Remember your teenage obsessions? The burning need to read every word about them and watch every moment featuring them on stage and screen. Not to mention those endless daydreams about meeting them in real life!
Mine was Neil Finn, seguing into David Duchovny and The X Files later in the decade … or was that my twentysomethings? It’s all a blur.
The eldest is fixated on a show called Supernatural. She watches the show every Monday night. She has the boxed set of the first 10 seasons on high rotation. She wears T-shirts featuring witty references to episodes. She even wears Supernatural-themed jewellery.
I know that passion well. And I’m belatedly appreciating the ways my parents indulged mine. My dad would negotiate with scalpers for tickets outside Split Enz concerts. He sweet talked the Newcastle Workers Club into letting underaged me sit in the lighting booth for a concert. My mum took me to the Split Enz concert – and stood in the front row ogling Tim Finn – in the middle of the HSC because none of my friends were allowed to go.
They helped make my teen dreams come true.
When I heard there was a Supernatural convention coming to Melbourne, I decided to do the same for my own teen.
At the end of January, I spent two hours desperately trying to get tickets as the website repeatedly crashed. I was delirious with excitement when I finally scored them.
I then sweet talked the parents of a fellow Supernatural-loving teen into letting their daughter accompany her, so my daughter wouldn’t be forced to go along with her mother.
Finally, over the weekend, we flew to Melbourne for the big moment. I couldn’t really afford to fly to Melbourne for the big moment … but, hey, I seem to specialise in doing stuff I can’t really afford …
Fortunately my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and lovely former colleague Lorrae offered lots of lifts and beds for the night and fed and watered us. Bless them all.
And the giant smile on the eldest’s face as she posed for an eye-wateringly expensive photo with her favourite actor – Jared Padalecki – made it all feel worth it.
She had a freaking awesome time at that convention, watching panel Q&A sessions with the actors all day, lining up for autographs and buying souvenirs with saved up Christmas money.
Yup, bulk fun.
On our flight home to Sydney, I started thinking about all the ways my parents indulged my obsession decades ago. And I wondered whether I expressed gratitude for all their hard work. Did I appreciate the hoops they jumped through for me? I don’t remember. I hope I did. If I didn’t – thank you Mum and Dad for getting me into all those Split Enz concerts, I was a very lucky teen.
And now I’ve paid it forward.
I also feel a bit chastened by the moaning I did about all the things I missed out on as a kid. I remember that VERY clearly: no Space Food sticks in my lunch box, no gonk, no clicker clackers. Not to mention the outrage and fury when my dad tore my RAM magazine in half because it had swear words in it. I’ll never forget THAT.
It’s funny the ways we rewrite history.
PS I’m worried the eldest wouldn’t appreciate me sharing a photograph of her with Jared, even though it’s an awesome shot, so you’ll have to make do with this photo I found on Instagram. Imagine it’s just the tall guy on the right standing with an equally tall, red-headed girl dressed in black … without the puppets or the WTF expression on his face … Oh, and here are a few other snaps from the weekend (I couldn’t take very many because my phone was full – you’re not going to believe this, but I can’t work out how to transfer the pics onto my computer from my phone since Picasa was decommissioned.)
Song of the day: Crowded House “Mean to me”