Well, no. Not really.
But something awful has happened, and I fear it’s all my fault.
Wait, let me start at the beginning.
I have loved Barry Manilow since I first heard “I Write the Songs” played by DJ Ron Drake on WHP-580’s Ducky Drake Morning Show sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Then I heard “Mandy” and “Can’t Smile Without You” and so many other songs, and I was hooked. His Manilow Magic was the first record I ever bought, and I played it to absolute death. While my friends were swooning over Shawn Cassidy, Leif Garrett, and other teen heartthrobs, it was Barry Manilow that I wanted desperately to see in concert.
Lo and behold, he came to Hershey one year; I think I was nine or ten. I begged my parents to take me to see him. They refused, for all kids of reasons: It was a school night. It was too expensive. I can’t stand to look at him, let alone hear him sing for two hours. I don’t want you around the kinds of people that go to concerts–druggies and drunks and who knows what (Um, Dad, it’s Barry Manilow, not Metallica).
Needless to say, I didn’t go to that concert. Or any other concert.
Years passed, and I have missed so many other opportunities to see him, for many reasons. Money, work, school, health issues. It just never worked out, and I resigned myself to the fact that I will probably never see him live in concert. That thought became even more ingrained when he announced dates for his final concert tour.
Yesterday, I got a PM from a Facebook friend saying that Barry would again be in Hershey, as part of the final tour of his career. I decided to check it out, even though I knew I probably couldn’t afford tickets. I’m currently a stay-at-home mom, and my husband has to have surgery in a couple weeks, which means he’ll be out of work for six weeks. Money’s tight, and the tickets will probably be outrageously priced.
To my absolute shock, there were tickets available for under $20! I texted my husband to tell him about it. He texted back, “If you want to get tickets, you’d better get them soon.” Wait, WHAT?
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I ordered tickets (in the nosebleed section, of course). As I stared at the tickets I had just printed off, I kept pinching myself. Was this really real? Was I really holding BARRY MANILOW TICKETS in my hand????
I called my best friend to tell her. She was so happy for me, but she quipped, “Is that why we’re getting freezing temperatures here in Florida?”
I joked back, “Yeah, I’ve always said, if I get tickets to see him, he’ll probably drop dead a couple days before the concert, and I’ll never get to see him.”
I know, I know. Awful thing to joke about in any situation. Now, imagine the heart attack I had this morning when this popped up in my Facebook news feed. All I could think was, “Oh no, now I’ve done it! If anything happens to Barry, it’s all my fault. I bought tickets, and the universe is smacking down my good fortune.”
I’m sure he will be all right. But it just makes me wonder…