Yesterday a new Sunday school class started about Strengthening the Family. Christian and I have been invited to attend. We like to hit all the special interest classes (Marriage Relations, Temple Prep, Gospel Principles, etc.) whenever we can to keep it real. It's all about keeping it real, don't you think? Whatever that means.
This class is going to be really good. The teachers--a couple from my ward who have been reasonably successful in raising and strengthening their own family--were prepared and enthusiastic and have all sorts of good ideas for us to implement in our own homes.
Since it was the first day, our teachers had us fill out an information form. They asked us to describe our happiest memory or adventure with our siblings or parents and also asked the question, "What is the best thing your parents ever taught you or did for you?"
These are hard questions to answer off the top of my head--and rather personal as well. I took the form home to give it some more thought. That day my cousin called from Las Vegas with an offer I couldn't refuse and it struck me that my family has given me a rich heritage of U2- loving and concert-going that has shaped me and influenced me all of my life.
That's right suckers! This is a music post and I'm going to U2 December 17th. Seriously folks, right on!
The information sheet also asked us to describe one of our earliest memories and one of mine is being left with a baby sitter when I was about 3 without my sister Erin because she and my mom were going to see Elvis Presley in concert. This was a huge deal because he was not just a king but The King and we were loyal subjects.
Years later I would worship at the black-booted feet of another. Erin pointed out how the stocky man they called Bono used electrical tape for a belt at Red Rocks. Hmmm. An accessory made out of tape. I like it. I like it a lot. But at that point I can't say I was on board with the crazy bi-level hair-do which, in an ironic twist of fate, I now sport. A Joshua Tree and a painful growing out of bangs later and HELLO BONO!
In my family we mark our lineage in terms of the U2 concerts we have attended. Erin was at the Joshua Tree concert in LA with Jon, who would later become her husband. Heidi was actually at one of the Rattle and Hum concerts in Phoenix when it was filmed. Carly has documented her concerts on her blog but, in brief, she saw Zoo TV, Elevation and The Popmart Tour. I was basically estranged from U2 during the Popmart era.
I would never have seen a U2 concert if it weren't for my cousins from Vegas and my dear mother. My Vegas cousins are, in a word, U2 nuts who possess the wherewithal to get tickets to every concert that ever happens. Long story short, that's how my mom ended up driving me and Carly to Vegas to see Zoo Tv. She even let my boyfriend come and she went to a Smothers Brothers show with him while Carly and I were at the concert. But you know, she really shouldn't have. Because he turned into a real jerk. My mom claims to not even like U2--she hates Bono (something to do with politics and self-righteousness. . . somethin somethin) but that was one of our happiest adventures nevertheless. You should have heard Carly singing along to "In the Name of Love." BAH HA HA!
My next U2 concert was a few years ago and was [also] in Vegas and [also] thanks to the efforts of my cool Vegas cousins. This time Christian and I drove out for it. I have seen a few concerts--some good/some bad. Of course U2 was great. But what stood out about this particular show was that they didn't turn the lights out or anything when they came on stage. No one ever does that. You'd think it would remove the dramatic element and--for most--it probably would but I just couldn't believe how cool it was. Do you believe me that it was super cool? Because it was.
So my cousin calls on Sunday with three tickets to U2 in SLC on December 17th. So Carly (who will be, oh, about a month into her post-partum depression at that time), Christian, my cousins, and I will be eating a big meal in Salt Lake City, looking around for Bono, and then going over to the Delta center, mourning the loss of the Salt Palace as a viable concert venue, and participating in some good clean loud fun as the many Faulconers/McNeals/Pauls/Deems/Rasmussens/Kenneys have done before me. And only the wusses will wear plugs. Just kidding. Christian is not a wuss.
Friend, I don't want to try your patience too much. But here are just a few other topics I am happy to discuss at length if you are interested: each and every tiny little detail in Rattle and Hum (the movie) including but not limited to Bono's hair, gestures, and tripping; the coolness of Larry Mullen Jr. as a drummer (but no other drummers, please); what exactly rhythm guitar is; your favorite U2 song and your interpretation of it; and/or what I should wear to the concert. Shalom.