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Pamela Fagan Hutchins | Old Farts Date Night

Date night is a revered tradition at our house. No ruts for us — we’re always looking for a new activity. One month, Eric planned a surprise for me. When I got to the car, he handed me a package. Not a gift-wrapped package, mind you, because he’s still a guy, but a bag of “stuff.”

“What’s this?” I asked.

“Clues,” he said, his eyes dancing.

I reached into the bag and pulled out a Journey tank top, complete with a few rhinestones, and a “mix CD.” Mom, Journey is a rock and roll band.

“Put the shirt on,” he instructed.

It barely contained my enthusiasm, if you know what I mean. “I’m a little boobylicious for it,” I said, ripping off and bastardizing Destiny’s Child all at once.  “What size did you get?”

“Um, medium, I think,” he said, the quiver in his voice betraying his terror at the subject. The previous Valentine’s Day he had *accidentally* purchased me the Size XL package of the Pajama Gram. I wear an 8. After I quit sobbing, I had to admit that I looked pretty funny in the giant tap pants. Ever since then, Eric has erred on the side of too tight.

“Well, that should have fit,” I conceded. It would just do for public wear, but I’d keep an eye out for Fashion Don’t photographers. “Thanks, honey.” I kissed his chiseled cheek and caught a whiff of Calvin Klein Obsession. I loved date night.

“I think it looks good,” Eric voted. See above: he’s still a guy.

We got in the car and popped the mix CD into the changer. Steve Perry immediately sang to us about “Lovin’, Touchin’, and Squeezin’.”

“Those are your hints,” Eric said, and he put the car in reverse.

“I think my husband is awesome and he’s taking me to see Journey!” I squealed. I had loved Journey since high school.  Everyone in the 80’s had some Journey song or other as “their song” with their high school boyfriend or girlfriend (“Open Arms” or “Faithfully” ring any bells out there?), and then had “Separate Ways” as the inevitable break-up song three weeks later.

Eric smiled and turned up the volume.

Two hours of Houston rush hour traffic and three near-collisons later, we made up it from our home southwest of downtown to the Woodlands ampitheatre north of the city. By then, I was a little nauseous, hoarse from trying to hit the high notes with Steve Perry, and no longer sitting up extra straight to fight the inevitable blue jeans shorts and tight tank “muffin top” look. Eric had brought ice cold Monster Absolutely Zeroes with us as road pops, and the car had taken on the distinct odor of Monster burps. His, not mine. Because I’m a lady. And you thought beer drinkers were bad, huh?

We parked and started our long walk in. The concert was in the summertime, which in Houston means steam bath, so within minutes sweat trickled then flowed down our legs. But it was okay, in fact, it was nirvana. We were together, and we were going to see Journey, which Eric had picked out just for me. We swung our joined, slippery hands as we chatted. The nausea had worn off by this point, and I started noticing the other concert-goers. And they weren’t wearing Journey t-shirts.

“Eric?” I said.

“Hmmm?” he answered, and slugged some more Monster.

He let out a tiny belch, and I leaned as far away as I could get. “Did you notice the car with the Union Jack flag on it parked by us?” I asked, fanning my hand in front of my face as I spoke.

“Nope.” He didn’t seem curious about it either, or cognizant of my reaction to his odor release.

“How about that one?” I pointed. “Or that t-shirt?” I pointed again.

By now, I had figured out something that Eric hadn’t yet realized. And it was something even better than going to a Journey concert. It was “thinking we were going to a Journey concert when we really weren’t” and all that implied about the years of fun I was about to have on this issue with my husband.

Eric stopped, and two people bumped into us from behind.

“Sorry, sorry,” I said to them, and pulled Eric one step off the path to stand in the dirt while he cogitated.

“Oh, shit,” he said.

“Oh, shit,” I agreed.

“It’s pretty ironic when you go to an old folks rock concert….” I said.

“Classic rock,” Eric interrupted.

“Potato, potahtoe,” I said. “Anyway, it’s pretty ironic when you go to an old folks rock concert, and you can’t even remember the name of the band that’s playing.”

My husband doesn’t always laugh easily at himself, but this time he did. “Alzheimer’s. Dementia. General old age. Or something.”

I leaned in for a clench, and we mingled sweat as we hugged and rocked. I leaned into his ear and sang, “Pour some sugar on me,” and was given a love-punch for my efforts.

And we continued our walk into the Def Leppard concert in my tight Journey t-shirt, for another perfect date night.




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38 Responses to Old Farts Date Night

  1. Eric says:

    Sadly there is some truth to this. Not completely true but ahhhhhhh, it was pretty funny though.

  2. Irene says:

    LMAO!! THAT’S HYSTERICAL!!!! At least you didn’t walk into a Barry Manilow concert. Right era, wrong group, that’s all!

  3. Keep the stories coming, Pamela. This is another classic…..thanks for sharing it.

    Speaking of concerts, you guys should come to Austin on Friday and join me and Amanda at the Counting Crows concert. It’s totally free and it’s an outdoor concert on the bank of Town Lake. It’s going to be great.


  4. Terri Sonoda says:

    That was priceless! Ya’ll Texans tell some mighty good stories. Even at my ripe old age, I love Journey. Def Leopard, not so much. But? Counting Crows!!!! OMG, love them!

  5. Well shoot, Def Leppard is just as good, no?? Hmmm, memories of seeing them in AMA with a few tennis players who shall remain nameless. And I have to say, I would Loooooovvvveee to be boobylicious in a tank top, but was not endowed that way, so I hope you enjoyed. :)
    Let’s hear it for date night!

    • Pamela says:

      My daughters have larger chests than me, and I thought I was adequately endowed. It sucks to go to Victoria’s Secret with your 15-year old and have her buying smaller bottoms and bigger tops :)

  6. Eric says:

    Thinking about the whole thing we did have a great time and there were 3 bands folks and more to the story but, Pamela’s version is funnier and makes me smile. Oh well, at least we are at the right venue!
    And I would love to see Counting Crows, Darryl, unfortunately it is looking like I may have to go to Lowsy Anna for work on Thursday and Friday UGH, but, I am not sure yet, will find out tomorrow morning.

  7. Averil says:

    Man, that was foul in my opinion. Making you think of going to a Journey concert when it was Def Leppard performing on stage. Then I guessed, it is the thought (the shirt) that counts.

    • Pamela says:

      yeah, I thinnk rock purists would rank Journey way higher on the quality chart. But, I do love some good Def Leppard tunes, so I was happy either way :)

      The reunion I’d really love to see if Boston.

  8. Def Leopard as classic rock? I feel old. Your stories are hilarious. Boobalicious is one of my favorite terms, great use in the story.

    • Pamela says:

      Def Leppard, classic rock, yes we are OLD — me ten years older than you 😉

      Pyromania, Photograph, Bringin on the Heartache, all those came out while I was in high school. Love it!

  9. Vidya Sury says:

    Oh, I loved this! I still have my Journey and Def Leppard audio tapes. AUDIO tapes. Yes. 😀 And pour some sugar on me used to be one of my favorite sing-myself-hoarse songs! Hmmm. I am sure I have a Def Lep poster or two stashed away too. No…am not old. Am only 48. Btw…Def Lep disappointed us on one of their India tours by lip-synching to their records. Grr.

    • Pamela says:

      No way! I hate lip syncing! I’d rather they just miss the high notes. Which they did at this concert :) and sang an octave lower at some points. The vocal chords become less limber as we age.


  10. What a great love story. The stories are so much better with a little drama. Anyone can have an ordinary date – your dates are not only fodder for blogs, but stories that grow as they are repeated – I love the way you love one another!! Wasn’t a big “rock” person back then; was more into Santana, funk, Super Freak anyone?

    • Pamela says:

      Oh Nan, Super Freak! How fun.

      And, yes, my stories do grow. Until none of us can remember them any other way but “Pamela’s version.” Life is much more entertaining that way. But the story started out pretty damn funny, even before a few tweaks in the name of creativity.

  11. Ally says:

    Pure classic. That story is awesome. Yeah, and since we’re all reading the comments – I want to go to Counting Crows!!!

    • Pamela says:

      LOL, me too! We may go after all. It’s 3 hours away tonight at 6 pm in Austin, but, who knows? If we wrap up work early enough…
      Darryl is moving to Aruba, so we really want to see him and Amanda before they leave, too.

  12. OMG, that’s hysterical! I would have been happy with either, although Def Leppard still gets me hot and bothered. I think my husband would prefer we went to them. lol

    • Pamela says:

      Then definitely Def Leppard should be the pick! Styx and Foreigner were with them. Foreigner is an all time fave of mine, and Styx was even better than I expected.

  13. Jennifer says:

    I love you and Eric so much! I aspire to have that much fun with my husband. Def Leppard rocks! Did you have fun? I bet you looked like a hottie in your Journey t-shirt :)

    • Pamela says:

      :) Thanks Jennifer. It sounds like you guys have fun, too. I have to admit tho, fun as a couple is harder to have during the stress of when your kids are small. Fun as family? easy. Couple? not so much. As the kids get older, couple fun gets easier again.

  14. Sora says:

    I always get my gifts in “bags of stuff” its standard round here! Glad I am not the only one!

  15. I love that your husband planned such an awesome date night…even though it didn’t go exactly as planned.
    I was in high school in the 80s, so Journey tunes have huge meaning for me. Would love to see them in concert!

  16. Tracy Wilson says:

    Does not compute…you were DISAPPOINTED that it was Def Leppard and not Journey???
    LOL- TY for the Monday giggle. Great story!
    Nice to meet you, hopped over from LBD.


    • Pamela says:

      Nice to meet you, too, Tracy! I think it was a win either way, don’t you? If I had to rank my all time faves, Journey would edge Def Leppard out, but only by a nose, and only if Steve Perry was with them. No Steve Perry, me no wanna see them.

  17. Megan R. Adams says:

    What happen to your date is indeed memorable lol! I love Journey too I have complete cd of them :)

  18. Eric Hutchins says:

    Ok now, you have had your fun :). I have to let a little truth leak in, there were THREE bands at that show, and I was 2/3 right :), The mix CD I made for the drive up to the concert had SOME of the songs that actually got played…. and yes I did blow it a bit, but, we had a great time.
    And I love doing date adventures like that with you. (orange folders and all)
    Don’t stop believe-en.
    And I laughed a lot with this one, I love how you spin stuff.

  19. Maryann says:

    If he hands you a Def Leppard T shirt, then you will know he is taking you to the Journey concert! That really sounds like a great date night… A couple of years ago, my husband surprised me with tickets to see Collective Soul… Not quite as classic a band, but a great show nonetheless.

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