The Culmination of a Life-Long Dream (Pet Shop Boys Appreciation Week)

In this edition of the Pet Shop Boys Appreciation Week series, we flash forward from 1986 to 1999. No longer did I rely upon my mother to purchase albums for me like I did when I was a child. So much had changed: I'd moved on to CDs (let's just skip over the unfortunate cassette tape years) and graduate school.

The year was 1999. I was living in Madison on E. Gorham Street, in an 8-unit brick apartment building of indeterminate vintage. It had wood floors, a porcelain-over-cast-iron trough sink in the kitchen, and pearlescent wall tiles in the bathroom that turned out to be flammable (more on that in a future post). It was old, it had no parking, and it was close enough to campus that at bar-time, if you left the windows open, you could hear frat dudes shout "I love beeeeeeeeeeeeer!" as they stumbled back to their domiciles. In short, I loved that place.

Even more than the apartment itself, I loved my across-the-hall neighbors, Shawn and Patricia. Ours were the only two apartments on the second floor, and we shared both a front and back hallway. So if there was a knock on my front door, there was a 50/50 chance it was either S & P, or a Jehovah's Witness. Hmm. Too risky. If there was a knock on my back door (from the shared hallway off our kitchens), it was guaranteed to be S & P, and more often than not, they'd hustle me into their kitchen to try some fantastic bottle of wine or something delicious simmering on the stove. I *always* answered the back door.

Likewise, if they heard a knock on *their* back door, it was sure to be me, but instead of offering a taste of some elaborate gourmet concoction (my Martha Stewart phase came a bit later, and then departed again...just ask my poor malnourished husband). No, it was usually me geeking out about something like grammar, punctuation, or the latest Pet Shop Boys import I received in the mail.

You can probably imagine what a ruckus I raised in their kitchen that fall, when I learned that Pet Shop Boys were bringing their Nightlifeworld tour to Chicago, a mere 2.5 hours away. Close to hyperventilating, I declared that finally having the chance to see a Pet Shop Boys concert was, and I quote, "the culmination of a life-long dream!"

Riiiight... you might be thinking. Who actually talks like that? I mean, I know she's a bit over the top in her enthusiasm for Pet Shop Boys, but 'the culmination of a life-long dream'? I bet she's totally making that up for dramatic effect.

The night of the concert, I drove across town to pick up my friend Jean, who has accompanied me on all of my Pet Shop Boys concert-going experiences. Then we stopped back at my building to pick up Shawn, who would be joining us. S & P were giggling up a storm but wouldn't tell me why -- they only pointed at my apartment door. I went inside and discovered this:

I was moved by their handiwork (both at lettering and lockpicking). And see? I totally did say that.

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Have you gone into palpitations over the chance to see your favorite band for the first time? Or perhaps made some hyperbolic public declaration over the awesomeness of said band? Share your story in the comments.


Jean said...

I think I have a copy of that photog somewhere! Good times!

laasch said...

I completely forgot about the sign! I *loved* that concert, though, and have fond memories of it. Ah, those were the days.