The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Friday, January 02, 2009


Menopausal Mama Rock On!

I happened to catch Tina Turner on Oprah

The 68-year-old diva strutted across the stage on her mile-long legs, whipping the audience into a frenzy as she belted out “Proud Mary” as only she can.

Before I knew it, I was dancing along in my living room ignoring the horrified look on my six-year-old daughter’s face.

When Tina announced she was coming out of retirement, I knew I had to see her in concert. A few seconds later I was on my laptop clicking away and buying a pair of tickets for her fall performance at the HP Pavilion. Not cheap, nosebleed seats, either. These were damn good ones. Right there on the floor.

Tina wasn’t the only one ending her retirement, you see. As a former concert queen – and soon-to-be card-carrying member of the AARP -- I hadn’t been to a true, blow the-roof-off-the-arena event in nearly a decade.

This was my un-retirement party, too.

There was a time in my life when my world revolved around music. I lived to see performers like the Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, Bob Seeger, David Bowie, and Rod Stewart live in concert.

Let me be clear: I went to a ton of great concerts. But thanks to imbibing copious quantities of pot, alcohol and whatever other mind-altering chemicals I could get my hands on, I don’t remember much about any of them.

I spent the evening of one of my first concerts, the Doobie Brothers, appropriately enough -- puking in the back seat of my date’s prized ‘63 Mercedes. At California Jam, a ‘70s mega-fest somewhere in the hinterlands of Ontario, I passed out hours before my beloved Aerosmith and Ted Nugent took the stage. I couldn’t find my car after, let alone tell you if Ted played “Cat Scratch Fever.”

Things were different the night of Tina’s concert.

Instead of downing a six-pack in the parking lot before the show, my husband and I had dinner in a cozy Italian restaurant. We washed down our pasta with a fine bottle of Pellegrino. And throwing caution to the wind, I skipped my usual decaf and ordered caffeinated coffee to accompany my crème brulee.

I was ready to rock.

Arriving at the sold-out arena sober and bloated, we armed ourselves with more water and searched for our seats in the dark. We found them just as Tina made her grand entrance. Her voice sent a current of electricity through the audience, pulling us to our feet with its power. Tina, her band and a bevy of hot back-up dancers put on the most amazing show; one I actually remembered the next morning.

Of course, being a mature concertgoer has its downside, too. By the time Tina got to “What's Love Got to Do with It,” my feet -- unaccustomed to the high-heeled boots I’d donned in an effort to look hip -- were begging me to sit.

My face was red and glistened with sweat. Not from dancing in the aisles, mind you. I had hot flashes to thank for my rosy glow. And my dinner caffeine fix was wearing off. During the half-hour intermission, I stifled yawns and wondered how much longer the show, or more accurately I, would last.

“Looks like we’re gonna have to stand again!” the silver-haired guy next to me announced, flashing a grin of dazzling dentures as Tina kicked off her second set.


I forced a tight smile and feigned enthusiasm as I stood with the rest of the crowd. Some ten songs later it was encore time. Prancing like a colt in her stilettos on a hydraulic platform that swooped over different sections of the audience to deliver her within inches of her adoring fans, Tina launched into a lengthy sing-along of “Be Good to Me.”

She was still going strong.

I was fading fast.

Awesome as Tina was, I found myself doing what would have been unthinkable in my twenties -- praying that the concert would end. 

I’d rocked out enough for one night.

Maybe even enough for another decade.

By Dorothy O’Donnell

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