Daily Archives: December 10, 2009

Mary Kate meets Kansas

My sister Laura often tells people that she looks like everyone they’ve ever met. It’s her explanation for why she is constantly asked, “Don’t I know you?” Now, despite Laura’s witty personality (she gets it from me), she never uses my reply: “Did I sleep with you in college?” I use that reply each and every time someone asks if they know me, male, female, young, old, makes no difference. If the response flusters them a bit, I like to go into detail: “Because I was like the campus bicycle back then! Everyone took a ride. I have a birth mark….” They usually interrupt by then.

But Laura has a point. She does look like everyone you’ve ever met. And so do the rest of those of us who call ourselves Pat and Tom’s kids. Despite a last name that is 10-letters long and impossible to pronounce, we are John Q. Public and family. We are the most average looking people in America. You have looked at us at WalMart a million times and never even noticed. B.O.R.I.N.G. It’s probably why we are so loud, we are over-compensating. Good thing we are also the most hysterical group of people you will ever meet as well.

Case in point, though  — Jim and I had a date last weekend. We went to the fabulous Rialto Square Theater in Joliet to see the one and only Kansas. Jim and I got married at the Rialto, so we like going to shows there. And yes, I know Peter Brady got married there, but we did it FIRST. When someone tells me that, I usually think, “ha ha ha ha ha ha ha STFU, asshat. The Rialto is MINE!” But aside from our love for that particular theater, Kansas is cool (though it is starting to dawn on me that I have a very bizarre musical sense).

I forgot my camera, so all I have is this:

You get the point. That fiddle player, by the way, has the most awesome arms this side of Michelle Obama. Honestly. I normally wouldn’t recommend a vest with no shirt, but that dude is pulling it off! And considering Kansas had their debut in 1974, the year I was born, and I am not exactly considered “young” anymore, I have to say, that man was working it. Four of the members of Kansas have formed a new band called Native Window, and they opened for Kansas, featuring themselves. No really. It was a trip. How long to the point of “know” return, indeed. They are seriously one of the best bands (well, technically, two of the best bands) I have ever heard live, they are really, really good.

At the concert, we were by far the youngest people there by choice. All of the young folk were actually teens, and they were in the company of their PTA moms dancing about with one finger of each hand pointed directly in the air while their balding dads kept the beat with sophisticated air drums. But before we headed to the event, we decided to catch some dinner in mystical downtown Joliet. If you’ve never been there, Joliet is a fairly large area, with a downtown several blocks long and a Harrah’s casino. The Will County courthouse is also there, so there are several bars and restaurants which cater to the young lawyer crowd.

The first place we walked into was packed. But before we even made it in the door, I noticed a group of what I would describe as middle-aged women at a table by the window. I noticed them because every last one of them was glued to the window, staring at me. As we walked in the door, they shouted.

“Mary Kate! Mary Kate! Hey, there’s Mary Kate! Mary Kate!”

We walked right past. As we came to the bar, the shouting continued, and I knew they were talking to me, but I refused to turn (for no good reason really). A brief gloss over of the place showed that it was really too packed for us, no available tables and no empty seats at the bar.

“Wanna go somewhere else?” Jim asks.

“Those women are screaming at me,” I reply.

“I know,” Jim says.

We decide to clear out and find a less crowded place. As we turn, my eyes pass over the women but I do not make eye contact or indicate that I have noticed them. I hope now that they have seen my face, they will see that I am not Mary Kate, and just sit back and enjoy their adult beverages. But no.

“Mary Kate!” one of them shouts while standing and waving her arms.

Now, there’s no reason for me not to just stop and look at them, let them see I am not Mary Kate, then be on my way. But for some reason, I choose not to. I walk past them and out the door, their shouts of “Mary Kate” replaced with the sounds of the street. They remain in the window, looking at me as we walk away. For added drama, Jim pretended to yell at me in an animated manner as we left, you know, to heighten the mystery.

Jim and I find this whole thing hysterical. He calls me Mary Kate for the rest of the night. But, I have one question for him:

“How old do I look?” I say, crushed. “I mean, I don’t think I look younger than my age, but I don’t think I look older than it either.”

Why? Because not a single one of these women was under the age of 55. Did they think I was… one of them? How old am I anyway? I mean, we were going to a Kansas concert, afterall. Am I kidding myself? Am I… OLD? Of course, since none of them has any real idea what Mary Kate looks like anyway, how close could they be to her? Maybe Mary Kate was the daughter of a someone they knew? Or an old co-worker? Please, be the daughter, be the daughter…..

But truthfully, it probably has nothing to do with that whatsoever. The fact is, I look like everyone you’ve ever met. Including Mary Kate.

We did joke later about what they must have said when we left. I mean, there was NO WAY I didn’t notice them. They practically pounced on me. Can you imagine the conversation?

Lady 1 – “Who was that man with Mary Kate?”

Lady 2 – “Mary Kate is such a bitch for ignoring us.”

Lady 3 – “Mary Kate got fat!”

Lady 4 – “I’m going to give Mary Kate a piece of my mind the next time I see her.”

Lady 5 – “I’m worried about Mary Kate’s hearing and vision!”

Do you think that poor Mary Kate has had to defend herself against these women since then? Swearing to God that she was no where near downtown Joliet on Friday night?

All I do know is this: Mary Kate had a rocking time at the Kansas concert last Friday. Carry on my wayward son. Carry on.


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