Thursday, January 3, 2013

I'm Not Ginny


I got caught up in my own fiction.
When the Rolling Stones announced four shows to celebrate their 50th anniversary, two in London and two in New Jersey, I knew I couldn't go. I live in California. I have a job. I can't just pick up and leave, even for the weekend. But there were the tweets and messages from adoring fans around the word. They were making the trek. Why couldn't I? Then reason kicked in. I’ve seen the Stones in concert many times, and besides, I’m not the type to pack my bag and pull out my credit card, like the characters in my novel, Satisfaction. When I began writing about two fictional women who follow the Rolling Stones on tour, I wondered what kind of person would put her life on hold, not to mention her finances in jeopardy, to follow the Rolling Stones. Certainly not someone like me. I am grounded, normal and responsible. I love the Stones but not in a destroy-my-life kind of way. Their music moves me, but it doesn't push me over the cliff.
So, I participated from the sidelines as the band and their fans prepared to recognize this grand achievement. I watched the new documentaries, Crossfire Hurricane and Charlie is My Darling, listened to their new songs and bought the new album, GRRR! Numerous events marked the momentous occasion; the Stones publicity machine was in full throttle, reminding fans of their greatness. I observed from an enthusiastic distance and figured this had to be great for my novel, currently on submission to publishers. One of the characters in Satisfaction racks up a hefty credit-card debt, buying Stones tickets for performances around the country. This was the very thing I was personally avoiding with the 50th anniversary tour underway.
I can’t really say what came over me when the Stones announced an additional show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It was still on the opposite side of the country, and I have responsibilities in California. Perhaps this final addition to their tour pushed me over the edge, as I imagined endless concert seats waiting to be filled by the likes of me. I couldn’t resist the magnetic pull of the Rolling Stones. I found myself helpless as I typed in my credit card numbers and charged two tickets to see the Stones on December 8th in New York City. The logical part of my brain said, “I could always resell the tickets,” but the emotional side, and let’s face it, the more powerful one, said “You’ve got to go!” I spent $1000 on two tickets to see the Rolling Stones in a venue nearly 3000 miles from home. I had no plane tickets and not a lot of extra cash to spare. But I had my undying love for the Stones, years of dedication to a band whose songs I’ve played over and over again. Wasn’t that enough?
When the tickets arrived, I wrestled with the idea of going to New York for the weekend. My husband, who usually supports my love for the Stones and the eccentricities and expense that goes along with it, couldn’t go. My best friend wanted to but didn’t have the money for the flight and hotel room. I even floated the idea of going solo, much like Ginny does in Satisfaction before meeting her new friend Bree. Too bad that I’m such a wimp and couldn’t work myself up to it. I suppose that’s why I created Ginny Martin, my alter ego, a woman both brave and foolish enough to pursue her dreams.
            I wish this tale ended with me at the concert in New York, shouting “I love you, Mick!” and having the time of my life. Sadly, it does not, and I wound up selling the tickets on eBay. I took a financial loss, but I’m happy to report that the buyer assured me that she was super excited to see the Stones in concert for the first time in her life. I avoided forfeiting the tickets to a soulless ticket agency and am content knowing that I gave a new fan the opportunity to see the Rolling Stones at their best, live and in full glory. Appreciating music is one thing, but sharing the experience, turning people on to the Rolling Stones, the greatest rock-and-roll band of all time, is what Satisfaction is all about.