We are normally in crowds of people like us, aren’t we? It’s crowded at church, crowded at the high school basketball game, and crowded in Wal-mart (ok, maybe not always like us!).
But as we got in line for a music festival in Berkeley two summers ago, we were in a different crowd. Suddenly I felt old. We liked all these bands. We knew all these bands. We weren’t out of touch. But suddenly, 28 felt old next to the 19-year-olds dressing like Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell. When did acid wash, Mom-butt shorts come back in style?? Where did they get my neon sunglasses from 2nd grade? Am I really old enough to have my childhood fashions being paraded in front of me as hip again??
Inside, as we listened to some of our favorite songs played by our favorite bands, a distinct smell overtook this crowd. It’s hard to mistake and harder to escape. We kept manuevering around the smoke, avoiding all the teenagers with “chronic pain” and “anxiety” who were being medicated on this fine, Saturday morning in the shadow of the hills.
We were unexpectedly out of our comfort zone. I spent part of that day watching the crowd. Growing up in a small Southern town, I felt totally different from these Berkeley kids.
The whole day definitely made for a very “San Francisco” experience, but I have to admit: I was happy to get back to my uncrowded car, turn on our XM radio, and hear all our favorite bands as we drove home to the suburbs.