I am finding it very hard to come up with a topic for today’s column because all I can think about is my big plans for tonight.

My friend, Courtney, and I are going to get all dressed up, head into Washington, D.C., for dinner and then go to a Green Day concert.

I will probably be up later than any night since Jimmy had his appendix out three years ago.

My oldest son thinks it’s a little unfair that his 40-something mother gets to go see a band that is popular with kids his age. I think it’s absolutely wonderful and can’t wait to blow out my eardrums tonight.

It might even rain, which could make the experience even more of an adventure.

This would never have happened before last year when I started hanging out with Courtney. Since we became friends, she’s made it her mission to get me out of the house and having fun, with and without the kids.

We took a vacation to Florida last year with my three boys and her son, Eddie, who is the same age as Tommy. Ron got so tired of hearing our vacation stories that he gave up his spring fishing trip to Texas so he could come along for our next big vacation to Aruba.

She surprised me with the tickets as a birthday present, and I could not have received the gift at a better time. I was spending 11 consecutive hours in one building taking back-to-back classes when I decided to check my e-mail.

(Thanks to modern technology, there are many, many more ways to goof off in class than the first time I was in college in the late 1980s.)

There it was, an announcement from Ticketmaster telling me Courtney had purchased two tickets for us to go see Green Day at the Verizon Center in D.C.

Suddenly, I had the energy to make it through the rest of my classes, and with a smile on my face!

Now, as I look back at the countless concerts I have been to over the years, I can’t quite decide what to wear.

It’s no longer in style to dress the way I did for my first concert appearance in 1984. When I went to see Duran Duran, I wore a tie-dyed T-shirt with the neck cut out of it, Madonna-style.

During my college years in Chapel Hill, I tried to catch every band that came to town. My roommates and I even made a rare appearance at Duke so we could see R.E.M.

When the Dean E. Smith Center opened up right across the street from my dorm, it became even more convenient to go see concerts. My friends and I would sign up for shifts to wait in line for tickets, just like we did during basketball season.

My "concert years" lasted longer than most adults because one of my first jobs after college was at a radio station. Ron often complained about my low wages, but I always came back with the same argument of, "Look at all the free T-shirts and concert tickets we get!"

The music stopped for several years once we started a family. I just couldn’t enjoy going out and acting like a teenager while a real teenager ran herself ragged with my kids.

But now that two of my three kids are teenagers themselves, I have no problem with the idea of screaming amid a crowd of fellow Green Day fans.

In fact, I’m so excited, I can barely think of anything else.

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has been married to a Marine for 18 years and currently lives in Springfield, Va. You may e-mail her at or visit her Web site at

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now