Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 106: Negative Plus One

Last year I went on a music bender that started in March and didn't end until New Year's Eve. The year was full of lots of traveling, lots of music, and lots of tickets.

I have a problem. A ticket hoarding problem.

Like shopping at Christmastime, I can't explain what comes over me when concert tickets go on sale. I set alarms, I make meeting makers, I make sure I am logged in and ready to go the second it’s time to buy. For tickets I think might go fast, I've even asked friends to log on at the exact same time as me to increase my chances of getting them.

It's not right. It's embarrassing.

In addition to making sure I’m one of the first in line to buy the tickets, I seldom consider how many people have actually expressed their interest in going. I just buy two, four, sometimes the maximum number of tickets allowed for purchase.

In my head, I'm always considering possible scenarios that could play out that would warrant a need for me buying these tickets in bulk, or at least in pairs.

Maybe I'll meet someone special who loves this band too and the fact that I have an extra ticket to the concert will cause us to fall madly in love.

Maybe all of my friends forgot which day the tickets went on sale and they all missed their chance to buy them. I’ll be the one to save the day with extras.

Or maybe, I'll buy a boatload of tickets that no one wants and get stuck trying to sell them or eating the cost of them.

So far, scenarios one and two have never played out. Scenario three plays out often, causing a lot of emotional and financial turmoil.

Turmoil may be a little dramatic. But the financial strain of buying all of these tickets has been substantial. Not to mention, when I've been unable sell the extras or give them away, I get to be reminded over and over again that right now, I'm minus a plus one.

My friend Andrew at work (not sushi Andrew, another one) saw several of my ticket postings on the cyber Bulletin Board at work and came over to my desk and said, "What are you, Ticketmaster?"

I’m sure there is some psychological deep meaning behind why I buy tickets this way, and I’m afraid it may boil down to, “I’m crazy,” so I just choose to ignore it.

When I heard that the Trey Anastasio Band was coming to town, I threw the concert possibility out there to a potential plus one. The idea was not as well received as I had hoped, so it became apparent that Day 106 was going to be my opportunity to relinquish my hoarding ways, do something that I've never done before, and buy one concert ticket. Just one.

If you've been with me since Day one, you know that I did go to a concert by myself on Day 3, which was a cool experience and something that I would definitely do again. But that was a last minute, show up at the door, pay when you enter kind of experience.

This was a calculated purchase; an acceptance that with the absence of a “plus one,” there is no longer a need for a pair of tickets.

So I logged on and bought one, sad that I was relinquishing the hope of going in a pair, but also confident that I’d be able to find at least one other person who had also bought a ticket. I didn’t find one friend, I found plenty, and they all bought their own tickets!

The execution of this task was obviously simple. The significance was far more, though.

I am one person. And I only need one ticket. For now.

I have to confess, while buying this solo ticket was a huge step forward for me, old habits apparently die hard, and when My Morning Jacket tickets went on sale recently, I bought a pair. I couldn’t help myself!

I think I need an Intervention.


  1. I have 2 free tickets to Jay Z in Vegas but I don't think I'm going.

  2. Hoping you have saved all the stubs. I have collected them since my first concert in 1966. For all these many years I keep saying I will glue themm all on to a giant poster board and make them a great piece of art. So far not done, but I still think it would be a great thing. Roberta Flack and John Denver for only "ONE DOLLAR". Wow things have changed.

  3. My Morning Jacket should be an awesome show!

  4. you've never asked me to a concert :( meany ... but i guess i'm part of the seinfeld post about mixing worlds.