Being a Roadie

It isn’t easy, this business of being the roadie.  Hey, it wasn’t even easy coming up with that first sentence.  Everything I could think of to sum up my status resulted in a negative.  NON-bio mom, OTHER mother, NOT carrier.  Sure, there’s mother, but it doesn’t capture what I wanted to talk about today, which is being the mother of a child carried and birthed by someone else.  I didn’t land on a single word that implied “as much as” or “equal to” or “partner in”.  Maybe you know one.  Please tell me you do.  Otherwise, we’re stuck with roadie, you and me.

Roadie: An individual who is responsible for setting up, tearing down, and generally maintaining the equipment for a band (Urban Dictionary); a person who often performs errands for musicians on tour (; and, a person who works (as by moving heavy equipment) for traveling entertainers (Merriam Webster).

It’s true isn’t it?  I’m a roadie.  In that spirit, I’ve called on the good folks at to help me with this entry.

Lately, I’ve felt like the “college crew” (students who volunteered to help with the load in…who also had no idea how hard it really is).  I move stuff and, in between thinking I might die, I smile at my wife to show her that it isn’t that heavy.  Actually, it is.  But I’m so glad she can’t carry it, that I’m happy to suffocate under a load of things I would never pick up otherwise.

I’m definitely beginning to focus more on getting ready (yes, I’m a planner.  no, there is no roadie term for that.  I think planner is the antithesis of roadie.)  The other day we did so much errand-running to prepare for Vegas that I got a serious case of gig butt (that burning sensation caused by wearing your underwear way too long on the road).  After a trip to a kids’ store to buy a crib mattress, I was left wondering IATSE (“Is all this Shit Essential?”)?  We came home with so much IATSE that we did, in fact, need that I had to do an idiot check of the car (after everything has been loaded out, you go back one more time to make sure nothing is left behind).

I’ve gone from being a delicate flower with white gloves (doesn’t seem to get dirty, or doesn’t seem to really do any work, i.e. “She’s strictly ‘White Gloves”) to throwing on my blacks (official uniform of roadies) and unhitching my allen wrench.  Someone has to install that redneck laser (mirror ball) in Vegas’ room.

Evenings continue to be exhausting for both of us, but as she gets bigger, I’m more in hoc to the lead (person [dog] with biggest ego), who demands walks three times a night.  I think he’s in for a real shock once Vegas comes along.  As it is, we’re accommodating him as the first-born, but we live on a very steep hill and I’m facing the fact that our 80 pound hound cannot haul my wife and Vegas up a mountain in the ice and rain.

I know the real pyro (pyrotechnics, aka indoor fireworks and explosives) isn’t coming til June, but I also know that it’s my responsibility in the meantime to do mic checks (verification that everything is wired correctly and functioning) and maintain the air ride (air cushioned trailer used in transporting fragile electronic [pregnant] equipment [people]) so that she’s as comfortable as possible.  And that means, among other things, taking over the responsibility of explaining to folks how she came to be pregnant – PFM (Pure Freakin’ Magic…A good answer to give to somebody when you are asked how something works and don’t have the time to explain it.) and reading What to Expect to her – particularly that part about Texas gravy (the white froth that builds up in your drawers on a humid day) and why she might have to switch from boxers to panties.

Sadly, also like a roadie, I have had to resort to the bunk sock (an article of clothing used by “lonely roadies” that need a little relief from the long lonely nights in the tour bus).  Really folks.  We are currently 148 days til go (start the gig, i.e. “Five minutes till go”) and I’m worried about getting my rocks off.  Thank goodness she’s already given me a backstage pass (a colorful printed self adhesive cloth patch that allows certain access and privileges during or after the show) instead of percussive maintenance (having to hit something a few times to get it to work properly).  Though that could be fun.


5 Responses

  1. I really, really love this entry. I think the lingo is great, not just because it’s cool, but because it’s great to see it written out in a positive and pro-active kind of way, instead of, as you say, a negative/non- way.

    (and hey, fwiw, we were able to not have to resort to bunk socks at all. it’s a little trickier now, but we’re creative, and hopeful all will be well in a few weeks, with the midwives’ okay.)

  2. this is perhaps the funniest lesbian baby blogger thing I have ever read.

  3. Ha! Love it!

    And yeah, we never did come up with a good way to refer to this stuff, and so use the negatives anyway in order to be able to talk about it. I never liked “co-mother” since it is usually only applied to non-bio-moms. If only one of you is “co” — it’s not really truly “co-mothering”, it’s more like “mother” and “assistant mother” which (to me) is worse than just saying non-bio-mom. But we only use that (or NGP) when talking about issues specific to one mom birthing, and one mom not. The rest of the time, it’s just “mom.”

    Good luck with that bunk sock.

  4. I love this too!! Roadie. Got it. I haven’t got a good image/name for my role either and I love this. We NEED a word. Language is important and sense-making is particularly important when you’re getting ready for a baby. Thank you for this!

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