One Of The Stupidest Things I’ve Ever Done

For some reason I’ve been listening to the songs of my teens and young adulthood this week. That means Meat Loaf, Queen, Styx (the Tommy Shaw songs, not Dennis DeYoung), Steve Miller Band, the Cars, and of course, Bruce Springsteen. I still love this music, and I still know all of the lyrics, even the silly ones (and some of them are pretty darn silly).

I think that I’ve already mentioned my young-adult infatuation with Bruce Springsteen. I don’t listen to him much anymore, though. That’s because listening him always reminds me of One Of The Stupidest Things I’ve Ever Done.

Excuse me a minute – Hey, Margie – if you’re reading this, I don’t think Mom knows about this little incident. So maybe we could keep it between ourselves and the Internet, okay? Thanks.

So, I was a very young adult – no more than 22. The Born in the USA album had come out and Bruce was touring. He hadn’t started to play the really huge venues yet, so he was still at the old Spectrum in Philadelphia. Because Philly loved Bruce, he was there for six or seven nights. I went to see him on the second night of the run, and I was completely wowed.

Another aside – if you never saw Bruce play live when he was in his prime, you really missed something.

Anyway, as I said, a friend of mine and I went to see him, but our tickets were on the floor. Everyone stood on their chairs for the whole night and I couldn’t see a blessed thing. The fact that the concert was still awesome in spite of that says something. I really, really wanted to see him again.

I had heard a rumour – probably more of an urban myth – that Bruce always held back tickets for his shows. He would make them available to people waiting in line who didn’t have tickets – you just had to be in the right place at the right time. I talked to another girl who was a friend of the friend I’d gone with, and we decided to try to see if we could get in.

Let’s recap – I did not know the girl with whom I was making plans – she was my friend’s friend, not mine. I did not know if tickets would indeed be made available. I did not know if I had any hope in hell of getting them if they were.

Okay, since this girl lived in Northeast Philadelphia. I told her that I would meet her at her house. I had never in my life driven to Philadelphia. I did not know Northeast Philadelphia. Better yet, I did not know the girl’s last name. I barely knew her first name. The only time I’d met her was the night we’d decided to do this. I might have had her phone number, but there were no cell phones back then and I wasn’t sure where I could go to make a phone call. But I agreed to meet her at her house.

I got lost.

So here I am wandering around Northeast Philly. I finally found her street, but I couldn’t find her house. Finally, as I stood staring at the houses and wondering what I should do, a couple walked past. They said “we think that house has a girl” and pointed.  I thanked them and went to the house they indicated.

Again, a recap. I am in Northeast Philadelphia, a place I’d never been, to meet a girl who’s name I did not really know. I had asked strangers on the street to point me to a house, and on their word I went to that house and rang the bell.

You know, just typing this is giving me the shivers. This was INCREDIBLY dangerous. And INCREDIBLY stupid.

But then miracles occurred. It turned out to be the right house. The girl and I went to the Spectrum. Tickets were not available. so we bought scalped tickets. But the scalped tickets were not counterfiet. We did not get arrested for buying them. Although the Spectrum held at least 20,000 people, and the tickets were in completely different, separate sections, we managed to find each other at intermission, and then again after the show was over. (Oh, and the show was awesome – it was the best seat I’ve ever had for a concert).

Wow. I have done some REALLY stupid things in my life, but this is right up there at the top of the list. Looking back, I realize that anything could have happened at any point along the way. I have to tell you, seriously, that when I need evidence of a divine presence in my life, I only have to think about this little adventure. My guardian angel was drinking whiskey straight from the bottle after this one was over.

And that’s why I have trouble listening to Bruce Springsteen now. Because listening to him makes me feel stupid. I still like some of the music, though. However, now that I’ve told you this story, I’m going to switch to classical until my nerves settle.

And I have absolutely no explanation for this –



  1. Aah, you need to forgive yourself. It was long ago and you learned. Go get all your Springsteen albums out (if you still have them), put them on the record player (if you still have one), and do a therapeutic Springsteen marathon. If you don’t have the albums or the player, get Pandora and make yourself a Springsteen channel.

    Or, if you’re serious about classical music, let’s chat. I love classical!

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Tia Nevitt: I look back from the vantage point of…not being 22, and think “what the heck were you thinking!” LOL I still listen to Springsteen sometimes (like this week), but it always reminds me how scared I was when I was wandering around Philadelphia. 😀

      And I LOVE classical music. These days I mostly listen to Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi. They calm me. LOL

      • @Betsy Horvath: Love them three. Also love many of the Romantics, such as Lizst, Beethoven, Schubert and Tchaikovsky. Lots more, of course.

        • Betsy Horvath says

          @Tia Nevitt: I absolutely adore Tchaikovsky – he always makes me want to dance LOL And Lizst – hey, I’m Hungarian 🙂 I love Schubert and Beethoven too. I tend to listen to Baroque because it helps me think – somehow the balance of the music helps me calm my thinking. But I love the Romantics when I want to just be carried away on a wave of music. I tend not to like the more discordant music from Mahler or Stravinsky or more modern composers.

          • @Betsy Horvath: I’m the same way–my mood dictates which era I want to listen to. You are a true aficionado when you know the differences between Baroque, Classical and Romantic. I don’t care for discordant music, either.

            I’ve burned myself out on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, but I never seem to get tired of Handel or Mozart.

  2. Go listen…..

  3. Betsy,
    If you knew all the stupid things I have done in my lifetime(and I’m sure Laryn has expounded and re-written the history on some of them to you), it could be the subject of your next novel, except no one would believe any of it!
    “Mistakes”, like failures, are merely lessons to learn from, and continue to grow. You are in that process even now. Couple that with a great sense of humor, from what I can see, and a better sense of self than most people I’ve met(and I’ve met a lot of people far less sane than you). So, should you decide to pick up your saxaphone and try it again, I will pick up my guitar and join you. Together, we can probably “bring the house down!” Literally………..
    Continued success in all you do; Have A Great Weekend!

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Roy Barnett: Thanks, Roy! I’m pretty sure my saxophone can do more damage than your guitar! LOL For years after I moved out, the neighbors would make comments to my parents about how much they “enjoyed” my sax solos. LOL 😀

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