opening night of their tour was on my birthday. It is the parallel paths we walk, he and I. I have walked next to him since his earliest days, since the days when no one outside of Dublin knew anything about these punk rock boys. This man has been with me since the days of a big, earnest album called "Boy." With his soaring, hungry voice, the first song of his I ever heard, he wailed, "I Will Follow." 

It was me who did the following from that moment on. 

Every song, every album, every concert, every DVD, every bit of Bono I could get my hands on, I followed. I even tried to follow him when I was in Ireland when I might of, kind of found out where he lived and I might have driven by his gated home and kind of, made my Hubby stop the car and I might have peered through the fence until the road maintenance lads told me he was in France for the MTV Europe Awards. And I also might have followed him in New York City when I might have googled where his NY residence was and you could read about that here. But none of this means I'm some crazy stalker. I'm just biding my time, upping the odds a bit, while waiting for our Davey Jones/Marcia Brady moment. 

And so, tickets were bought, plans were made and The Hubby and I jetted off for an amazing birthday present. 

My time in Chicago was spent in a blur of fun. 

We stayed with one of my sisters in her BEEYYOOTIFUL condo overlooking the Navy Pier and Lake Michigan on one side and the Chicago River and a landscape of skyscrapers on the other side. I felt like Weezy Jefferson the whole time. I moved on up to the deeeeluxe apartment in the sky, at least for the weekend. 

If I lived here, I would park myself on the chaise next to the window and write my days away. What beautiful, inspiring scenery.

Surrounded by my sisters, I was happy.

This was a tough picture. At every event, my sisters and I are commanded to line up for a picture and as soon as we do, everyone in the vicinity (that knows us) starts snapping away, like four sisters are as rare of a commodity as White Bengal Tigers and since I have a family the size of a small country, it's like the paparazzi have been unleashed on the Crazy Britney and the flashes are going off and people are yelling and we NEVER get a picture where we're all looking the same way. This was the only one out of hundreds where we were looking the same way.

We walked and walked the city, one of my Hubby and my's favorite things to do, walking and

My gorgeous cousin, Dennis, met up with us. And for your info, ladies, this pic does not do him justice. He's 6'4" or 6'5" as you can tell from this picture where my Hubby and I could be mistaken for Munchkins who've fled Oz. He's in his mid-20's, very handsome, runs marathons in his spare time, and is just about the sweetest guy I've ever known. He also owns his own home and he's SINGLE.

My email's at the top of the page, ladies.

We had a ridiculously, fun evening our first night in the city. Dinner with our beloved Hansens, my sisters, my friend Brendan and his beautiful fiancee and some new friends. Our dinner then segued into a night of a bit more drinking and and a lot more fun.


When you're out with a Fred who is all about this kind of tomfoolery, you can pretty much guess the kind of night we had. Hint, Fred is the one with the paper turkeys on his shoulder. 

I woke up in the morning with red sharpie marker all over my hands and the image in my fatigued brain of Fred saying to me as I stood over a snoozing Brendan with poised pen, "You clearly have 3 options here. 1. Draw a penis on his face...." I can't remember the other options, but suffice to say they all had to do with penises.

I was sweet. I chose Brendan's arm and I didn't draw a penis, because I've never drawn a penis in my life and I was afraid that my first attempt on a sleeping man would look more like a centipede and then Brendan would spend his day wondering why someone would draw a centipede on his arm and honestly, I don't find penises on the face very funny. I think it's boy humor, like farting. Farting is not funny. Girls do not find farting humorous in any way. The same goes for sharpie markered penises on the face.

The Happy Birthday message to myself never made it fully onto Brendan's arm, anyway. The man woke up before I could do much damage. He has a HAP on his arm. He might still be wondering about that.

And then there was the concert, that incredible concert. 

It started with this stage. I heard on the radio the other day, it takes 48 hours of crews working in shifts to put this baby together. Up close, it is like nothing I've ever seen. 

We waited for the boys to take the stage and suddenly, there was a ribbon of smoke pouring from the top of the spaceship and David Bowie was singing, "Ground Control to Major Tom..." and in the midst of that awesome song there was this voice commanding, "3, 2, 1, GO" and the enormous wrap-around screen descended from the space ship with images flashing, the lights went out and then they were there.

Right there. And my Happy Birthday was just exactly that.

New songs and old songs mixed together and Bono right there singing to me on my birthday. One of my favorite moments: Bono started up with, "I have climbed highest mountains. I have run through the the fields. Only to be with you." And then, he held out his hand to us and thousands of voices rose to the starry sky, singing his song back to him-"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." Every word. It was goose-pimply awesome. Even Edge smiled, a rare thing.

I cheered and screamed and danced and sang each and every word to every single one of those songs, songs that are branded in my heart and when I heard the soft and subtle strains of my Church Song through Edge's masterful guitar before anyone else knew what was coming, I jumped to my feet, shrieking and dancing for the joy of being there, there with my boys on my birthday as Edge made his guitar sing and Bono soared with his beautiful voice, "I want to run. I want to hide." 

"Where the Streets Have No Name." Happy Birthday to me.

They sang and played for hours with three encores and a ginormous, smoking spaceship and when it was done, I was delirious with joy.

But, it gets even better.

My brother-in-law, Scott who is Mr. Ticket Connection and had landed us our sweet, sweet seats had bought up a load of tickets for all his various friends who wanted sweet seats. The next night we were doing another fabulous Chicago thing, wine in the park at a Celtic Festival. I'd also been to a wine festival the day before. These Chicago folk are festival people and I have to say after last weekend, I am now a festival person, too. While we were drinking the wine and enjoying the company of the beautiful Lena and Mallory, Scott got a phone call from one his buddies. 

He wasn't going to be able to make the concert. The concert that started in 20 minutes. So my blessed, wonderful brother-in-law turned to Bill and me and said, "Here you Go."

And if at all possible, these boys from Ireland were even more fantastic the second night. When Bono sang a lovely "Amazing Grace" which melted into the other spiritual, "Where the Streets Have No Name," I counted my blessings and thanked the heavens above for my life and for the years I have walked this earth and  for these two nights where under a perfect, summer night sky in a marvelous city my Irish friend Bono sang to me.

Today's Do Ittt Download: U2's, "Bad". One of my absolute faves. "I'm wide awake, wide awake. I'm not sleeping." I am wide awake. I know what has been laid before me. I will treasure these riches all the days of my life.

Oh, and one more thing...if any of you know Oprah, perhaps you can let her in on my sole bucket list item. I know she's the queen of everything and she's also Bono's BFF and I know she's pretty busy saving Africa and giving her entire audience cars and going on diets and making and breaking authors and gifting people who have done worthy things like adopting a bunch of orphans and selling their houses and giving all the money to Africa and such, but maybe if I had an in, you know somebody who can tell her, "this girl has to keep her husband in black socks and she has 3 daughters that live like dung beetles and she gets very tired from all these things.", maybe Oprah would shine her love my way and grant me a visit with Bono.  Give me a ring, you know, if you know her. I'm just sayin'. 


ProudSister said...

I live in Chicago too so Oprah & I are practically neighbors. I'll look her up in our local phone book & give her a call at home to let her know about you & Bono. Its the least I can do. You'll cross paths some day. Maybe you should spend less time at home & more time helping starving orphans in Africa. That might get you closer.

allie said...

great post, fun to read and such fabulous photos! happy (belated) birthday

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