IT’S MY LIFE

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Parenting - TRIC KEAR­NEY

ACOUPLE of weeks ago my phone was hop­ping with ex­cited mes­sages from my daugh­ters. “Westlife are back to­gether.’ “I doubt it,’ I texted, re­mem­ber­ing singing and sob­bing through their good­bye tour only a few years ago.

“They are, ev­ery­one’s say­ing so,’ said my el­dest.

“Well you’re wrong,’ I in­sisted. ‘I was lis­ten­ing to Nicky Byrne from Westlife on the ra­dio and he said noth­ing about it.’

So it con­tin­ued for days, my girls in­sist­ing I was wrong and I, say­ing “we’ll see’, con­vinced I was right.

A few weeks later, my phone was buzzing with ‘I told you so’s. Westlife had an­nounced their come­back tour.

My girls gloated as I ranted: “That’s crazy. I’m not im­pressed.’

“So, are you not go­ing to go see them?’ asked one daugh­ter.

‘Don’t be ridicu­lous. Of course I am,’ I replied.

If only life were so sim­ple that you could wish to go to a con­cert and hey presto! tick­ets ar­rived. Un­for­tu­nately, the lords of Tick­et­mas­ter have your fate in their hands and in­sist you jump through sev­eral hoops be­fore a golden ticket can be bought.

The word came that tick­ets were go­ing on sale Thurs­day at 9am. The thought of it sent my stress lev­els ris­ing. I’d failed to get any tick­ets, four out of the past five at­tempts.

The night be­fore my daugh­ter texted: ‘Who is get­ting the tick­ets to­mor­row?’

No one texted back. Please, I

Un­for­tu­nately, the lords of Tick­et­mas­ter have your fate in their hands and in­sist you jump through sev­eral hoops be­fore buy­ing a golden ticket

thought, don’t let it be all down to me!

‘I can try too,’ came a late text from the stu­dent. “I’m not in col­lege un­til later.’ Thank god for univer­sity. The fol­low­ing morn­ing was tor­ture as time crawled by, 8am, 8.10am, 8.12am. Fi­nally, at 8.45am, I sat down and turned on two lap­tops and my phone.

Both lap­tops read: “No in­ter­net con­nec­tion.’

My blood pres­sure sky­rock­eted as I roared and shouted. Per­haps it was just a co­in­ci­dence but min­utes later they found the in­ter­net.

I googled Tick­et­mas­ter. “Please en­ter pass­word,’ it said. “In­cor­rect pass­word.’ I tried again. “In­cor­rect pass­word.’ It was now 8.52am. “It is the right pass­word,’ I roared at the screens, but I was re­fused en­try. In des­per­a­tion, I be­gan to en­ter ev­ery pass­word I’d ever had and fi­nally at 8.57am I was in. I needed a lie down.

I sat watch­ing the three screens in front of me as the clock counted down the sec­onds. 3,2,1.

“Pur­chase tick­ets,’ flashed on the screen.

I clicked on all three screens and waited. And waited.

“Wow, lots of peo­ple are here to­day,’ it told me. My heart sank a lit­tle.

“We are mak­ing a queue,’ it said. Well, that hadn’t gone too well for me the last four times. I waited and waited. “Do not re­fresh your screen or you may lose your place in the queue,’ it ad­vised. So, I con­tin­ued to wait, the thought of crowds fill­ing Croke Park ahead of me came to mind.

Af­ter 15 min­utes I feared the worst. I risked mov­ing over to Twit­ter on my phone but came straight back as there were ter­ri­ble tales of peo­ple get­ting tick­ets and then los­ing their con­nec­tion just as pay­ment was go­ing through. At least they were pay­ing, I thought, I’m still in the queue.

As 9.25am ap­proached the news came through on one screen af­ter an­other, “You are a loser.’

OK, maybe not those words ex­actly but I knew what they meant.

I roared in frus­tra­tion, scar­ing the liv­ing day­lights out of the dog.

“Never again,’ I swore. “I hate Tick­et­mas­ter and stupid Westlife.’

The ding of a text halted my rage. It was my daugh­ter. “Got four tick­ets.’ I mes­saged her back. “Great. Westlife here we come.’

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