Recently I went to see Luke Bryan’s Farm Tour concert with a friend. We were giddy as two schoolgirls. The concert was on a local farmer’s freshly harvested hay field. We drove out to the venue, and as we caught up with traffic, I glanced at my phone to see my bars of service had suddenly diminished. I snapped a picture of the homemade yard signs welcoming Luke Bryan to “crash their party” and as I tried to text it to all my friends my phone started giving me another sign.
“Message send failure.”
I tapped “retry” a few times before deciding to try again later. I sighed, “Darn cell service,” as we followed the line of cars, snapped a few more shots and tried to text them to each other. “Message send failure.”
We parked, and made our first port-a-pot stop for the day. While in line we chatted up the security guard about the events of the day, where she normally works, where she’s from, what kind of music she listens to. In talking to her we learned the show would begin much later than we realized, so I needed to find some service to let the hubs know I’d be home late.
We finished up at the port-a-pots and walked around zig-zag style to find some bars. Success! I was able to get through to hubs to say, “Honey, Luke Bryan doesn’t go on until 9:30, there’s three openers, I’ll be home after midnight, the service here is terrible, I love you.” “Love you, babe,” I heard him reply before the three ominous beeps sounded signifying a dropped call. I walked around zig-zag style for a while longer to try and reach him before resigning myself to the “No Service” message at the top left of my phone screen and resumed my place in line.
After a few minutes, I checked again, still no service. Of course my friend and I had plenty to talk about, so we caught up on what was new and how things were going with work, life, etc. For a bit I started to forget about my lack of service, and then the anxiety began to creep in. As the crowd grew larger and larger (it was expected to reach 20,000 people), I started to feel more anxious.
I had not planned for no service. What if something happened to one of my kids, one of my family members, and nobody could reach me? What if one of the kids got hurt and had to go to the E.R., and my husband couldn’t tell me until 1:00 a.m. and we’re rushing to the E.R. in the midst of 10,000 plus cars. Deep breaths. There’s nothing to do about it but try and forget about it. Truly.
What did we do before cell phones?
As the evening progressed, we checked our phones periodically to see if we had service. Neither of us had prepared to be disconnected from our families for over 9 hours. What did we do before cell phones? After a while, I began to relax, and once the music started up, it was easy for me to disconnect. I took pictures, but didn’t stop to share them on social media. I didn’t take breaks to check how many likes or comments I had. Didn’t check to see if there were any new birthday texts or messages. I I began to relax and had a great time dancing and singing along and just being present.
On every trip to the port-a-pots, we made friends. Apparently the no service thing was the trend of the show (unless you had Verizon, the concert sponsor). Nobody we talked to did. So, we made friends in line with a couple from a farm up north. On another trip, we met a fellow from Nebraska. As I looked around, I saw people talking, laughing, connecting.
As it turned out, when disconnected, we connected more with those around us. Just like the good old days.
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