Sangria and Beach Chairs

22 Aug

Tailgating – like belly dancing or synchronized swimming – is not for everyone. I learned this when I went with my mom and sisters to the John Mayer concert this past weekend.

When my mom said, emphatically, “Let’s tailgate before the concert!” I immediately started typing “mid-life crisis” into Google. My mom – before this weekend, anyway – had never been one for activities involving any combination of trucks, grills, and kegs. So naturally I was confused by her suggestion.

Really?” I asked. “You want to tailgate? I thought you always said tailgating was for ‘Bruce Springsteen fanatics who never quite made it off their parents’ couches’?”

*My mom wants me to clarify that she never really said this and that I added it for “comedic flourish.”*

*Also, I would like to clarify that I am a fan of Bruce Springsteen and I don’t sleep on my parents’ couch. I have my own bed, thank you very much…*

Springsteen aside, I was shocked by her suggestion. But I was also intrigued because I thought that maybe if we made the big effort to tailgate, my mom might cave and let me drink an alcoholic beverage. And that would be AWESOME. So I said yes. 

The first step of our tailgating experience involved deciding between regular parking and Premier Parking (ooh, ahh). We decided to order $40 Premier Parking tickets because I reasoned that the Premier lot “just seemed like the swankier option.”  I envisioned us grilling on a golden grill and sitting in bejeweled lawn chairs as we drank fine champagne out of crystal goblets. (Because $40 is the only difference between tailgating and a medieval feast…)

Our next tailgating decision involved food and drink.

The drink conversation between my mom and me went like this: should we drink beer? No, beer makes us feel bloated. Okay, so maybe we’ll bring a screw-top bottle of wine and a couple of cups, but then only drink half of the bottle because we don’t want to drink too much before the concert? No, that seems too risky because we’ll definitely finish the bottle and then we probably won’t even make it to the concert. Plus, have you ever heard anyone say “Rock on, dude, let’s chug some Pinot!”? Nope. Okay, so we’ll risk the bloating and bring  beer…and we’ll throw in some red Solo cups to give us that frat party edge.

Beer, how original.

For food, we decided to get takeout from Chipotle. The four of us ordering food at Chipotle is kind of like four guys deciding on their March Madness brackets while standing in front of a line of people who are starving for assorted meats and salsas; it’s complicated and stressful and everyone’s just trying to figure out the difference between a Burrito Bowl with lettuce and a salad with burrito fixings.

*My sister would like me to point out that both guys and girls participate in March Madness… just because I am a girl who doesn’t participate in March Madness bracket-making doesn’t mean that all girls don’t participate.*

*Also, I would like to point out that the two scenarios that I just compared are really nothing alike, but you should just go with it because how often do I have basketball brackets on the brain and willingly use them in an analogy?*

Once we had our GIANT bag of Chipotle take-out, we drove to the Comcast Center, where, thanks to the Premier Parking passes, we had the awesome perk of being directed by a twelve-year-old kid to a tiny parking spot next to the porta potties… for which the line was ridiculously long. Come on, people, just because it’s in the VIP lot doesn’t mean it’s sanitary…

My mom pulling into this parking space provided some serious entertainment for these porta potty fanatics. The twelve-year-old parking guide seemed to think that if we just got a tiny bit closer to the giant SUV on the left then we would be happy customers and he would win an Employee of the Month award. Unfortunately for us, this meant pulling in and out of the spot and nearly hitting every single crop-top wearing teeny bopper that decided to skip behind and in front of our moving vehicle. Luckily, all of our windows were open, so everyone could hear when my sister yelled, “Grow a brain and get out of the way, biddies!”

I could be wrong, but I don’t think you’re supposed to yell at your fellow tailgaters. I think – given the fact that everyone’s cars are parked so close together – you’re actually supposed to make friends with the people around you. We didn’t quite get there.

We also didn’t really look as cool as we thought we would. The people around us were not sitting in beach chairs, but really official-looking “spectator” chairs. They weren’t eating takeout Chipotle but plates of assorted cheeses and cured meats. (Seriously, so much prosciutto and sausage. What happened to hamburgers and hot dogs? I didn’t see a single grill). And, to make matters worse, the people next to us were drinking SANGRIA. Not beer, but a FRUITY WINE BEVERAGE. 

If the Premier lot of tailgaters had been high school, we would have been wearing suspenders and snorting nasal spray.

Let’s not mention this to Bruce Springsteen.



3 Responses to “Sangria and Beach Chairs”

  1. Simon August 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    For reals on the Chipotle salad / burrito bowl conundrum. Great blog!

    • sophpearl August 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      Quite the quandary 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!


  1. Up to Speed | The Knee Deep Life - September 3, 2013

    […] Sangria and Beach Chairs by Sophie […]

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