Cyndi Ouellette

South Portland, ME

The first concert I ever went to was when my parents took my sister and I to see MC Hammer when I was just six years old. My eight year old sister and I got decked out in our “Hammer Pants” and I even brought my MC Hammer doll with me. Though I don’t remember much from that night 22 years later, I do know that music has always been a huge part of my life. From singing “Old Time Rock ‘N Roll” at my campground’s karaoke night when I was five years old to performing the “Star Spangled Banner” at my high school’s football games, music is always in the foreground of my fondest memories.

In high school and the few years after, I went to so many concerts I couldn’t count them if I tried. I’ve seen everyone form Britney Spears and 98°, to Snoop Dogg and Boys 2 Men, to Linkin Park and Slipknot. My best friend in high school was a boy named Sam. His favorite group was the Insane Clown Posse. In three years we managed to see ICP in concert seven times. Somehow I never got to see my favorite artist: Eminem.

Now that I have children, finding time, money, and a babysitter to be able to go to a concert seems impossible. Yet, when I heard on the radio they were giving away tickets to Eminem and Rihanna’s Monster Tour, and that the show was the day after my birthday, I decided I just had to have those tickets! I called and called and called the radio station, but I never got through. Though I knew it had been a long shot, I was still sad that I hadn’t won.

My mother noticed me trying and failing to call in, and told my husband about it. A couple weeks later, he gave me two tickets to the concert. Though it took a lot of money and planning, we were able to spend a whole weekend in NYC and we got to see Eminem at Giants Stadium on Saturday night.

We had horrible seats: literally the last row in the stadium, but I couldn’t have cared less – I was there! I could barely even hear Eminem when he sang but it didn’t matter—I knew all the words to all his songs anyway. On the way out, I waited in an hour-long line to buy a sweatshirt; I just had to have something that said “Eminem” to show I was there. I ended up deciding on this $75 sweatshirt.

As we were leaving the stadium, I unfolded it to put it on. I had assumed that, above the list of tour dates on the back, it would say both Eminem and Rihanna since the tour was both of theirs together. You can just imagine how mad I was when I realized that I had spent $75 on a sweatshirt that only had Rihanna’s name on it! I stopped dead in my tracks and quickly looked around for the closest merchandise booth. I spent another $35 on an Eminem t-shirt because I couldn’t leave that stadium without some kind of Eminem souvenir. Even though the sweatshirt only says Rihanna, I still love it and wear it almost everyday. It is super warm and comfy, and I know whose show it came from, even though some people may not.

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