Don’t mock the world traveller, but I’ve lived in Los Angeles for nearly two years and have been to the hipster neighborhood of Los Feliz exactly once. That time did not include a trip to the Greek Theatre (yes, that Greek theatre that Russell Brand was trying to get to in Get Me To The Greek). I’ve had some darn good nights in recent weeks, but this was one of the best. With good music and great people in a gorgeous setting, how can you not have a smashing time? Having a man by my side barely even crossed my mind!
Let me set the scene for you. My roommate — an avid country music fan — is having surgery this week, so I thought I’d surprise her with a ticket to see Sugarland; I happen to love the band as well. Lead singer Jennifer Nettles has one of those happy-go-lucky personalities that lights up a room, and the way she rocks out on stage can only be defined by one word: sassy.
Driving up to The Greek is an experience in itself. It’s close to the Griffith Park Observatory, mysterious, romantic and winding with twinkly lights announcing your arrival. The first words out of my mouth were on a sigh: “I want to go on a date here!” But the thought of men was soon supplanted by my love of music, and I quickly changed my tune regarding the evening’s focus.
At nighttime outdoor, non-hipster concerts, I always expect to find droves of couples holding hands and being cutesy, seduced by the darkness, so I wasn’t surprised to see adorable plaid and cowboy-boot wearing twosomes sneaking in kisses as they walked around the smallish venue (with a seating capacity of 5,700, it holds 9, 676 less people than LA‘s other big ampitheatre, the Hollywood Bowl).
I was surprised to see how many single straight guys were also there, how many huge groups of girlfriends, how many lesbians. This show had something for everyone, which was refreshing. Every age demographic was covered, every sex, every sexual orientation.
Whether you like country music or not, it’s impossible to deny that it’s hard to take your eyes off of a group that’s so blatantly happy to be doing what they love, so enthusiastic about the chances they’ve been given. Nettles — who has a face that’s almost as elastic as Jim Carrey’s — mugged and grinned and shot pure joy at her audience for the entire 1.5 hour show.
I’ve never been a real girl’s girl, but I admit it was pretty great to see girl friends (of the platonic variety) singing the band’s empowering words to one another. They believed Nettles. They were living the anthems, at least for those ninety minutes.
You are, of course, getting examples. In Settlin’, Nettles sings: Fifteen minutes left to throw me together for mister right now, not mister forever. Don’t know why I even try when I know how it ends, looking like another “maybe we could be friends”. I’ve been leaving it up to fate, it’s my life so it’s mine to make. I ain’t settling for just getting by, I’ve had enough so so for the rest of my life. Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high. Just enough ain’t enough this time. I ain’t settling for anything less than everything.’
When she sang It Happens, it was gratifying to see everyone in the crowd — guys included — belt out the chorus: “Ain’t no rhyme or reason, no complicated meaning. Ain’t no need to over-think it, let go, laughing. Life don’t go quite like you planned it, we try so hard to understand it. The irrefutable, indisputable fact is pshh, it happens.”
But the standout, for me, was Every Girl Like Me: “I am not perfect, but I know I’m worth it. I gotta believe that there has to be a you, for every girl like me.”
Did I meet a hot cowboy at the Sugarland show? No — and I didn’t care to. The night wasn’t about that. It was about really taking joy in something simple. It reminded me that love, while a necessity, comes in all forms, and that you have to really love yourself before you can love someone else.
For everyone who’s afraid they won’t find it, my advice is this: stop looking. It will come to you. Stop worrying about the future, and live in the moment. Don’t miss out on today because you’re thinking about tomorrow. Be happy with who and where you are.
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About the Author: Laura Schreffler is a former New York Daily News columnist who left the world of celebrity behind to focus on what makes her happiest — love and travel. She is the creator of LoveTrekker.com — a website devoted to these two passions that she fondly calls “looking for love in all the right places.” In her spare time she likes to play matchmaker for her friends, dream about her next vacation and gaze at photographs of Taylor Kitsch. For more advice on love, relationships, and happiness, check out http://lovetrekker.com & her book "Internet Dating 101". And follow her here at Happiness Series with her weekly blog about finding love.