with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Watching Cher Strut Her Stuff – and Say Farewell

As a complete surprise, my mother’s husband took us to see Cher at the new Everett Civic Auditorium here, north of Seattle. I had no idea. I got dressed up for a dinner, theatre, something nice but not too showy (I don’t travel with much showy) and was ready for anything. And I got anything.

We drove downtown, but on the way, I encountered an amazing lesson about myself. In the car, I reached for my little black fanny pack and for my handheld computer – and realized that I’d left it in the house, plugged into the wall to recharge. Panic overwhelmed me. I thought about it for a second, but I just had to ask Robert if we could turn around and go back to the house. Then I felt stupid. After all, he’s taking us out for “fun” and something special that he’d planned and here I am, the selfish idiot, who has to go back and get her book.

I quickly apologized and explained that my mother had raised me to NEVER leave the house without a book, or something to read. The freedom of having the lightweight Palm computer hold my book collection is wonderful, but I’m lost without knowing there is a book in my purse. Honestly, panic clutched my heart and it hurt to breath. I HAD to have my book. Silly, but it was an interesting childhood lesson that stayed with me all these years.

My mother just laughed at me. It was an empathy laugh.

So we arrived at the new auditorium, a place I’m unfamiliar with in downtown Everett, and there was a huge line going down the sidewalk. Robert dropped us off right in the middle of the block and within seconds I lost my mother in the crowd. I walked up and down the line and then thought it out. Where would she go? Ah, will call office. I asked directions and found her there, finally. We walked down the length of the line to the end of the block and joined the crowd, my stress level going through the roof, not only because it now looked like we were going to be standing there in the cold for ages, and I didn’t have a book and I didn’t wear a coat, but mostly, I was stressed because of the many smokers standing in line puffing away. Creeps.

I hate being allergic to cigarettes. Screws up so much of my life.

As we stood there, I kept hearing and seeing the heads of people selling t-shirts up and down the line. Finally the crowd parted and there a t-shirt seller stood with a bright white t-shirt with Cher’s face on it. I turned to my mother and asked if we were there to see Cher. She grinned from ear to ear.

I was stunned. First, because this was a dream fantasy of mine and I couldn’t believe it was happening. Second, what the hell is Cher doing in Everett of all places? Shouldn’t she be in Seattle, Tacoma or Vancouver? Why Everett?

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