Changes in attitudes…

Jimmy Buffett's Parrot Head Club Sign

Image by Lunchbox Photography via Flickr

Some say that life sucks. And not in the good way.

Hmmmmm. I personally had a rough few weeks. The kind of rough where getting out of bed is a horrendous chore; one only surpassed by opening your eyes in the first place. When you wish you had a terrible hangover just so you would feel better about things. In case you are not getting what I am trying to say, I was really down.

But despite the fact that I was thinking how pleasant it would be to ram my head repeatedly into a wall, it never actually crossed my mind to blame life for my mild bit of the blues. Life, my friends, is a wondrous little bag o’ tricks. The secret is in how we play with the tricks we pull out of the bag.

So having wandered around with my lightning clad dark cloud for a few weeks, seriously dampening (or is that damping) everyone who had the misfortune of crossing paths with me’s day, I stumbled across the bag again. Not sure how that presumptuous bugger life managed to get there in front of me, but somehow it did. Tripped right over the bag and knocked something out. All set to zap that something with a good bit of lightning and embrace the storm again, I paused, for the something had caught my eye.

Seems I was being reminded of an event that I had been invited to back before the whole cloud took over. “And what,” you are no doubt not asking, “might be this event that so crossed your eyes?” Well nothing other than The 16th Annual New England Parrot Head Convention. While you are not asking questions, you may not be asking: “What exactly is a Parrot Head?” Or possibly you are not wondering why the top part of talking birds would want to have a convention in the first place.

To the uninitiated, they are just rabid followers of that Jimmy Buffett fellow (and no we are not talking about the inventor of a system of serving meals in which food is placed in a public area where the diners serve themselves). The truth of the matter is Parrot Heads are a group of people who have learned how to play well with the tricks they grab out of that wondrous bag. The music is just one of the ways in which they have mastered the art of playing.

So here I was with this trick from the bag, a storm cloud overhead and a decision to make. A phrase popped into my head. “The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful.” And the decision was made. Time to become beautiful. Storm or no storm. So I called my friend who had initially invited me and asked if there was any way I could still go (seeing as this decision arrived the morning the event actually started).

The powers that be decided to keep the bag open for me, so the next day I found myself in a land bound cruise ship (some might call it a hotel) with 500ish of these Parrot Head types. And for the next three days relearned the art of playing well. I could give you a list of events, but that in a way would be meaningless. For the true meat of the convention was what happened in the hallways; in the rooms; in the elevators even. What we had was a group of people with all sorts of backgrounds joined together in a grand celebration of life. We danced. We sang. We laughed. Sure we drank and partied, but in celebration instead of escape. One of the few things we didn’t do was sleep. But that never took the smiles away.

The really beautiful thing about this gathering was that it also serves a practical purpose, a purpose which is the actual keystone of the organization. For the joy of life is so strong with those who choose to be members that they wish to share it with others. And this takes the form of collecting money for various charitable organizations. So not only did we fully embrace what the bag has to offer, we were also sharing it with others. There are Parrot Heads everywhere, and they hold events all the time. Yay life!!!

So for those of you who think life sucks, maybe you just need to learn how to enjoy it again. It always has something new to offer. So if one trick does not work for you, just reach in and grab another. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed. And to all you crazy life loving Parrot Heads out there, it was my honor to cross paths with you, and I look forward to doing so again!!

0 thoughts on “Changes in attitudes…

  1. Nice work… so glad you joined us on soooo many levels. We dont call it Partying with a Purpose for nuttin!!

  2. Steve – That is really awesome…I am so glad you were there and hope to see you at many more… 🙂

  3. Steve, Welcome to my world. Both the lightning pierced dark cloud attached to my brain and the feathers at the tips of the wings the other side of life has given me. How many places could folks put chairs in the elevator and the staff smiles…in the Hawaiian shirts the hotel dressed them in, and the bartender stopped on her way to work to buy a lei so she would fit in.
    All this fun, and we still raised money and attention for several charities!
    Feel free to reach out when that dark cloud tries to go ZOT!

  4. So glad you came and that it help lift you out of your funk. A good time with great new/old phriends is always what you need to lift the clouds!! Hope you go again next year, I would room with you again, you and Tim were great roommates 🙂 We are no longer convention virgins lol

  5. Your commentary could have been written by me for my weeks preceding the convention mirrored your experience…all was well once I got on board the USS Buffett:)

  6. My BFF Ross and his FM Jodie were THERE! They battled their way through hours and hours of treacherous snowy wintery weather (at 30mph, no less!) to get there, but were saved by the perpetual warmth and sunshine of all the Parrothead revelry. Someday, I hope my life’s bag-o-trick’s falls over and a Parrothead Conventions falls out. Thanks for the recap!

  7. To learn more about joining this exciting and compassionate organization and becoming a Parrot Head, go to
    You can find a Parrot Head Club in your area. All clubs will welcome you with open arms, because that’s the Parrot Head way.
    “Party with a purpose”

  8. Your story made it’s way to my inbox and the Detroit Club. Thanks for sharing your experience…you gave me the boost I was looking for on this mid-winter, mid Michigan gray morning..blessings…party on! kk

  9. Followed the link on your most recent post to see what this was about. I like Jimmy Buffet’s music, but I wouldn’t call myself a rabid fan by any means. However, my brother and his wife are very active Parrot Heads. They are always involved in charitable events or going off to participate in club activities, most recently to Key West at the end of October.. My daughter even created a artistic collage that was auctioned off on a Parrot Head cruise a couple years ago. They must be having a good time.

    Tossing It Out

    • Not all that rabid a fan myself. Not am I technically a Parrot Head. But I do admire the organization and how they go about doing things. And the convention was well worth the visit as I said here 🙂

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