Here are a few things about my wife: She works her ass off in both commercial and private real estate. You won’t catch her in a church choir but she has allowed several gay men/drag queens to fondle her breasts at gay pride parades. She purchased the Farmhouse compact disc at a Warehouse Music in Menlo Park, California after a meal at Chili’s back when it was a new release. She saw the band Phish more in the 1.0 era than The Baby’s Mouth.
My wife has allowed me to dress our older daughter in numerous Phish attire. The Muppets/Phish band member size 4T shirt is currently a big hit at our preschool. While our 5 week old has yet to fit into any of her hand me down band attire, my wife was fully supportive of me singing her Billy Breathes, Farmhouse, and even Slave to The Traffic Light as we looked out a UCLA NICU window last month, at a spot where Phish performed once in Los Angeles. While we have yet to catch a Bathtub Gin during bath time on a webcast, it will happen one day. My four year old splashed through the recent Space Oddity cover, and much like a Trey flub, I just smiled and shook it off.
Of the 35 (soon to be 37) Phish shows I have seen, my Phish Wife has been dragged along to 7 of those events. While not as low as the dentist who was made famous thanks to his blogging wife, not a bad chunk of shows for a life long left coast fan. Before we had kids, I went to Festival 8 and she went to Vegas for a girls weekend. Where I may never see a Halloween show again, it is not because my Phish Wife says I can’t go, as much as the fact that it is more important for me to watch my daughters collect candy as they walk through our neighborhood. I learned that lesson when, right in the middle of walking into the MGM Grand Arena on 10/31/14, I got a video from my daughter asking why I wasn’t there to watch her get this candy. Sometimes as a father and a husband, you need to be around. It’s a shocker, but there are more important things than Phish. Hell, that’s probably the reason the Vegas 10/28-10/30 rumor is so rampant. Perhaps Mike, Page, and Fish want to see their children fill orange plastic pumpkin buckets with candy bars?
Yet, there are those magical times my wife does come with me. I think back to 2003 when she refused to flinch and didn’t want to be anywhere else but Inglewood for Valentine’s Day. Mike rocked a Fedora, the band played The Cover Of The Rolling Stone for the first and last time, and the Bathtub Gin on that particular evening was so fucking incredible it has finally found its way onto a Live Bait compilation. Then there was the time she said yes, we can drive our one year old up I5 for 6+ hours so I could catch the 2013 Bill Graham Civic run. On the night she agreed to go to the show with me for a rare night out without the kid, we each saw Weigh, Alumni Blues>Jimmy Page>Alumni Blues, and Lengthwise for the first time. While this was about as useful to her as the Spock’s Brain we saw at Shoreline back in 2000, she still smiled seeing how much fun I was having in the moment. If she was to log into her Phish.net stats, she would embarrass a lot of the #RealFans out there with 75+ shows under their belt with what she has seen in 7 shows.
Phish will never be my wife’s favorite band. In fact, she would probably give her left toe to never hear Tweezer again. But she remembers that moment she saw The Inlaw Josie Wales at Shoreline and her smile was as bright as Kuroda lights. She remembers missing The Shins to hang with me at Outside Lands because she got to hear a David Bowie cover and they shot off Steam. She also remembers holding a crying 5 week old for hours and hours alone so I could see an average show in Long Beach. Sure she said no to Chula Vista 2014 since we had already RSVP’d for a wedding, but she supported my adventures to Santa Barbara, Inglewood, and Las Vegas and sucked it up and covered a very expensive UBER ride home from Inglewood in 2015. She embraces Phish because she embraces me and that is what is important.
So where it is easy to bash Jenny Dunn Pray for her blog post, Jenny and all Phish wives deserves a lot of respect. She is helping to raise three kids. I know my home will be chaos on the nights of July 22nd and 23rd of this year as I take off to catch the final two West Coast shows of 2016. I assume her home of Vogue Phish Wife’s home has been the same when the husband leaves the pack in search of Phish. Jenny has found life lessons in her various Phish shows, even if she can’t grasp the glory of a man in a mumu playing a vacuum cleaner solo. It is not as if we are fans of Korn who perhaps comes around once every 1-3 years. We travel, we stream, we hyper-focus and obsess over this band. So where The Phunion poked a lot of fun at the latest essay from #PhishWives as only The Phunion can, we also understand that it is important to love and embrace them for the support they give to us 30 something white guys who just know that deep down inside this is the year we finally get to witness Ha Ha Ha live.