I'm getting too old for this pop culture reference
Alternate headline: Are music fests secretly bad??
(I wish I could cut that gif so it stops after “Who cares” but I’m not going to figure that out.)
My friend Liz called from the Jersey Shore last weekend, where she and I once spent what was supposed to be a weekend in Manasquan. We were in our late early twenties then and spent the night, in my memory, drinking in the gravel driveway, playing drinking games, and playing more drinking games at a bar before going home to a house she was in on with approximately 38 other people. The house had a mildewy rental beach house + party crash pad for young idiots who don’t care about much but partying feel. While I had a fun night, that morning I woke up on a mattress on the floor with three other people I’d never met before in the room and thought “I can’t do this for two nights. I can’t pretend to like this for that long.” I asked Liz if we could go home a night early instead of staying a second night. Thank god she said yes.
I asked other witches about something they’ve realized with total acceptance, they were too old for. Good for others, not for us. As a note, it’s funny how many of them are about concerts. I think I died as a young person the day I brought a newspaper, at 8 months pregnant, to a Wilco/Andrew Bird show—and read it.
“The last show/concert I went to with General Admission tickets. I don’t want to stand ass-to-ass with strangers. I don’t want to stand at all. If you would have told Young Me that she would spend money on VIP access to Pitchfork she would have been disgusted. But that bitch didn’t have osteoarthritis in her knee and perimenopausal induced insomnia!”
“So so much of Austin unfortunately! Why is everyone so young?”
“During winter break when I was 21, I was living with my parents and tending bar. All of my hometown friends were off doing cool things, so I hung out with my little sister’s friends, which was kind of depressing in and of itself. Her bestie was a trust-fund kid who had her own apartment and always had a lot of high-quality weed. We went over there on Christmas Eve to get high and watch Rankin-Bass specials. There were a lot of people there, and by the time we got to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, almost everybody was asleep on the floor. This was probably around 2 or 3am. As you might recall, Rudolph's nose makes a noise not unlike the noise one hears when one inadvertently calls a fax machine. Because I was baked, this noise seemed to go on forever. After enduring this a few times, I sat up, looked around, and realized that I needed to leave immediately. I shook my sister awake, hissed, ‘I am not walking up on Christmas morning in this hippie crash pad,’ and dragged her out to my 1977 Cadillac El Dorado. It goes without saying that I should not have been driving, but I can report that there were no other cars on the road and that I'm pretty sure I never topped 15 MPH all the way back to our parents' house.”
“I went to see Sleater Kinney in this big concrete warehouse in 2015, and I was just STANDING there in flat shoes with no support, and it was loud and cacophonous and crowded and no fun but I felt like I had to pretend it was fun. And THEN years later I bought tickets to see Lizzo in the same venue! But I punked out. I’m good.”
“Recently, we had tickets to see Blonde Redhead and they were running about 2 hours behind and wouldn't go on until 1 am, so I just left.”
“My most recent ‘Dang, I’m too old even for this?’ was sitting on middle school bleachers for a dance team performance. A) I need a back on my seat if I'm to be sitting for more than 30 minutes. and B) between the songs and the moves, I felt SO ANCIENT.”
“Recently went to Atlanta for a hippie jam band music festival. When I was first planning it I planned to go for all three days. My friends vetoed that right away. So we went for one day. I was there in the GA heat for 3 set of music and thought… ‘Thank goodness I didn’t buy the three day pass.’ Three sets was one set too many.”
“Maybe about 5 years ago, a friend and I took the bus from Boston to NYC to visit a friend, something we’d done since college. After riding down next to someone eating a McFishwich and sitting in stop-and-go traffic for hours, we were both totally nauseated and angry and decided NO MORE. We were officially Too Old For This Shit. Now we only take the train.”
“About ten years ago, I went to this outdoor festival thing in Cincinnati and basically opted out of 85% of the bands because I had zero interest in standing around outside with a bunch of people. Also, Pitchfork this year made me feel like a grandma. I even had a ‘Plus’ ticket and that wasn’t enough to stick around for the bands I actually wanted to see. Realizing the age gap between me and people graduating college is eye opening. Like, I am no spring chicken. I feel like a pedophile watching Euphoria even though most of those actors are in their 20’s.”
“I just had this conversation with friends about Lollapalooza. We had a big group go every year for 5-7 years and the last time, one of our dude friends was dating a girl who was 23 (I was 33.). Her and her gaggle of friends wore the tiniest clothes, took drugs from any dude, and drank so, so so much booze by noon that I was truly concerned for their welfares. I offered them my water and my granola bars and my stash of toilet paper and hand sanitizer gave my aspirin and Benadryl when one got hives from traipsing through tall grass and doled out my sunscreen for all their sunburned, glittered bodies whenever they asked. As I was handing yet another girl a band-aid from my tote bag, she slurred ‘You’re like... such a mom.’ and she didn't mean it kindly. I was so offended that I stomped angrily to watch the Tegan & Sara set alone.. I did look down and see my Toms shoes, twill shorts, striped shirt, and floppy-hat wearing head and see her point but still... It stung and I didn't return for a weekend of heat-stroke and asshat college kids making me feel inferior for my practicality.”
Things more our speed
Last week I introduced some witches who requested to be put in touch with other witches in their home town. I didn’t do much beyond introduce them all on email and say “You’re on your own, good luck!” Well, one town on the West Coast got its shit together so fast they sent me a group photo of a witchy get-together which is bananas and I love it.
In the meantime, readers from new locations wanted to know if there was anyone near them to connect with. If you’re a reader from one of the below places (and you’re a mom) please leave a comment or reply to this email if you’d like to be introduced to others near you:
Adelaide, South Australia (Kaurna country)
Chicago’s NW burbs (particularly Barrington, Lake Zurich, Palatine, Arlington Heights, Crystal Lake, Schaumburg, and Wauconda)
Hello to you all out there! 🌍
I am figuring this out as I go along and I think will put out periodic calls for IRL witches in various locales rather than have it be an ongoing thing so if you want to meet other witches but aren’t in one of these areas, please sit tight til the next time I put out a “meet other witches” roll call.
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The newsletter archives live here. A few past issues have covered perimenopause, the times of day it’s best to be a parent, the worst dates for a baby to be born, and mothers who dare to make selfish choices.
The Evil Witches Giving Circle to raise money for Democratic state-level candidates in Michigan is at 84% of its goal! Can you help nudge that needle even closer?
Finally—I just wanted to say I love the Evil Witches community. Before I went on vacation I sent an issue admitting that sometimes in my darker hours I have wondered if being the mom of only boys out in the world is more tiresome doing it with just girls. I heard from a few mothers of daughters who had some gentle corrections for me along the lines of “Please do not make hurtful assumptions like my daughter is well behaved.” Another mother community might vie within itself to prove what a present, crafty, hot, godfearing and/or efficient mama you are. But not you, who were like, “Hold my beer.” I realized that you did not want your own shitty times with your sometimes-shitty daughters erased. I see you and I learned my lesson—and I loved learning it.
One witchy thing
My friend Rebecca posted this on Facebook so excuse the bad 2-part screengrab.
Beach dildo, yes? No other explanation. Watch out for that sand, tho. 🦀🦀