Last year, the fruit of many long labors was borne for my wife, and she was awarded a Princeton fellowship to further her scholarly work. By pure coincidence, or so she claims, Paul McCartney was playing in New Jersey the same September week that she had arranged to be there. She’d seen two shows from McCartney’s 2016–17 tour with her father over the past year, and both were almost identical in content. Nonetheless, a week or two before her departure to Princeton, she confessed in an offhanded way that she had gotten tickets to see Macca a third time at one of his two Prudential Center shows in Newark.
“Oh?” I said.
Yes, she’d purchased a twenty-third row ticket, then paid a nominal $5 fee to upgrade to an eighth-row, center-stage ticket which would really put her in the thick of things.
We don’t have one of those marriages where we must obtain permission to spend our discretionary funds, so I was like, hey, if you want to blow your money on the same Paul McCartney concert all over the US, knock yourself out. That’s a level of fandom to which I can only bear witness, despite being a huge Beatles fan and general Paul partisan. She might deny it, but in addition to being a scholar of early modern women’s reading, my wife comes close to having a doctorate in Beatleology too, so encyclopedic is her store of Fab Four knowledge. She’s my go-to for Beatles info—and I’m supposedly the musician in the family. I want to say she, in her early thirties, is The Last Beatlemaniac, though time will tell.
Anyway, the day of the concert arrives, and Sarah hops on a train to Newark after toiling mightily at the Firestone Library all day. I’m at work that night receiving a steady commentary on her journey upstate and then the concert itself. She sends pictures and short videos. She’s super close! She could almost reach out and poke Paul.
During the encore, a truly amazing thing happens: he seems to make eye contact with her and does a little waltz step, referencing the sign she’s been holding up. Sign? Yes, she’s made a different sign for each of the concerts she’s attended. This one says: BALLROOM DANCE WITH A VEGETARIAN LIBRARIAN?
Wow! Acknowledged by a Beatle. Pretty good. Worth the effort. I don’t hear from her for awhile then I get some garbled, semaphoric texts that I can’t make heads or tails of.
Then at 10 p.m. Eastern time, she texts me. “You’re never going to believe it.”
Here I thought that Sarah was going to see the same concert and over when really she was working on her sign game. Third time’s the charm!
But you say you want a revolution? Well, you know, that’s a bit of a tall order. But you could contribute to the fund that’s split between all eventual Democratic nominees in House districts currently held by Republicans.