After getting home from a Jenny Lewis concert on Thursday night, I unfolded the t-shirt I bought that featured a logo of Lewis’s latest album, The Voyager. The former lead singer of the popular 2000s indie rock band, Rilo Kiley, Lewis released her second solo album earlier this year, and made a stop along her tour at a venue about 15 minutes from where I live.
I bought tickets for the show the first day they went on sale. The venue she played at, called The Space at Westbury, is new, having opened last year, and is quite a luxury for me, considering 95% of the shows I see are in New York City.
Which is fine. I love the city, but it’s quite a nuisance to travel an hour-plus back home following a show. So to only have to drive about 15 minutes from this new venue to get home is very convenient. And it proved especially advantageous on this particular day.
When I unfolded my souvenir, it more closely resembled a bed sheet than a shirt. I wear a medium size, and the shirt was an extra-large, even though I clearly requested a medium. I carelessly forgot to double-check the size before I left the venue and now, was out 20 bucks, and had a useless, oversized shirt.
It was about 11 p.m., and I considered my options. First I called the venue to see if anybody was still there, to no avail. Then I thought, I could call tomorrow, explain the situation, and probably get a refund. But, I realized, I wanted the goddamn shirt. If I waited another day, the merchandise would surely have been packed up and sent to Jenny Lewis’s next stop on her tour.
Without further thought, I hopped in my car and sped towards the venue, in hope that people were still inside. The show had only ended about 30 minutes ago, after all, so I figured there must be people there cleaning the place, at the very least.
I probably exceeded the speed limit considerably in the drive, but I was on a mission. I wanted this to be a success story. Most people would have cut their losses and went to sleep, and certainly wouldn’t drive back to the venue at such a late hour at just the mere possibility of exchanging the shirt.
I arrived at the venue, and approached the doors. They were locked, but there was tons of people inside. I promptly began knocking on the door loudly, and held up and pointed to my shirt, performing a demonstrative pantomime that tried to indicate, “Bought shirt; too big; let me in.” In hindsight, I’m very surprised they didn’t think I was clinically insane.
This story ended happily. They let me in and I quickly explained the situation, and the same people who were manning the merchandise earlier were happy to exchange the shirt, and apologized for the mishap. I was just happy it all worked out.
Jenny Lewis was fantastic, too. I met her briefly at a music festival over the summer, and this was a fairly small-venue show that allowed me to be within feet of the stage. She played a sold-out show in Manhattan’s Terminal 5 the night before, and this was certainly a contrast. It’s another reason why I’m glad to have that venue. And I highly recommend people check out The Voyager on Spotify, because it’s quite good.
And henceforth, whenever I wear that t-shirt, it will remind me of my resilience, determination, and personal resolve.
If I tried as hard in all other aspects of my life as I did to get that damn shirt, I’d be the next Steve Jobs.
But for now, I’m just a man with an aptly sized Jenny Lewis t-shirt, and I’m perfectly content with that.