I’m standing outside the festival, hands in pocket, waiting for the next bus. This is a $1077.50 lesson I’ll never forget…
I am an inexpensive dater.
My older brother calls me cheap. I like to think I’m an economically responsible former financial advisor trying to protect my cash flow.
So, yes I’m cheap.
When I ended up spending about $1077.50 to take my girlfriend to New York, you can say I checked my wallet into rehab, and it hasn’t been right since.
To be fair, we did split costs. This trip was pricey for both of us. I didn’t regret taking this trip until the afternoon of the third day.
Jessica, my girlfriend, drives me thirty minutes away to a place known as Randall’s Island Park. There are a few cars and lots of millennials with hippie-looking clothing, bracelets, and huge smiles walking around.
I open the passenger door, grab my backpack, and wave Goodbye to Jessica.
It’s Labor Day weekend. I’m in a large area filled with trees and soccer fields. I walk for the next 10 minutes to be greeted by hundreds of people, ear-popping music, and a giant sign saying “Welcome To The Zoo”.
This is Electric Zoo. A music festival I’ve dreamed of attending for the past five years.
As I pass through security, the nerdy electronic dance music lover in me starts screaming.
When I planned my “date” to New York, attending this festival was my number one goal. Now I was here, by myself, leaving Jessica to find something else to do.
The festival is everything I expected. DJs I’ve played on repeat for years are a few hundred feet away from me. The stages are huge. The crowd is hyper.
I’m hearing songs I’ve YouTubed for years played live. The atmosphere is vibrant. Everyone is friendly and happy. This is everything I dreamed of. Yet, hours before ending, I’m walking out. I am not happy.
Going to this festival is a dream come true. But this dream meant nothing if I had no one to share it with.
When planning this trip, I sold the idea of this being my girlfriend’s dream vacation. I told her about all the wonderful places I would take her including the Statue of Liberty, Coney Island, and a hole in the wall Caribbean restaurant.
I talked to her about this trip as if I was doing it for her, and there would only be one day set aside for me.
I was being dishonest.
New York is a great city, but hardly Jessica’s ideal vacation. I only wanted to attend this festival. While there’s nothing wrong with me wanting to attend a music festival, my one regret is I sold this trip to my girlfriend as her dream vacation when it was mine.
I’m standing outside the festival, hands in pocket, waiting for the next bus. My selfishness got the best of me. This is a $1077.50 lesson I’ll never forget.
As I’m about to leave, I text my girlfriend “On my way back”. She quickly responds and lets me know she has food ready for me.
I get on the bus to leave my fantasy land to be a better man for the woman of my dreams.
Next time, I sell her a dream vacation, we’ll go to Maine. We’ll explore the scenery, pig out at a seafood restaurant, and maybe hike the Appalachian Trail. She always tells me she wants to visit Maine.
If it makes her happy, perhaps it can be my dream vacation too.