The Fiasco That Was One Direction

A while back, Katy Perry came to perform in Detroit. I told myself it would be the perfect opportunity to be the “cool mom,” so I decided to have a girls’ night with my daughter. And it was the best. We went for a fun dinner together and then the concert was amazing. We danced, and danced, and danced some more. My daughter couldn’t have been happier for her first-ever live show, and I was overjoyed to see that glimmer (and glitter) in her eyes. Awesome Saturday night, and my husband took our son for a boys’ day too, filled with football and airplanes – everyone had a fabulous day.

So, a couple of weeks later, One Direction was coming to town. I thought that this would be the perfect chance to replicate such an incredible experience, and make it a full family outing. Both kids love One Direction (as does everyone under 18 in this country, apparently), so I wanted to seize the moment. We would be the coolest parents around, and our kids would never forget it. I explained this logic to my husband, who agreed, and we told the kids – they were psyched.

We get to the show and I kid you not – I think I punctured my eardrum. There’s not a strong enough adjective in the English language to describe the noise level at the arena. People talk about screaming teenagers for the Beatles’ arrival, but this had to have blown that out of the water, many times over. The constant screeching was absurd, and we were surrounded. Our daughter clutched my husband’s waist like a tree, as our son simply used his own hands to cover his ears. Oh no. My husband and I told ourselves that we’d grin and bear it for the kids’ benefit, but they weren’t even having fun – so now what?

And then, it got worse. So much worse. A teeny-bopper directly in front of us had screamed so intently toward the One Direction band members, with such fervor, with such passion, that she shit her pants. Yes, I’m serious. I can’t make this up. Her hot pink, sparkly pants ended up with a large, brown spot that stunk, DIRECTLY in my face, every time she shook what her mama gave her. Oh my gosh – the worst. What do you do? How do you react? Let’s just say my kids weren’t happy, and my husband was even less enthused. I was straight-up disgusted, and still surrounded by shrieking girls who had been dropped off in a minivan, tens of thousands of them – everywhere. We were trapped. The car ride home was silent, with the windows down for some fresh air.

Next time, I have to remind myself that just because something works well once, doesn’t mean it needs to be replicated. Experiences are memorable because they’re fleeting – this short-lived piece of it is what makes them special. I’ll be just as excited as a mom (although slightly less of a cool one) for our next family board game night – sans poopy-pants screamer.

Ashley Gold