Can be a blessing and a curse. Let me tell you why.
Yesterday, I spent most of the day at Omaha’s Heartland Pride 2017 Festival where Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and his wife made an appearance. That was probably the highlight of the entire festival so of course, I’m upset that I missed it. But alas not the reason for my tale. Oh, but let me say there were lots of good moments of the festival itself but there were things that I watched and observed that just had me sighing out loud (to myself) and rolling my eyes in disbelief.
Like many festivals, you get your fair share of people being themselves and being who they are of course, depending on the festival. For a gay pride festival, where it’s almost guaranteed interesting wardrobe choices of varied styles to practically being naked. It’s the latter that sparked my curiosity. Reason being is because it was the teenagers that I observed most of this. That got me to thinking and asking myself, was I like them at that age??
Simple answer, yes. To a point.
Then of course the usual question that pops into my head was, do these kids TRULY know the real meaning behind the gay pride movement?? This is a question I’ve asked myself for YEARS and the answer ALWAYS come back the same. I believe some of them do and some of them don’t. But my hope is that someday they’ll figure it out and truly understand what it means.
Another observation about these kids that I noticed is they brought some very good energy to the festival. You could feel their excitement when a beloved performer was performing and they were down in front of the stage dancing and having a good time with their friends. This brought a smile to my face and my wish for them became to never lose that side of themselves as they get older. Because trust me, you’ll miss it once you lose that side of yourself.
Then there were the folks in attendance that were in my age group whom were sitting on the outside of the stage watching the goings on in front of them. Myself included. As I looked around I wondered if they were thinking the same things I was thinking. But in truth, I noticed some of them either making fun of the screeching entertainment (believe me there was some screeching) or the drag queen that was twirling on the stage, one of which performed like she really didn’t want to be there then others that performed like a true performer would and entertained. Or watching the host (whom is a friend of mine) keep the crowd hype and keep everything moving while there was a lot of chaos going on around him. One thing became certain to me, I see why I enjoy being on the “outside” looking in. It takes more courage than I have or could ever imagine speaking or performing in front of people who just don’t seem interested. But alas, the show must go on.
On to the second part of my evening (to The Max) where I went and finished out the day with a few beers with some cool peeps and danced the night away. Which I haven’t done in forever and knew these old bones would be paying the price the next day (and true to form they were LOL). I mean, I went out last weekend but I didn’t dance much. But the music was actually on point last night which was a truly rare occasion. But when I really put some thought into it, it was like a crescendo of a movie where the music is heightened to make a big reveal or close out the movie. LOL Okay I might be thinking of that wrong but I hope you see where I’m going.
But during a break from dancing I decided to walk around the club and just look around. It was jam-packed of course so there were a ton of people. Which is why it being a rare occasion I go to The Max on Saturday night. Too many people! But I was over in the “hip hop” side of the club and realized the music was on point over there too! For all of 10 minutes before the dj started playing Lil Jon and that damn annoying song “to the window to the walls” LOL. All the hip hop music in the world and like clockwork this one is played every Saturday at that place. I’ll never understand.
I immediately left and continued my walk and decided to venture outside for some fresh air. Well not quite fresh air as everyone was out smoking. So I should say some cool but smoky air LOL I stayed out there long enough to cool off but then headed back inside to find my peeps that I had left on the dance floor. As I’m looking for them, the music is still going pretty good at this point by the way, I’m standing by the edge and the dance floor is completely full. But as I stood there I began to observe the “type” of folk that filled the floor. I noticed:
• The couples that couldn’t keep their hands or lips off each other
• The gay couple that looked like they were on their first or second date and couldn’t quite make eye contact. One moving to the beat of the music and the other just looking around awkwardly
• The group that is taking up majority of the dance floor
• That ONE dancer that thinks he’s the lead dancer in a Broadway show, twirling and leg lifting like he has all the room in the world
• The group of drunk straight girls that know absolutely no words to the song that is playing but singing along like they do
Now multiply some of these groups/couples by 20 and you have a full dance floor LOL
This is what I observed that just happened to ALL be right in front of me and I couldn’t help but laugh. The reason I laughed is because it literally took me back to a time when all those things were me and the groups of people I surrounded myself with at certain times in my life! Well except the group of straight girls but I remembered being surrounded by a group of straight girls doing that LOL
The point of this story is simply this, I LOVE being an observer. I find it very entertaining. and not in a bad way or anything. More as a learning tool. Because while I’m observing, I’m sure there was someone watching me watch all these people and all the while I have this stupid smile on my face from whatever I found funny or interesting during my observations. But the curse part of it is, it made me long for the person I used to be a long, long time ago. The “all I want to do is have fun and forget about my problems” person. That person is still there but I’ve learned I can’t always run away from my problems by “having fun”. It had long become time that I started handling my problems like a big boy and face them head on.