Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - the date the future officially started in our house.
Because that was the first time I had to wait up for one of our kids to come home after a night out.
Oh it all passed off without serious incident but it was the day when everything changed forever.
It all started when daughter #1’s mobile phone pinged on the way home from school with a text to say a friend suddenly had a spare ticket to see Paloma Faith in Blackpool that night and did she want to go?
So she asked me (fully expecting me to say no because it was a school night and gigs full of sweaty, leering boys are no place for a 13-year-old) and I amazed her by saying yes.
Her friend’s mum was going with them so I thought, why not?
At least I’d be able to watch Real v United in peace.
So after asking her mum what to wear for such occasions - which flattered my wife no end - she was off, in a biker jacket/skinny jeans/T-shirt combo without a backwards glance in case we changed our minds.
Now I’ve heard of Paloma Faith and seen her on TV a few times but I’d never actually heard any of her songs.
After a quick search on YouTube I came to this conclusion - to my elderly ears (43 today) they sound like a fire in a cattery, but then just about everything recorded before 1992 is alien to me anyway, too fast and not enough bass.
As you might imagine, daughter #2’s nose was put severely out of joint by her big sister’s last-minute trip to see a real-live pop star at a real-live gig.
So on a precious night off that was earmarked for some serious football, off we went with our Orange Wednesdays 2-for-1 ticket to the cinema in Lancaster to see Wreck-It Ralph in 3D - the things I do for our kids.
I don’t know whether it is a blessing or a curse but down in the bowels of Screen 1 there’s no mobile phone signal so Ronaldo, Van Persie, De Gea and Welbeck played out a thrilling Champions League game without me.
The film itself was okay, our kids are pretty blasé about cinema trips because of years of 2-for-1 deals and cheapo Sunday morning kids’ films, but if you like playing Donkey Kong and Mario Kart then you’ll love Wreck-It Ralph.
And there’s just enough retro gaming touches to keep old farts like me from drifting off to the lobby every five minutes to check the football score on my phone.
When we got home the boss crawled off to bed leaving yours truly to wait up for daughter #1’s return.
Clocks move pretty slowly when you watch them all the time.
But after what felt like four days the prodigal daughter returned wearing a huge grin and a tour T-shirt from the gig that cost 50p more than the ticket.
While it wasn’t her first gig (I dragged her to Depeche Mode four years ago and she cried after Enjoy the Silence and made us leave because she hated it so much), it was the first pop star she’s seen that she actually likes and so she’ll never forget it.
The next day Paloma Faith posted a picture of the crowd that she’d taken from the stage on Facebook and to be fair they all look mad for it.
So in a nutshell, daughter #1 has been there, done that and bought the T-shirt.