Monday, August 2, 2010

Lilith Fair

I'm going to cheat for this post and copy an e-mail I sent to someone about my experience at Lilith yesterday. It's everything I want to talk about and it's already written. Be forewarned, it's kind of long. I will at least change names to protect the innocent. ;-) Without further ado:

I realized last night as I was driving home from the show that I have plans tonight after work so I figured I'd e-mail you my Lilith adventures rather than try to squeeze in a rushed phone call while driving. The length of this e-mail shows why I couldn't possibly text it all.

So, Francesca and I arrive a little after 4:30 (show started at 3 or 3:30 I think, but she had a family obligation and neither of us were real keen on the first couple performers). We were walking around and were already chatting about how we're probably being viewed as a couple even though we aren't a couple. There was joking about how she needs a sign that says she's straight, but, you know, open minded and also single and I needed one that says I'm gay and single. Or signs that say "we're together, but not, you know, together."

We wandered around trying to figure out who was playing on what stage and when and where exactly the second stage was set up. We'd figured that part out and headed over to catch the very last song Beth Orton was playing. As we're standing there I look over and I see someone I recognize which usually doesn't happen. She sees me at the same time and came over to chat. It was Ms. Ex's friend Jen from college who lives in upstate NY. Needless to say I was confused at why she was there and I hadn't seen her in at least three and a half years (but I kid you not when I say she looks EXACTLY the same).

After introducing her to Francesca I asked her if she was there alone and she said no and waved over the women she was with. And wouldn't you know it one of the women she was with is a woman I'd been out on two dates with last fall named Judy. Jen proceeds to introduce me to Judy and we do the smile and nod awkwardly at each other thing. I have NO idea what the names of the other two women are because all I'm thinking about now is how to get out of the awkward Judy situation and am starting to wonder if perhaps Ms. Ex is there and Jen was just being polite and didn't mention it to me knowing we broke up.

Since Beth Orton's set was now over Francesca and I were like "well, we want to walk around and look at vendors since we just got here, bye!" and we walked away. Now, on my first date with Judy I ran into Francesca while waiting for Judy to arrive. She sat down to chat with me while I waited and so was there when Judy got there. So, Judy and Francesca met then. Then, after I sent Judy the "it was fun, but I think we'd be better friends than girlfriends" e-mail after our second date (to which I got no response) Francesca and I ran into her again at a Roller Derby bout. It was awkward, very awkward. Pretty sure Judy thinks Francesca and I are dating since this is now three times I've seen her and have been with Francesca. I can only imagine what the conversation was like with Judy and Jen after Francesca and I walked away. AND I have NO idea how Jen and Judy even know each other because Judy is firmly in the CT lesbian scene and Jen is from NY even though she used to spend a lot of time down in New Haven. I'm still confused by all that.

Anyway, I am now totally on the lookout for anyone else I might know (meaning mostly Ms. Ex). We find the little stage where Nneka is doing a couple songs and we listen to her perform then walk around for a little while (and get a drink so I can shake off the awkwardness of running into Judy. Again.) as we wait for Missy Higgins to come on. At some point we walk by one of my co-workers (and who I assume is her girlfriend from what I've heard through the grapevine) but she doesn't see me in the crowd.

We watch Missy Higgins as I'm studiously avoiding running into Jen again so as not to awkwardly run into Judy. We head up to the main stage to see Ingrid Michaelson. Ingrid is amazing of course (as are Bess Rogers and Allie Moss, part of her band). I wanted her set to go on and on. I saw my co-worker and her girlfriend come in and take seats while Francesca and I are standing as close as us folks with lawn seats can get. After Ingrid was Sara Barellis who was also fantastic. After Sara we went to find a bathroom at which point I saw someone else I knew from work and stopped to chat for a minute.

When we came back from the bathroom we noticed that the venue staff who were guarding the gates so us measly lawn ticket holders couldn't get into the empty seats were gone and that people were starting to come down from the lawn and take seats. We of course did the same thing and managed to get decent seats in the front row of the center of the back section. From there we watched Cat Power who was totally wasted on the crowd. It was too bad because she was really good.

By this time I'm feeling pretty good about my chances of running into anyone else. I mean, we've been there for hours and have been walking around and I feel pretty confident if I was going to run into anyone else it would have happened already. And also I'm not horribly sunburned like I was at Lilith in 1997 and this is an amazing thing (oh the tan lines from that day!). During a break my co-worker who was seated in front of us was looking around and I got her attention and waved, but we didn't chat.

About halfway through the Indigo Girls set I get a text message. From Ms. Ex. It basically said "So I heard you're here. What's going on with Dish Network?" I told you about my two hours on hold with them on Friday right? I replied "Yes, I am here" and from there ensued the where are you sitting, do you want to see me texts. Apparently she had also run into her friend Jen who told her that I was there.

For reasons I could not understand at the time the directions to where I was sitting confused the hell out of Ms. Ex. I had my eye out for her figuring she'd make her way down since people were pretty much walking around freely regardless of what kind of ticket they had. Francesa was feeling weird about meeting my ex and was on the lookout for her even though she doesn't know what she looks like. We had the "I wonder if Jen and Judy told her we were a couple" conversation.

Meanwhile I'm still texting with Ms. Ex to explain where we were sitting. She finally "got it" and told me she was on the sidewalk. There are a ton of sidewalks so I told her I'd find her after the set. She told me she was wearing, and I do indeed quote verbatim here, a "strip shirt." As though 1) I wouldn't remember what she looks like and 2) it would help me find her because clearly I don't remember what a women I lived with for 9 years looks like and 3) really? a strip shirt?? She meant striped of course, but still.

I got up (leaving Francesca safely in her seat) and found Ms. Ex after the set. There's an awkward hug which she wants to last longer and I don't and I can smell the cheap beer oozing out of her. I should point out here that I am stone cold sober and have been allllll day even after the one drink I had eariler. The drunkness explains why she couldn't understand my directions to where we were sitting. We then proceed to "catch up" for a few minutes.

She hasn't changed a bit (other than the weight gain) and it's wonderful to have that reinforced. I never liked the way she got when she drank. Smarmy is the only word I can think of to describe it. I can tell she wants me to tell her everything about me and my life and I won't/don't. She gets a few details about my cats and dog and she tells me how my former dog is doing. We chat about my Dish Network issues and family and that's about it. I say I have to get back and she says "they" are about to leave and she doesn't want to miss her ride (god I really hope she wasn't driving after all the drinking). She tells me I look good, I say thanks and walk back to Francesca.

Luckily that ended my run ins for the night. We watched Sarah McLachlan's set in peace and really enjoyed the final encore where Sarah brings the other artists on stage to sing with her. They did a cover of "Because the Night" which was amazing and worth staying for. Traffic was a breeze so we were able to get out of there pretty quickly. And that, apparently, is what it's like to go to the Lilith Fair with me. It honestly never occured to me that I would see so many people I knew there (and I'm sure there were more that I missed).

Also, see why I couldn't text all that? Hope you had a good (and less eventful) Sunday and that your Monday is off to a good start. And thanks again for the anti-rain dance. It was a gorgeous day.


Here's a recap video of Lilith. My favorite part is the end where Sarah McLachlan needs the lyrics to sing with the Indigo Girls.

Also watch this video. Not as awesome as last night's version, but still pretty good.

I guess since this is a Lilith Fair post it's only right to post Sarah McLachlan lyrics. From I Will Remember You (or the "puppies are DYING because you aren't adopting them you bad BAD person" commercial song as it's now known):

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories

Remember the good times that we had?
I let them slip away from us when things got bad
How clearly I first saw you smilin' in the sun
Wanna feel your warmth upon me, I wanna be the one

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