This is a story of love and devotion. Love and devotion by a 14yo girl and love and devotion by her mother.
A couple of months ago British boy band One Direction announced they would be performing in Australia, but alas, only concerts in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Miss R has been a HUGE fan of them for almost a year, so really, really, really wanted to go. In case you have been living under a rock recently and don't know who they are, they came 3rd in the UK X Factor in 2009. They are very pretty and sing a very catchy song.
Being a sucker (aka good mother), I dutifully lined up at the computer on the morning tickets were released. I'd already worked out that the Melbourne concert was in the school holidays and I had already secured that week as leave (I've mentioned before my difficulties getting leave in school holidays) so it seemed doable. And for some reason the gods seemed to be smiling down on me because I managed to get 2 tickets to a concert that sold out in 3 minutes. Yes, you read that right....all concerts sold out in THREE MINUTES.
Miss R was a little late to school that morning, ecstatic in the knowledge that she was going to see her idols live on stage. During the course of the morning, various class mates received text messages from their parents to say that no, they were unsuccessful, no tickets were secured. Many girls cried with disappointment.
I have a lovely internet group of friends; we started out as sellers of kids clothes on eBay and have been together as a group for close to 10 years now. Our little toddlers are now teens and some have adult children - one is even a grandmother. We've met up a few times over the years but some I only know through cyberspace. Several have One Direction obsessed girls and were keen to get tickets in their home state. All missed out. See, the gods really were smiling on me that day.
So in a complete act of selflessness, I offered my ticket to my friend's daughter B. She lives in Melbourne, the girls had only ever met once but B had missed out, as had all her friends. And while I felt sorry for B, I also thought it would make Miss R happier to share the experience with someone her own age, who was equally obsessed and wouldn't be constantly singing the wrong lyrics and asking "which one is Louis again???"
So on Saturday I flew to Melbourne just for the day (more on that later) and then on Monday morning I flew out again with an excited Miss R. We stayed at the Mecure Treasury Gardens and the price was right, the rooms were lovely (if a little small) and it was close to the venue. We did a little shopping (strangely nothing for me) and Miss R finally got the Vans she's been harping on about. We then met B and I took the girls to get something to eat but they were too excited so we wandered down to the Hisense Arena.
Apparently the concert was AMAZING.
The security was fantastic.....everyone had to file through barricades to get inside and you could only get past a certain point if you actually had a ticket. The concert was all seated so I was confident the girls would be safe. Unfortunately the downside of not being able to get inside the arena without a ticket is that I had to stand outside in the cold for 3 hours.....and it was cold. I hadn't anticipated that, so hadn't dressed warmly enough, even with a cardi and a jacket and Miss R's jumper wrapped around my neck as a scarf. Hardly a fashion statement but I didn't really care.
And it was all worth it to see the beaming smiles at the end.
(There has been some discussion in the media about whether this One Direction obsession is healthy. Personally, I just love to see Miss R happy and engaged with something she can share with classmates. The boys are wholesome and harmless. That may change - they may do a Lindsay Lohan - but for now, I'm happy to indulge.)