Not like shopping mall crowds. No thank you.
But concert crowds. Author event crowds. The occasional sporting event crowd.
I'm more than willing to travel, sometimes long distances at very odd hours of the day and night, for the chance to see a favorite music group or writer or speaker or celebrity.
Last night we drove down to UW-Milwaukee to hear Michael Pollan talk about food. He is, without a doubt, more of a foodie than I ever plan to be, but he was smart, engaging, funny, entertaining...and I learned something. I also had a blast people watching and seeing others' reactions, and enjoyed hearing what they asked him in the Q&A session at the end.
I've attended quite a few concerts. Not as many as my buddy, Scott, who claims to have a shoe box filled with hundreds of ticket stubs from over the years. (not that I'm jealous. ok, I am.)
Twice I've had the good fortune to see the best golfers in the world play in one of the sport's four majors. It's kind of a rush to see Tiger and Phil and Ernie and so many others stroll past a few feet away from you.
And I've driven down to Chicago...and back...on a Monday night...to spend an hour with writing guru Natalie Golberg.
So tonight I'm thankful, not for the crowds themselves, but for the vibe I get being among 40,000 close friends at Alpine Valley, or even 300 at the Majestic in Madison, who are all singing or jamming or getting drunk to the same great live tunes I am. And for the awe I feel sitting 20 feet from Dave Barry, listening to him talk as funny as he writes.
And I'm thankful for the adrenaline rush that carries me home...and stays with me, sometimes for weeks.
"It's just trying every day to do the best you can
and to enjoy what you have with the mixture
of the venue and the sound and the crowd."