I am lucky in many ways. One way I'm lucky is my children don't listen to music I hate. Oh, sure, there was a time I was forced to listen to insipid children's music when we went on car rides to Grandma's house. There was a Barney tape (remember the purple dinosaur) I would have paid to have ground into barely visible dust by an 18-wheeler on the turnpike during one trip to Missouri. But since they outgrew that stage, it has surprised me what they choose.


I am lucky in many ways. One way I'm lucky is my children don't listen to music I hate. Oh, sure, there was a time I was forced to listen to insipid children's music when we went on car rides to Grandma's house. There was a Barney tape (remember the purple dinosaur) I would have paid to have ground into barely visible dust by an 18-wheeler on the turnpike during one trip to Missouri. But since they outgrew that stage, it has surprised me what they choose.
    A few months ago, I saw Emilyjane (the oldest kid) downloading a song from iTunes. As I crept up to look over her shoulder, I expected to see a picture of some overly pierced, weird-haired performer who sings about truly depressing things or a large man with his hat on backwards and more jewelry than all the Gabor sisters combined. I was very pleasantly surprised to see a picture of a very wholesome lady in a turtleneck sweater. It was Rosemary Clooney.  Yep, the co-star of “White Christmas” and a hit machine in the 1950s was going to reside in my 15-year-old daughter's iPod.  I'm sorry, but how cool is that?
    Alice (the middle kid) also spends some of her time in the ‘50s. She is an Elvis fan. She is not a fanatic with maps of Graceland pasted all over her walls and velvet paintings of the young, sexy Elvis in black leather and the older, tubby Elvis in the white leather and sequins adorning her bedroom. She likes his music.  She also listens to the Monkees and the Go-Go's (who were basically the Monkees with estrogen). 
    George (the youngest) was involved in the high school production last year of “The Music Man” and has developed a liking for musicals. Recently I downloaded Ron Moody singing “Reviewing the Situation” from “Oliver” to share with him.
    They all listen to other things which are more hip. I have just shown my un-hipness by using the word “hip.” Maybe I should say they listen to musicians who are more “fresh,” “sweet,” “clean” or whatever other adjective stolen from detergent commercials they are using today to describe modern, popular cra… uh, stuff. Anyway, they do listen to some of today's music, but I don't think they listen to music that I, like so many out-of-touch generation gap dwellers before me, refer to as devil-worshipping-boom-de-boom music. 
    As is so often the case for parents, this point of pride has turned to bite me in the wallet. Emilyjane has a wicked crush on Michael Buble. He is a thirty-something big-band swing singer in the mold of Sinatra or, more recently, Harry Connick Jr.          Well, Buble is going to have a concert in Wichita. This is where the fact that she prefers this kind of music backfires on me. 
    She really wants to go, and I do not have the A-Number 1 arguments to combat her going. I cannot say his music will rot your brain (I do not have any of Buble's albums, but my Frank, Dean and Sammy albums have many of the same songs). Nor can I claim that the audience will be full of recidivist sociopaths looking to turn her into just another tattooed wastrel.  Ergo, she is going and I am paying.
    Since the last concert ticket I purchased was for Billy Joel (in 1978), I had no idea how expensive tickets were. The only feeble counterattack I had to the pretty brown eyes staring up at me, asking to go, was the cost.  I said, thinking this might actually dissuade her, “Those tickets are going to be really expensive. I bet they are as much as $40.” I thought I was exaggerating in order to make her realize what a bite it would be. Not only didn't it work, it made it more depressing for me when I found out how much they really did cost. 
    That is a story unto itself. The first attempt to buy tickets showed the cheapest ones were $124.  At this point, I was prepared to tell my daughter that I did not love her enough to sell one of my kidneys in order to afford the ticket and the gas to get to Wichita.
    After an hour-long rant, out loud and via e-mail, about how too many people are just greedy *#&@#^% making it impossible for normal, everyday, working guys to send their kids to concerts, we found the proper Web site to buy the tickets. They were just (gulp) $66 apiece.