Friday, June 25, 2010

"It's Friday & I'm in Love" Comfest Time!

{I still have a token from last year.  I'm hoping they don't change colors}

From the time I moved to Columbus, I had weekend plans.  I'm not the In-Girl.  I don't know a ton of people, but I had good friends in a band.  Weekends were for watching them play.  I've been to more shows than I can remember.  I've felt the bass slap against my chest & it hurt.  I've left more bars with ringing ears than one girl should.  Yes, the music was good.  You talked up until the boys took the stage & then you swayed to the song.  Who was that one about?  What memory was that one written for?  OMG I can't believe she showed up?!  Those are a sampling of questions that ran through your mind.  No use asking your friends because they couldn't hear you.  The band stopped playing & you went back to your friends.    Every now & then a famous band was in the bar.  I'm pretty sure I was a saucy to this band & this singer.  I'm not name dropping because of a number of reasons.  One, my memory might be fuzzy.  Two, not everyone is as smitten/familiar with those names.  Three, my memory might be fuzzy.  But I'm 100% certain with one name.  And I'd have to text confirmation for the other.  Right or wrong, that's pretty much how I spent my weekends.

I kept going to shows when I was pregnant.  My friends' band wasn't heavy metal.  Indie rock is tolerable for Mama & the Unborn Child.  I always figured it was much louder inside than out & our OB agreed.  And by that time, it wasn't an every weekend event.  But it was a different Band-Watching experience.  I didn't mind the drunk strangers touching my belly.  I used my belly to navigate a crowd & to jump to the head of the line for the bathroom.  I loved how new mothers would find me & tell me this was their first night out after having their baby.  They'd tell me how much they loved that bundle of joy & motherhood.  Watching a band must erase all the nastiest of newborns.  Because I never heard the truth.  None of those women ever said: I'm exhausted.  I don't know what to do when she cries all night.  I miss this.  Once I took a break from watching, I went to a chicken place for a late night snack.  I've always found that if you're pregnant people want to talk to you.  Two men explained the difference between terrorists & freedom fighters (I'm pretty sure from their explanation that our soldiers weren't considered Freedom Fighters).  They hoped that my baby never had to make that distinction.  That was a weird "blessing," but you only get those when you're pregnant in a college-area bar.  And one night after some genetic testing, a friend came over to tell me, "No matter the outcome, we'll be there to help."  I was confused by this offer because we hadn't told anyone.  Band-watching makes you spill & that's what Mark had done.  I was extremely grateful for his offer & wondered why we had kept the secret in the beginning.  I kept going to shows because I knew these nights were ending.  So I was safe & smart about it.  I continued to watch the Band.

{These never leave the bath tub.  The boys turn them into guns, dunk tanks, coffee cups, etc.}

One morning in April, I pushed out a baby.  When they cleaned off his after-birth, they washed away my Band-Watching abilities too.  It's ok.  By the time, Cooper showed up my band-watching days had drastically dwindled.  Crowds, loud music, cover charges, finding parking, & the sameness was getting old.  But I missed that connection.  I missed knowing what my friends were doing.  I missed knowing a little of the city's gossip.  I missed my friends' new memories written with melodies.  I missed reading drunken scrawl on the bathroom stall.  I missed going out.  I would never say, "I was so happy being a Mom that I didn't miss the nightlife."  That's a lie.  I didn't cry about it, but every once in a while it'd be nice to have that kind of weekend back.  In the past 5 years, we've seen our friends play about 4 times.  The band has long gone separate ways and new ones have formed.  We find a baby-sitter when they reunite and I'm happy with this schedule.  But I'm happy with it because I know Comfest is coming.

{The mugs are well worth the investment}
Once a year, our city puts on Comfest.  An entire weekend devoted to community & arts.  This has always been the one weekend to look forward to all summer.  Even more so when you have kids.  It's outdoors.  There's a ton of food.  There's art & awareness.  There's band after band playing.  There's a park.  And there's beer tents.  Beer tents with huge mugs of beer.  And our friends.  Friends you saw last weekend & the friends you haven't seen since the last Comfest.  It's always a busy place, but for the past couple years we've been meeting at the same place.  I don't think it's ever planned, we just go towards the stage at the end of the food line.  We spot one friend & then hear another is coming.  There's shade & enough adults to keep an eye on the kids.  Strangers are happy (Mark did break up a fight between two women last year.  It was at the end of the night though & nowhere near our spot).  Dogs are everywhere so the kids are happy.  Women walk around with their breasts painted, so the adults are happy.  It's a long period of time where you can just hang out again.  Our kids' regular bedtimes are ignored because you can always catch up on Sunday.  There are lightning bugs to catch.  One night won't kill 'em.  Sunblock is slathered & then bug repellent is sprayed.  Last year, we were shocked by how many of us now have kids.  There was a stroller traffic jam at one point.  It's nice to remember the days that have always been fuzzy.  We were young & couldn't see the future.  Now we all share the same crystal ball.  We talk about how our kids are not allowed to go to Comfest until they're 18 & don't live at home.  Comfest is a favorite thing this Friday because it's a natural fit.  It makes sense.  Just like the hours we'll spend talking about nothing & drinking from a big plastic mug.

Cheers Comfest.


  1. Oh man I miss it all too! Especially since Brant still goes out and plays and I can't always go and see him. And then when I do try and jump into it again I pay for it much longer than I used to ;0
    Looking forward to seeing you guys!

  2. I'm so sad that I'll miss seeing all the painted boobies this weekend. Truly, I think the Girls should come visit for Comfest 2012 . . . so they can live it up legally.

  3. okay, I was totally gonig to let you know that you spelled "Confess" wrong- I was a little worried for the safety of the blog! but that is such a friggin' great name for a commuity even, and I can only imagine the t-shirts and other gear that could come out of such a name.