Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A funfetti kind of night

One of my young family members loves funfetti birthday cake—a white cake full of hard candy sprinkles with even more sprinkles in the frosting than on the cake itself. 

There’s something about that kind of cake that just says “happy,” don’t you think?

Last year, Barry Manilow came to the community where we lived. 

We’ve never been big Manilow fans, but the guy is a music legend. So were Elvis, Liberace, Frank Sinatra. We weren’t particularly big fans of any of them either and never saw any of them in concert; yet, when they were no longer, I always regretted not seeing them in person. 

That’s why I bought the concert tickets first—and told my husband later. If I had asked before ordering tickets, I thought he’d think of every reason why we couldn’t go. I envisioned him saying things like: 

“You never listen to Barry Manilow. Why would you go to his concert?” 

“We’re too busy.” 

“The tickets are too expensive.”

“Shouldn’t you be packing (or writing a blog post, or doing the laundry, or grooming the dog)?” 

Oh, wait, we don’t have a dog. 

Get the picture? 

I ordered the tickets, though, dragged hubby along to the concert, and noticed as we looked around that we were among the youngest people in the audience. It hit me that night, as it does every time my husband and I go somewhere in the community of seniors where we now live, that our peers aren’t as young as they used to be, nor are the artists of our era.

As I watched the guests filling the arena, though, I noticed an aura in the room, an air about its occupantsand it wasn't from the glow sticks we received when we arrived. The concert-goers may have looked “old,” but they acted young. These were the same girls who screamed for the Beatles and begged Elvis to grind his pelvis, and the same guys who rolled up their sleeves and cruised in muscle cars for that cool guy-look of the 1950s and early sixties. 

Although Manilow was recovering from hip surgery when we saw him in concert, the almost-septuagenarian put on a show that would have many people half his age panting for air. The evening was a nice mix of storytelling and song, with such signature tunes and crowd favorites as “Mandy,” “I Write the Songs,” and “Can’t Smile Without You.”

Looking back on that night of nearly a year ago, my husband and I have to agree that, though Manilow wasn’t on our bucket lists, we know now each of ours would have been a bit less full without the experience. 

From the oldsters-turned-young-again to the gotta-sing-along tunes to the entertainer-extraordinaire, our night with Manilow was one we’ll long remember. 

As the concert drew to a close with one of Manilow’s most energetic classic tunes, the performer had one more trick up his sleeve. In some sort of super-stage magic, confetti-like streamers of at least a half-dozen different colors shot from the front of the arena to almost the back of the crowd—a spectacular end to a back-in-time kind of night, one that made us greater Manilow fans than we’d imagined possible.

When we go places where large crowds congregate, my husband is one to say, “Wait. Let the crowd thin out before we leave.” I’m not one to just sit, or even to stand and wait, so I used the time to gather a big batch of the streamers, making sure I had one of each color. 

When we got home, I took this picture to capture the essence of our funfetti night—and to remind me to stay always young, to live a funfetti kind of life. 

What about you? Do you maintain the youthful exuberance of Manilow and his fans? Are you living a funfetti life? 

Believe me—that kind of outlook makes life as sweet as a cake with sprinkles, no matter how many birthdays you’ve got behind you. 

© Ann Tracy Mueller 2013


  1. Sure needed this right now as I try to maintain some balance in my life at 50! Great reminder for all of us that FUN is an important part of life, and especially in the peak of our working years. Thanks, Ann!

  2. You're so welcome. Balance? Still working on that one myself. ;-)