Sometimes, you just gotta have a balls to the wall, top shelf drinks, new outfit, new hair, kind of night. You need to live like a king, keep the drinks a’flowing, and order the steak and sushi. These nights usually have a plan, your legs are shaved, your eyebrows are plucked and you had been practicing your winged look for weeks in advance. When you are a family woman, you’ve probably budgeted to make sure your night can go accordingly. Last week was not that kind of night. A last-minute show and a last-minute decision to throw caution to the wind and go along for the ride was something we hadn’t budgeted for; yet, in this case, we didn’t need to. Which makes it just as good of a night. I am a cheapskate, I hate spending money and I can tell you that the balls to the wall nights don’t happen often and when they do they are heavily soaked in that good ol’ Irish guilt my grandmother blessed me with. That is why a night like last weekend doesn’t deserve only bragging about but a whole blog post dedicated to another perk of being a band wife, how we rocked last weekend’s budget, and the how’s of saving money as a band wife (at least for one night).
It was about two o’clock, the day of. My mother had already said she would be able to take the kids that night, but there were so many ‘I don’t know’s involved. We really didn’t have a budget that week for going out, the kids had there catechism in the morning. We went round and round about if it was a good idea to go. But at the end I decided that it is only eight bucks to get in and that was all I needed. We were carpooling so that was a bonus, we didn’t have to drive. So on the way we pulled into a gas station where I pulled just one twenty out of the ATM (eight to get in, maybe a drink or two, depending on how expensive this place was). Then we were on our way. Here comes rule number one (this isn’t every place but there are some very awesome venues that will let you get away with this): if you go in the back with the guys, carry in an amp or two, set up the merch, they just may consider you “support staff”. This was one of those special venues. After they called all the bands and “support staff” to check IDs and get our wristbands, I took my newly acclaimed twenty-dollar bill and hoofed it to the bar. Rule number two: Don’t be picky. When the fabulous bar tendress asked me what I would like, the only words out of my mouth were, “what’s your cheapest?” and wouldn’t you know, two dollar beers all night! Let’s recap: so far free ride to venue, free rocking out all for the price of selling their merch and doing a little bit of heavy lifting, and about half of what I brought in drinks because I am not picky and asked. Now, the last thing on my list is food, we all get a little hungry after the calorie burning rockin’ out and all those drinks. Then it’s just picking a place, it was too late for a cheap run to Taco Bell or McD’s but the gas station down the road is open all night, so our ritual stale cheddar and beef subs were what was on the menu!
This concludes my twenty-dollar night. Being with a musician is expensive, their toys will cost more than anything you buy, your nights out will be plenty, and travel isn’t cheap. There is always a silver lining, though and I can find a silver lining and a bargain in anything. So when the band wife life gets a little stressful, you can always look forward to a cheap, fun night to blow off a little steam.