Today I went to buy concert tickets. The concert is tomorrow, but I only discovered the band on Spotify last week (In the Valley Below if you know them, you indie you).
I walked over to the box office at the inauspicious time of 3 PM. With tickets at $5, I did not expect a crowd. Most people should be nodding off over their keyboards at work, right? However, what I found was a venue besieged by queues of teen girls and a handful of soccer moms and doting dads. Like, we are talking a hundred females mid-puberty on a sidewalk on an 85 degree day.
To quote any pubescent girl:
They couldn't all be here for the concert I was going to - unless we all discovered "Peaches" last week. Did we?! It looks like a field trip, I decide. Why else would there be such a congregation of Beliebers in downtown Richmond? Ah, how I remember the days of baking on yellow school buses while traveling to some historical site all in the name of the state's standards of learning or whatever you want to call it.
I pull my sunglasses down and approach the crowd. "Hi, are you waiting in line for the box office?" I try.
A girl looks at me and says nothing, young enough to know not to talk to strangers. Another girl replies, "No."
Me: "Do you mind if I slip into the box office then?"
The line has wrapped itself on the sidewalk, so I actually have to cut through three lines. And I would like to point out, I would not have cut through the line if I had known I was cutting people, but you read what the girl said: They weren't waiting in line. She said that!
By the box office window are two parents, either parenting two different children or divorced judging by their expressions. I double check if they're waiting for the box office.
Woman with terse lips, pixie cut, and shades (of course): "Yes, we are all waiting for the box office."
Me: "You all are waiting?" All hundred of you? Because I am about to march back to my air conditioned office and pay the $2 online handling fee instead of partaking in this community sweat session. I'm also reconsidering attending the concert if I'm going to be surrounded by hormones en masse. And I would not have cut in front of a hundred people if that girl hadn't lied to me; I am not that impatient of an a-hole (just impatient enough to leave).
Woman: "Yes. They say they're opening the box office at 3:15."
I check my watch. It's 2:58.
Me: "Oh . . . I think I'm going to come back then."
Woman/Mom of the Year: "You're here for the Shawn tickets, right?"
Me: " . . . No? Who's that? I'm here for the concert tomorrow."
Woman: "We're all here for Shawn Mendes tickets. You can go ahead of us then. They're making us wait until 3:15. You'll probably have to tell them you're not here for Shawn; they're ignoring us right now."
I eye my surroundings. Who is this Shawn Mendes, beacon of truancy and perspiring on sidewalks? Then again, it is 3 PM; high school's out (though not middle school, which some of these teens questionably are). And maybe these kids are so young, their sweat glands aren't yet active.
I knock on the box office window. No one comes.
Woman: "Say you're not here for Shawn."
I shout into the window, "I'm not here for Shawn!"
The teenyboppers laugh behind me.
An attendant appears. The transaction is fast. "Three tickets, please."
I then maneuver my way out of the line, including knocking my sunglasses off when I duck beneath the ropes giving order to this line.
On the walk back to my office, I Google Shawn Mendes.
. . . . . . . . . . . Shawn Mendes is a Vine star? He makes 7-second videos and is famous for that, and I don't know who he is? Like, I'm not saying I should be bopping out to him, but I am only 24! I should at least know who he is. I mean, I know who Justin Bieber is, and I know what Vine is!?
As my friend put it, "When you've peaked in terms of social media awareness."
I asked my twenty-something friends if they knew who Shawn Mendes is. None of us have heard of this Generation Z'er. Back in the day I would have said a ~*famous*~ person who I've never heard of is obviously not famous and/or irrelevant. Now, however, I am left wondering if we twenty-somethings are becoming irrelevant when we can't even identify preteens' pop stars.
Youth: It passes by so fast.