Photo by Andy Mann via @PhishFromTheRoad on Instagram

So, I have been following this band, Phish for about 25 years. I love them. Going to their shows is beyond an experience – and it’s never the same show. The only thing that is the same is that I have toured with so many wonderful people – and it’s a gathering of smiles, love, and friendship. I have traveled across the country, to Mexico, to London, to Amsterdam and places I have never imagined. I have seen around 250 shows. Most people keep track of them, I don’t. I hold the memories near and dear.

For a couple of months now, I have been preparing for my annual pilgrimage to see Phish in Denver at Dicks Sporting Goods, better known at Phish Dicks. Over the years, these shows seem to stick out most in my memories. Aside from the fact that Colorado is one of my favorite places  – Phish Dicks shows are beyond special.

When I travel for Phish shows, it takes a lot of coordinating and a lot of money. Sometimes tickets are hard as fuck to get, sometimes they are super easy. For a lot of people, like myself, we have to save here and there to make our favorite shows. Dicks is one of them for me. I have been prepping for months. I cut my trip short (your trip is short), due to the responsibilities of being a mother I decided this year to only do two days instead of three over labor day weekend. I squared away tickets, friends let me crash in their hotel room and well, I got a double layover cheap flight on Spirit. AND my parents offered to watch my son and pets while I returned to my favorite place. I spent weeks ordering a bagful of gifts to hand out to all my friends. That’s what really makes me happy, that’s what I look forward to.

There have been many hurdles in the last few weeks though. First, I have been going through one of those scares no woman should ever go through. Mammogram. Waiting for results. Ok, now you need you a sonogram. Waiting for results. Ok, you’re fine. Oh, wait, actually, let’s do a biopsy just in case. Waiting for results. Ok, you’re fine. When you go through things like that – you tend to think a lot. Especially when you’re a parent.

And then there’s like a fucking plague at Dicks. No joke. A fucking plague. From what I understand, there are prairie dogs with fleas carrying a disease that I guess has serious effects. Dicks canceled camping on site. They canceled the heady Shakedown. So yeah, there’s that.

 

I live in Florida and there is a major hurricane coming this way. Major. You never know with this stuff. Could be overhyped. Or not. Who knows. The hurricane is supposed to hit Florida the day I am scheduled to come back from Colorado on Monday. Fuck.

It didn’t take me too long to figure out my game plan. Ok, I’ll get out there – no problem. I will rock the fuck out for two nights grinning ear to ear with people who are like family to me. So what if my flight home on Monday is canceled – I have already arranged to chill at my friends house, which is pretty epic in the mountains. I’ll hit up the dispensaries and get legal weed and puff puff puff until the hurricane passes. Crisis avoided. No hurricane for me, sit back, relax, hang with friends and extend what is sure to be an amazing weekend.

 

Ok, just in case my flight gets canceled, I gave my tickets to my friends heading out early. At least I could get some money back – just in case. I tweeted about it, and then – a bunch of people were already trying to buy my tickets. Like, seriously?

______

A few years ago, I remember going through a major, I don’t know how to put it, a life adjustment. I decided to leave New York City and move to Florida for a job and a better life for my son. My boyfriend at the time was a huge Phish head – just like me. I remember going through all the emotions and logistics. And mind you – this way a tough decision for me. One morning we woke up in each other’s arms and kissed me goodbye and he said he had to jet. The next thing I knew, he left New York to go on Phish summer tour and I never saw him again. I remember thinking “Seriously, is this band more important than me? Did dude just break up with me so he could go on tour?” It wasn’t a good feeling.

______

So that memory came to me today. Here I am, supposed to leave for Phish Dicks Saturday morning, avoiding the hurricane and then I had this overwhelming sense of guilt. I couldn’t believe I took it this far. Am I really going to leave my son and my parents so I could see Phish while they braved a hurricane? (Not to mention my dog and cat). I get it, Phish is like a religion to me. It’s literally been part of my fabric for 25 years. But nothing, nothing is more important than my family.

I just canceled my flight. And when I told my son, he looked at me with his eyes of ocean blue and said: “Mom, now I feel guilty, I know you have been planning this for months”. I said, “Nothing in this world is more important than you”.

I know I’m going to get a lot of shit from my phriends, whom we’ve been planning this for months. This weekend we were to celebrate the 10 year wedding anniversary of dear phriends who have been there for me through thick and thin. We were going to celebrate birthdays!  I was simply going to bask in the love of people who are like family to me. I love you guys. I seriously love you all.

But.

I love my son. I love him more than anything. And I love my parents. I love that they moved down to Florida last year, just to be close to us and help us. I’m so lucky to have such an amazing family. No way I am leaving them during a hurricane. Sure my parents have a new home that is hurricane level 5 secure (or some shit like that) and a state of the art generator. And yes, their garage is like Costco and could probably feed an entire third world country with the amount of shit they have stocked up. So needless to say, they are covered. But no Phish show, no concert, no fucking anything is more important than the people who have done nothing but love me.

So, I’m sitting this one out.

Sure, this may seem like the ultimate “white girl problems”.  Whatever, it means something to me. But, I’m not even going to let this get me down, deep down I know I made the right decision. Writing about it is my release. So if you don’t agree or think I’m being overdramatic – then well, check out something else.

And if you get to the bottom of this and ask me for my spare tickets. I haven’t decided. Half of me would really like my money back – they weren’t cheap and I could really use it. The other half of me is like “just miracle someone, you always do”. I haven’t decided yet. I still have time.

I’m never going to let things that I might be passionate about come before my family. I love Phish and it’s been part of me for half my life, but my family makes me whole.

Who knows what will happen with this hurricane. But people are freaking out – predictions keep changing (for the worse) and you can’t find water or gas anywhere. My hopes is that it will be nothing, no damage and I will chill for a few days with my family, few cases of rosé and my moms awesome cooking. Because, really, who wants a natural disaster.

So rock the fuck out my phriends, be kind and look out for one another. I will see you soon! And watch out for the flying dildos! xoMS

PS. For whoever reads this, I still have my bag of goodies I was going to bring with me to Dicks to hand out, send me an email with your address and you’ll get a surprise sent you! <3

 

“So toss away stuff you don’t need in the end
But keep what’s important and know who’s your friend”