The KICKOFF!!!

I did it. Date #1 HAPPENED! I’ve been full of such a heavy mixture of dread and excitement about this date that I failed to notice the extremely cool connection between the title of my blog and my first date event, until this morning. I took myself on a 100 mile drive to Phoenix to see Adam Sandler, David Spade and Rob Schneider a couple of nights ago! The interesting connection is that “50 First Dates” is an Adam Sandler movie… HA!

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Back to the dread and excitement…

Dread: I felt nauseous every time I thought about attending the show this week. I was more nervous about doing this than I would have been on an actual first date with a stranger. I was anxious about the logistics of the kid/parental handoff, getting to the show on time after work, figuring out where parking was, pre-show alone time, finding my seat, my seat neighbors and getting mugged on my way back to my truck…there are probably some other neuroses I’m forgetting, but we’ll stop there for now. 🙂

I have no idea why this was so unsettling for me. I spent 6 years of my life as a consultant. I was sent out to strange states, cities and countries to work at strange companies, with strange people and all without a smart phone! I was always able to find my way and have never had trouble interacting with people. I’ve done plenty of ballsy things in my life, but this first date really gave me a sense of YUCK!

Excitement: Adam Sandler, David Spade and Rob Schneider…need I say more? No, but I will…I love all 3 of these guys and have since I used to watch them on SNL. I was thrilled that I found this event shortly after I came up with the idea of doing my 50 First Dates adventure. It was such good luck to find this perfectly memorable kickoff event where copious amounts of laughter would be a guarantee.

The Show: The experience was definitely weird, uncomfortable and fun. All of my logistical worries quickly disappeared, as soon as I got on the freeway. Phoenix greeted me with the most beautiful sunset and I made it to the theater early, but not quite early enough to explore nearby restaurants for dinner. I decided to go no frills with theater concession cuisine. Being alone in the theater felt a little like going to a strange grocery store because I just roamed around a little lost trying to get the lay of the land. I sat out in the lobby/concession area with my hot dog and Chardonnay and denied myself the comfort of sticking my nose in my phone so I could people watch and take it all in.

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It was lonely and sort of awkward watching all of the people with their friends and loved ones being excited together and taking their pre-show selfies. Thinking about my people in that moment made me feel more at home. I started to focus on how I have an amazing tribe of friends and family and there are probably a few from that tribe who would have been willing to join me at the show if I had extended an invite; this warmed my heart and I felt less alone and more grateful.

I scored a really good center stage seat and was surrounded by a bunch of fun and outgoing people. We all hit it off while waiting for the show to start and shared laughs for the next couple of hours. I laughed so hard I cried, and at the end of the show I cried. Adam Sandler finished his set by performing the sweetest tribute song for his late friend Chris Farley, complete with an amazing guitar solo befitting any 80’s hair metal band. It was impossible not to cry as he sang his heart out about how much he missed and loved his best friend. It was a perfect finale.

Overall, this was a fun experience. It was weird and uncomfortable at times but it was definitely a good time. I made it through the logistical things and the worries, saw an amazing show that brought tears of joy and sadness, and shared a bunch of laughs with complete strangers. I need to push myself out into the world more, outside of my cozy bubble of friends and loved ones to learn to be whole and content on my own. Hopefully, these experiences will put a stronger set of legs under me and will allow me to bring more to the table for myself and for all of my other existing and future relationships. This date definitely challenged my comfort zone, but I had fun and am happy I did it.

Excitement and Dread is already brewing for date #2. Stay tuned…

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