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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8 responses to “Mary Kate meets Kansas

  1. James J.

    Actually, there is some history here. Let’s look back in time:

    That’s right – we have now seen Kansas 2 times in the last 14 months! We first went to see them to mock them (I mean, they are old, right?), but was blown away by the fact they still rock. And they still sound like they did on record 30 years ago. So kudos to Kansas, and Native Window (Kansas Lite). But how sad is it that I have seen Kansas more times than I have seen Pearl Jam, Nirvana and the Who?
    Also, the classic rock does not stop there. March 27th, the Rialto presents – REO Speedwagon! And yes we did buy tickets. I mean, who am I to say no to Mary Kate?

  2. Nancy

    I wish Jim had yelled, “Mary Kate, are you freaking deaf?” – that would have been soooo cool.

  3. Ok, the bike comments? I’m dying.

    And I’ve totally had the “Mary Kate” experience. I just need it to happen again so I can blog about it.

    (PS. Since we’ve commented on each other blogs, it’s safe to say we can be friends now LMAO)

  4. Carrie

    Dear Mary Kate,

    I believe I got a phone call from the speedway Kansas concert – AND – you must of had your phone in the air recording the fabulous “Carry on….”

    A classic move to just blend in with the crowd.

    • Marney

      You got a call during Carry on My Wayward Son. Kayla got a call during Dust in the Wind. I think Laura got a call during Point of Know Return. Then I was done knowing Kansas songs. But man are they good! That was Jim’s phone!

  5. Jacki

    I hate to say it, but I have done this to someone…recently.

    I was at a bar to meet up with old coworkers. There was a guy who looked just like Bob Faitz! I swear! But without the mustache. I walked right up to him (I am sure he was thinking, “who is THIS hottie!” LOL…kidding) and I said “Faitz-o-matic! No Stache?? NICE!”
    Blank stare and then…”…I….I’m not”
    I quickly understood the error of my ways and I said “oh…sorry” and went on my merry way.
    Ordered a double gin and tonic.

    I was with a friend and I kept asking “he looked just like Faitz, right? RIGHT? I’m not losing my mind, right??”

    And I called him Faitz-o-matic – my nickname for Faitz. Who knows what that guy thought.

  6. Kayla

    Dude you do NOT look like a Mary Kate..

    your bicycle comment is like what I always say when people ask if Tom is my first child: “That I KNOW of…”

  7. You should have marched right over and shouted right back, “I’m Ashley, God Damn It!” And then walked out.

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