The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Ben Folds and Me

I recently had a notion to see singer songwriter Ben Folds when I learned he was coming to my city. I’ve liked him for years for his catchy, clever, sometimes dark, and quirky pop tunes. But I respect him even more for his beautiful piano playing. I saw him in concert in a small venue about 15 years ago when he was considered an alternative musician and caught him again a couple years ago when he played at a Panasonic press conference I covered at the Detroit Auto Show.

So I went online to buy two tickets to the show thinking I would go with a friend or my son who enjoys Ben Fold’s music. I was surprised to see the show was nearly sold out, and the balcony, where I planned to sit, had only a few single seats left. I hesitantly made the decision to buy one ticket and go to the concert alone – another new widowhood experience.

As the time got nearer, I planned to meet my son for happy hour at a spot downtown as a prelude to the concert. I was looking forward to the show, albeit a little uneasy as I said goodbye to my kid who wished me well.

The concert hall and parking lot were jammed — sold out to the point where they charged me to park in the lot and when I got to the top level, there were no empty spots. So I had to leave the lot to park in another lot. I got into the show late and Folds started promptly at 7:30, forcing me and dozens of others to wait for his playing to stop before we could go in. My seat was sandwiched between two twenty-something couples. One couple was large and unfriendly; the other was pleasant enough noshing on crackers and cheese while sipping their wine.

Now I hadn’t been in the balcony of Orchestra Hall since I was there with Tom. In fact, for years Tom and I had season tickets to the jazz series there. So when Ben went into one of his more melancholy songs, my eyes got all watery. I looked at the seats Tom and I used to sit in and recalled him often falling asleep during those jazz concerts, which kind of irritated me. But he said the music relaxed him. I had a quiet cry remembering it all, but no one noticed. When the song ended, I was fine.

The show was excellent; I walked around comfortably at intermission checking out the crowd. I saw only one young couple I know, but they didn’t see me.

The whole experience was kind of bittersweet. But clearly, a concert alone is nothing to be feared. In fact, who knows? I might do it again.

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About Marti Benedetti

I'm a longtime writer and a widow. I want to share my thoughts and experiences of being single in my 50s and beyond after being married to the same man and raising kids for 28 years. It's not the journey I signed up for, but the one I'm living with. I hope I can offer up some thoughts, chuckles and comfort for those in a similar boat.
This entry was posted in acceptance, being single, comfortable, new experiences, single middle-age woman, Uncategorized, widowhood. Bookmark the permalink.

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