Just a "zebra" trying my best to live life to the fullest with EDS and POTS...and loving the ride.

A Night in the Golden Triangle

Written by Katie. Posted in Family, Memorable Experiences, Music

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“KATIE, Tell me you have spoons.  TELL me you have spoons. TELL ME YOU HAVE SPOONS!”

This is how it all began, after I finally called my cousin, Jen back after she had already tried to reach me 4 times.

Backing up, on Thursday, I had left school like any other day, got home, ate lunch, and fell into a deep sleep. I was so exhausted after two nights of conferences and I was more than ready for a long, restorative nap. My phone was on vibrate so I did not hear it the multiple times it went off.  After Jen called Brad at school, and told him what was going on, and she could not reach me, Brad was finally successful in getting a hold of me after many, MANY attempts on his part.  When I answered with my grumpy, “Yes?” he told me I had the opportunity of a lifetime, and that I needed to call Jen, NOW. He kept repeating, “Katie. Katie. KATIE.  Wake up. This is real. Call your cousin now.”

I finally realized I was not dreaming, and woke up enough to call Jen back.  She was at work so in her quiet, intense voice, she answered, “Tell me you have spoons”…I asked her what was going on, and she explained with some of the most unbelievable words…”I just won 2 pit tickets to the Madonna concert in Detroit.  Tonight.  I’ll explain more later.  Get ready.  I’m coming to get you.”

I felt like a 10-year-old girl who was seeing the Biebs in the flesh.  I definitely let out a scream, and kept saying what is happening?!  What the heck is the pit?  I need sparkles! Where are my sparkles?! What is happening????

I have always said that the two performers at the top of my bucket list to see, if given the chance, were Madonna and Michael Jackson.  Since I obviously had to come to grips that Michael Jackson was never going to happen, Madonna became it.

You gotta understand.  I spent my childhood making up dance after dance with my sisters to songs from her Immaculate Collection.  I spent summers belting out “Lucky Star” and “Borderline” while dancing in the sprinkler.  As a kid, I used to watch “Who’s that Girl” over and over again with our close family friend, Holly and my sister, Kristen.

No judging.

Madonna symbolized HAPPY memories for me.

Plus, she IS a pop icon after all.

So needless to say, after receiving that phone call from Jen, I could not believe my good fortune.  I was actually going.  And the pit?! Once Brad finally explained to me that that meant next to the stage, I really had to pinch myself.  I may have said “Holy Crap Balls” once or twice.  The pit meant Madonna’s GOLDEN TRIANGLE.

In the hour that I had to get ready, I was also put in charge of getting directions.  If you know me, then you know that this is hilarious.  My aunt ended up sending me step-by-step directions, and my Dad dropped off his GPS.  Gotta love family support.

When Jen pulled into my driveway, I could hear her scream from the car.  She ran into the house, we hugged, jumped up and down, screamed our adolescent-like heads off, took a few pictures, and we were off.

Brad later described the scene as a “shrieky hurricane.”

In the car, I finally got to hear the story behind the tickets.  On Twitter, Madonna’s manager, Guy, said he was giving away two tickets to the pit, and he wanted to hear why the people entering thought they should win.  Jen, being the Twitter Goddess that she is, spent her afternoon tweeting many reasons, which included:

  • Because we are living in a material world and I’m a material girl…but I’m also broke.#MDNADetroit
  • I’m trying to make it through the Twitter wilderness. Somehow I’ll make it through! Like a Golden Triangle virgin!#MDNADetroit
  • Music makes the people come together and so does my dancing! Let’s bring Detroit together in the GT! #MDNADetroit
  • Because in my opinion, MADONNA won the Super Bowl! #MNDADetroit
  • Madonna would give my dancing an MDNA+++!#MDNADetroit
  • Because my boss is also obsessed with Madonna and she would consider it Professional Development. #MDNADetroit
  • Because my dad would be all like ‘Don’t you have to work tomorrow? And I’ll be all like PAPA DON’T PREACH!#MDNADetroit

Jen’s tweets then set off a firestorm of retweeting.  People began to retweet her tweets.  Other people began cheering her on, tweeting Madonna’s manager that she deserved them over everyone else.  It was around 4 when it happened.  Jen received a direct message to her Twitter inbox from Madonna’s manager, saying she had won two tickets, and they needed her to email her legal name and the name of her guest ASAP.

Cue the multiple phone calls to me, and fast forward to the car ride there.

We both held our breath much of the way, praying that there would be no hold-ups.  We had to get the tickets by a certain time or we would lose them.  It was also on the way there, that I realized that there would be zero chairs in the pit.  Zip. Nada. Not one.  I started to freak, knowing that my body could not stand up that much.  It struck me as ironic~thousands of people would have traded their seat in an instant to stand in the pit, while I found myself mentally scheming how I could discreetly get a chair past the guards and into the pit.  Jen and I talked about it, and came up with a plan.  If I became sick she would hold me on her back until the end.  It was crazy, but I needed to know that there was a something set in place if I started to get sick.

Fortunately, we got to the parking garage with time to spare.  We quickly found the “Friends and Family” window where we were to pick up our Golden Triangle wristbands.  It was super cool because after we had our bands, we were let through a VIP door, past Madonna’s dressing room, and straight to the pit.  Once we were in, I made the decision that I was going to sit until the second Madonna came on stage in order to preserve my energy to keep from getting sick…I leaned up against Jen’s legs until the opening act came on.  DJ, Paul Oakenfold, opened and I immediately found myself immersed in the excitement of the moment and the fact that we were SO close.  I was on my feet dancing with the rest of the pit…all while in the back of my mind, I would tell myself to squat or sit and wait until Madonna came on to go all out.  It kinda became a pattern.  I would dance, squat, sit…dance, squat, sit, and so on throughout his set.  I definitely got looks…I have no clue what the people thought around me, but at a certain point, I really did not care anymore.

I was there.

When he finished, there was about another hour that I spent sitting; while everyone waited…and waited…and waited for Madonna.

FINALLY at 10:45, we could hear cheering, and realized that the commotion was because Madonna’s Dad was being seated in the front row.  We found ourselves standing directly across from him.  It was 11 when Madonna finally came on.  The beginning of the show was like nothing I have ever seen before.  The build up, theatrics, and effects were breathtaking.  It became clear in that moment that this would be more than a concert…It would be a circus, a performance, an experience.  Jen and I took in everything; the costume changes, the fog, the lights, the different sets, all of the different dancers and costumes, the fact that we could TOUCH her, her son, Rocco, break-dancing during a couple of the songs, the fabulous people watching, that I was sharing every second of this experience with my cousin, and of course the much included a mix of her new and old songs.

My favorite was hands down, “Like a Prayer.”  It was the song just before the encore.  I really can’t find many other words besides amazing to describe it.  When the encore concluded, it was 1 am.  I was definitely hurting and feeling sick.  I held onto Jen and just kept telling myself that I just needed to make it to the car.  Once we made it and I was laying down, I passed out fast. However, I am pretty sure I fell asleep with a perma-grin across my face.  The show was so worth it.

As I have since had time to reflect after recuperating this weekend, the whole Madonna experience has made me realize a few things:

1.  Nothing is better than spending a memorable, amazing night with family.

2.  There are some things that are worth getting sick for, and going into “spoon-debt” over.

3.  In 5 years, I won’t remember the pain or the sickness.  I will remember the time Jen and I spent a night in the Golden Triangle.

Thank you Jen…I will forever be grateful. xoxo

We are winners!

Sitting in the pit.

Jen and Madonna’s manager, Guy.

Like a Virgin

Like a Prayer choir

Detroit’s Golden Triangle


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