A few weeks ago our son's band (F-Dragon, yo) played at Mojos CafÃ© in Ogden. Our son invited my husband and me to attend the performance kind of flattering given the fact that we're old now and no fun at all and told us to show up at 8 p.m.
Which we did.
It became clear upon our arrival, however, that F-Dragon wouldn't be taking the stage anytime soon. There were other groups scheduled to go first, besides which everyone involved was moving at a leisurely pace.
"We'll be lucky if we get home by midnight tomorrow," I said to my husband. Snarkily.
You're right. I was miffed. Hello! I had better things to do with my time than watch teenagers cruise up and down Washington Boulevard while shouting at each other through open windows. I could be at home doing something productive. Like watching reruns of "Castle."
And that's when I noticed what a nice night it was, actually. A splendid night, in fact. The air was that perfect summer evening temperature warm, but not too warm. And it was light, the way summer nights are, with thin strands of gray and gold and pale rose clouds glowing over the lake to the west.
We walked up Washington Boulevard, found a Five Guys, sat at a table outside, leaned back in our seats, and waited for dragonflies to tumble by. We watched kids skitter across the lawn, felt a light breeze against our skin, listened to fragments of other people's conversations and talked about baseball.
Were the Raptors in town, we wondered? Had their season even begun? Should we drive up some night from Salt Lake City and watch them play?
And then we remembered that summer more than 20 years ago when we all had viral hepatitis.
(I know! You didn't see THAT one coming, did you?)
But it's true. Our family spent weeks in bed, we were all so sick. The only thing we could do was to eat watermelon and watch the Cubs play on WGN.
Ah! The Cubs. Remember that old joke, we asked each other. The one where a famous baseball manager talks to God in a dream and asks if the Dodgers will ever win the pennant? And God says yes, my son, but not in your lifetime. And then the manager asks the same thing about the Cardinals, and God says yes, my son, but not in your lifetime. And then he asks about the Cubs, and God says yes, my son, but not in MY lifetime.
We laughed at that joke. Again. Then we walked back to Mojos (finally) and listened to a concert that was loud and late, raucous and happy.
On the way home I said to my husband, "You realize, of course, this may be the best night we'll have this entire summer."
That's how perfect nights work. You can't plan for them ahead of time. Planning is great, of course. And necessary, too.
No one wants to go to a reunion or a wedding, for example, that hasn't been scripted at some level. It's just that sometimes things can beâ¦ derailed by the weight of everyone's expectations.
No. Perfect nights just happen, often when you least expect them to. They sneak up on you and slip quietly into a Five Guys patio chair next to yours.
Hoping that you'll notice.
Ann Cannon can be reached at email@example.com or facebook.com/columnistcannon.