Last fall, I went to see one of my favorite artists, Ingrid Michaelson, perform a show at Park West in Chicago. I had seen her perform a couple times before and when she was back in town, I was excited to see her. I know a lot of people know her and her music from the Old Navy Commercial dealing with sweaters (her song The Way I Am is used in that commercial and known as The Sweater Song) and from watching Grey’s Anatomy (which should have been killed several years ago.) I know a lot more of her music and while it is great it is played in those settings, she really is a great artist. Plus, I feel like a lot of her songs say things that I feel, but just haven’t quite figured out how to put in words. And now I don’t need to because she already has done that.
Anyway. I did what I usually do when I want to do something and my friends are not interested or otherwise busy: I went to the show by myself. For me, it is a choice of doing something I want to do alone versus sitting at home like a shut in. I always choose to do the former because if I wait around for my “friends” to hang out with me doing stuff I want to do, I will be sitting around waiting until I die.
The show itself was good. Ingrid was a bit stripped down acoustically. It sounded great. The venue is small and she really played to the small venue. Sometimes, I will see an artist come in and try to do their full-on sound in a small space. It usually sounds terrible because the group hasn’t figured out that playing in a smaller setting requires less.
However, at the show, I got to experience a major busybody who appeared uncomfortable with her own company. I say that based upon the exchange with this woman before the show began.I was sitting in the front right by the stage and a mom with her husband and daughter sat in the seats just behind me. The mom asked me if I was there at the show by myself and I said yes. She then asked me if I was ok being there alone. Look lady, if I weren’t ok with being there “alone,” I wouldn’t be at the show.
As much as she annoyed me with the question, I was more annoyed for her poor daughter because mom seemed to clearly teaching daughter that she cannot go do things she enjoys ON HER OWN because that isn’t ok and it is lonely. I really did want to pull her daughter aside and tell her that it is okay to do her own thing and if she wants to do things that none of her friends will come do with her, it is ok to go alone. She might even have more fun that way.
Why are so many people afraid to be alone or do things on their own? Have we really become so accostomed to others being around that the thought of spending time with just ourselves become a frightening prospect? I really hope that isn’t the case. And for the busybodies out there who are afraid to be alone with your own company in public because you fear awkwardness, I would suggest you try it. No one is judging you, except maybe you. Believe me, you’re missing out on a lot because you choose not to do things because others won’t come with you.