Love Means Never Having To Go To Coachella, and other things I’m relieved I’m too old to do.

Coachella:  aka The Coachella Valley.  Located in Southern California, near Palm Springs.

Coachella:  an annual music festival in Indio California in the Coachella Valley.

Coachella:  my biggest nightmare.

I feel like I dodged a bullet.  The Coachella Music Festival has again passed without me having to go.  It’s a fear of mine- someone graciously giving  Husband #1 and I tickets and me being too much of a sap to turn them down. Or worse yet, the hubs having to go for work, and me getting stuck being the pleasant +1.

For those who haven’t heard of Coachella, it’s an annual music festival held in the desert of Southern California.   Each year, thousands of Californians pack their bongs, leave their children and jobs behind and head South for a week of music and sun in the beautiful (?), hot (to say the least) desert.  Where there is no water. Or food. Or chairs (unless you bring them.)

As far as I can tell, Coachella seems like a great reason for grown-ups to get wasted and have dirty feet.  It also seems to provide a great opportunity for otherwise employed adults to fill their Facebook page with photos of them doing things they probably haven’t done, and shouldn’t have done, since college.

When I hear the annual springtime buzz of Angelenos and their friends making plans to go to Coachella, I go fetal. I can’t think of a worse experience than going to a concert in the desert with a bunch of sweaty stoners (and Lindsay Lohan) to hear bands whose biggest accomplishment is their first single was downloaded 14 times.

Sure, some big bands do play. But they also play on my iPod, which is currently in the shade and has shoes on.  It’s not that I’m above, or uninterested in going to a concert,  I’m just not interested in a concert that’s more akin to the Donner Party crossing the Rockies.  I want to listen to music. I don’t want to make a pilgrimage.

20 years ago, I would have gone. I would have left with sunstroke and lost my wallet and the keys to my car.  My friend whom I came with would have left with a stranger and I’d be stuck making small talk with his heavy-set friend, in for the weekend from ASU.

10 years ago, I would have gone, but not wanted to.   I already felt too old for desert concerts and lost car keys.  But, I would have never admitted it.  At 30, aging is a catastrophe.  Now at 40, it’s a relief.

I’m relieved I’m too old to go to Coachella.  I feel sorry for my Facebook friends who did. I look at their post-festival photos, their sunburnt noses, their witty/trying to be witty captions like, “Look what the cat dragged in”, “Never made it to the festival, but Coachella was amaze-balls anyway!” , or, “Our generation’s Woodstock” and I cringe on their behalf.  Sure, they probably did have a good time skinny dipping in a stranger’s pool or swapping denim shorts with that girl from Quebec, but I wouldn’t have.

I never really had fun doing that stuff even when I was supposed to. Now, I’m relieved that no one expects me to.  I like air conditioning and clean clothing.  Roughing it should be the time in between my arrival at a hotel and the time when my room is ready, not a first degree burn while listening to Dave Navarro’s side project, “Karma”–an all-Sitar band featuring a Chilean transvestite on vocals.

It’s well documented how I feel about aging.

But a few times, growing old works in your favor.  No one expects you to spend a weekend in the burning sun getting scalded with shitty music and bad beer.  No one expects you to have double plans, dinner and then a party. If you made it out on a Saturday night to dinner, you’re already in line for the Aging Medal Of Honor. You can be home at 11 without feeling ashamed.  Likewise, no one expects you to go dancing, unless it’s to Yo Gabba Gabba. And no one expects you to scream through a nightclub conversation with a recent college grad who thinks Charlie Sheen makes some very valid points.

The downside, a lower metabolism.  The upside, no Coachella.  What a relief. There’s always plastic surgery for age related back fat.  But that sunburn, that’s never gonna go away.

What are you relieved you’re too old to do?  I’m interested.




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15 thoughts on “Love Means Never Having To Go To Coachella, and other things I’m relieved I’m too old to do.

  1. Oh, girl! THIS one hit home for so many reasons. I used to have to follow my ex to Burning Man for years and he is a Coachella regular. Because he’s 23. Or at least he was 20 years ago.

    I’m relieved I’m too old – and too un-married – to have to go to either EVER AGAIN.

    Great post! xo

    1. Pamela,
      Thanks for your note and thanks for stopping by. “He’s 23. Or at least he was 20 years ago.”–my favorite quote of the day.

  2. I used to live in SF and there everyone would gear up for Burning Man….which even at age 30 I had no interest in attending. Love this post and most especially the Donner party reference and the all-sitar side project. Still laughing my butt off. (That counts as exercise, right?).

  3. Here in San Fran, it’s all Burning Man, all the time. I have NO desire to ever go… but unfortunately, people seem to get even MORE into it the older they get (NOTE: some of these people wait till they’re rich and rent tricked-out RV’s with showers. Maybe going that way wouldn’t be so bad…?) What am I saying? I really hate being uncomfortable. I don’t even like long car rides. boo!

  4. You and Hol are simpatico on this topic. Me, not quite so much. Give me wandering aimlessly among tents of loud music with my mandals and one of those a two-cans-of-beer-from-straws hats atop my head.

    1. Dear Jason,
      I’d consider going just to see the mandals and the beer-hat. But if you rock a mankini, I’m out.
      Thanks for writing and for stopping by.

  5. Fully agree with you. I start off disliking live music — intimate clubs, jazz bands, piano player in the corner of the room. . .

    I never know if I should make eye contact. Never know if it is okay to ask them to perform quieter because it is disturbing my cocktail. And I hate that embarrassing moment when after the band has taken a break and returns to the stage, somehow I say, “oh damn, they’re back” within ear shot of the performer’s girlfriend/mom/agent.

    Coachella makes it bigger, louder, and it lasts for days and days. Torture.

    Oh, did I mention I make my living from live music?

    1. Lotus,
      I hope the next time you tell the drummer’s mother, “Oh damn, they’re back,” that I am there to witness it. Thanks for reading and for writing.


  6. I dislike crowds – which actually means I hate being smashed against strangers sweaty bodies – so I don’t go to concerts at indoor venues that have AC and cold beer. The dessert is out. So CocHELLa (see what I did there?) is right out.

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