Staying true to my goal of writing about the first song I hear in the morning, this post is going to be a bit out there. First song up this morning… Green Day’s “Holiday” from the album American Idiot. Released in September of 2004, it has sold more than 14 million copies worldwide. It’s definitely one of my favorites. I love the hard beats and somewhat angry lyrics that Billy Joe Armstrong screams out. Hearing this song this morning brought back some awesome memories of what I call my “lost weekend”. Before watching this video, I do have to warn you that this is the explicit live version.
In November 2004, I had to take a business trip to Houston. Big convention and the company that I worked for had a large area set up. As a member of upper Management, I was responsible for most of it. Me being me and overly anal about details, everything was set and ready to go. All I had to do was show up for this five-day event. I packed my bags and threw them in the back of the Vette and headed out-of-town. I stopped on the way out to pick up some new road trip music. As luck would have it, I picked up Green Day’s new CD, American Idiot. I get back to the car, pop it in the 12 disk player in the back, pull the top off and head out for the 4 hour drive. I listened to that CD over and over on the way to Houston. There wasn’t a song on it that I didn’t just love. It fueled the “bad girl” attitude I was feeling. And while the actual lyrics are political in nature, the lines
“I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives
This is our lives on holiday”
resonated in my head. A forewarning of what was to come in the next five days?
I was really in my prime in 2004, looked pretty damned good, drove a red Corvette, had a great job and that weekend I was really feeling on top of the world. Just me, the wind, the music, cruising down I45 at about 90 MPH. At the risk of sounding pretty arrogant, I felt so confident that nothing could touch me. I was the best around. Pretty cocky huh? I’m headed to my hometown, on my own, no one to answer to and feeling… pretty cocky. I get to the hotel, stepped out of the car in my little black dress, my diamonds, sunglasses and heels and watched the jaws drop. And yeah, they dropped. I was told later by several men that witnessed my arrival that it was a killer moment, so it’s not just wishful thinking on my part.
That night was the only night that I dined alone and behaved myself. The start of the convention was great. Thousands of people, deals being made right and left, seeing old friends in the industry and meeting new ones. The manufacturing industry is dominated by men so I was one of the few women there and pretty much the center of attention. I was definitely one out of the very few women that was in an executive position. The only other peer of mine was Victoria, the senior buyer of a national chain. She was considered to be an “old battle axe” but we got along very well. (Her term, not mine and the only reason we got along was that I reminded her of herself years ago) At the end of the day, we decided to get out and have dinner and drinks. So there was the start of my “lost weekend”. Worked the convention during the day and played all night. I hit every club downtown, ate at 5 star restaurants, drank expensive champagne, danced on tables, flirted my little butt off, and had THE time of my life. I was the life of the party and was absolutely loving it. By day three of the convention, everyone was begging me to come to their parties, go to dinner with them or meet them at this or that club. I was the rock star of the convention.
I truly don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun! And I know I had never felt so alive and free before. I had my “bad girl – lost weekend” and never regretted it. Mainly because I didn’t do anything to regret. I didn’t do a single thing that I wouldn’t have wanted to see my own daughter do. It was just more of an attitude of “I’m gonna blow my socks off and if you don’t like it… tough!” Something I hadn’t really done as an adult. Too responsible and worried about what other people would think. I conducted business as usual with wonderful results, made a lot of new friends and made a memory that still makes me smile. I went back home after the convention was over and resumed my respected persona. I also realized on the drive home that I acted no differently than a man would do in the same situation. That perspective changed my way of thinking from then on. I had succeed in a man’s business world. I was a respected member of the community, I held prestigious positions on several boards. I bought and paid for a “man’s” car. I carried the briefcase and wore the power suits. I had dreamed of all this, set my goals and realized on the drive home that I had achieved them. So now when I hear Green Day’s “Holiday” on the radio or my iPod, I just smile and remember my “lost weekend” and what I learned about myself.
So when you think it’s time to blow your socks off, go ahead. Everyone deserves a “lost weekend”. You probably deserve it and most likely have earned it. Just be sure to listen to Green Day… really, really loud too. So go on… do it… just tell ‘em that Steff said it was ok.
Just remember that you HAVE to dance on a table…