Mike and I are huge fans of the band Hanson. Yes, THAT Hanson.
Most people think Hanson disappeared after “MmmBop” but they have continued making music, started their own record company (3CG Records), created a beer company (Hanson Bros. Beer), started a Beer and Music festival in Tulsa (The Hop Jam), are avid philanthropists and I could go on. Mike and I attend multiple Hanson concerts throughout the year and travel distances from Dallas to Jamaica to see them perform. We’ve made lifelong friends at Hanson events and continue to meet those friends all around the globe for vacations both Hanson and non Hanson related. We love the experience of participating in Hanson events but the truth is…
It isn’t about Hanson.
Let me explain. Yes, we love Hanson but more than that, we love the shared experience of going to Hanson events. Would I still travel all over the country to see Hanson without Mike? Maybe? I’d probably still attend a few shows here and there but what I really love about Hanson concerts is being there WITH Mike. I love watching Mike sing along. I love sharing our inside jokes. I love exploring new places with Mike before and after shows. I love that we have Hanson friends (people we’ve met at shows) and I love that Mike loves what I love.
Studies have shown people enjoy experiences more when they are shared with someone else even if that someone else is a stranger. Shared experiences bolster our sense of belonging and belonging makes us feel happier, more fulfilled, and gives us a sense of greater life satisfaction.
Here’s another great example of shared experience. While 2 of our friends were dating, they would go around to our city’s eateries trying different cheeseburgers and then they would rate them on their facebook pages. I’m sure they really do love cheeseburgers but they started doing it as something to do together. I could be wrong but I don’t think they expect to be called up by a major newspaper to be cheeseburger critics. They also don’t focus on burgers because they hate tacos, pizza or any other food. They go around trying cheeseburgers because it’s fun, gives them a reason to try new eating places and it’s something they can do together. They enjoy sharing the experience more than the burgers or the ratings afterwards.
Another couple friend of ours enjoys seeing horror films the day they come out. They will sit and analyze horror films together for hours. They love the genre and look for obscure films to watch they may have missed over the years. Their shared love of horror films gives them something to do and bond over. It’s a shared experience.
Mike and I love that going to a Hanson concert is familiar and guaranteed fun. We love that we have friends and acquaintances at every show. We love singing along and dancing like no one is watching! We love that we have the enthusiasm of the people who fight to get to the front of the venues but we stay at the very back with a cocktail in hand at all times. We have certain hotels in certain cities we love, we have eateries that we look forward to sitting down at, we pack games and cocktails to enjoy in our hotel room and ultimately we enjoy each others company the most. And it goes beyond Mike and I. We also love the shared experience with friends in various cities. Are you seeing a theme? It’s the shared experience that keeps us going back for more! Sure, we really enjoy Hanson but more than anything, we enjoy each other.
What do you share with your significant other? What experiences make you two jump for joy?
BONUS!! Hanson FAQ:
Q: ‘Why Hanson?’
A: The short answer is because of the people I/we get to share it with. Part of the longer answer is that we genuinely enjoy their music, they perform at small venues, the ticket prices are extremely reasonable, the fans are nice (for the most part! lol), plus Hanson creates and cultivates experiences for their fans and it’s something Mike and I can share that’s outside the norm.
Q: ‘Okay, well, why don’t you go to other concerts for the shared experience?’
A: WE DO! We go to a ton of concerts and shows that aren’t Hanson. We travel distances to see other bands too – live music is our thing! We just keep going back to the well of Hanson because it’s been good to us and it’s fun for us.
Q: ‘Does Mike actually like Hanson or does he go because you make him?’
A: I love the implications of this question – that I MAKE Mike attend multiple Hanson shows a year. He likes Hanson just as much as I do which is why it’s such a fun thing for us to share! Plus, I’m not the type to force my significant other to do anything they really don’t want to do. How would that be fun if he begrudgingly went? It wouldn’t.
Q: ‘Do the Hanson brothers know who you are by now?’
Q: ‘Do they only sing ‘MmmBop’ at their concerts?’
A: No. Hanson has made 6 studio albums, 3 live albums, 2 Christmas albums, and recently released a greatest hits album. Plus they release fan club exclusive songs every year as well. My point is, they have a huge library of music so ‘MmmBop’ only needs to be played once per show.
**Have a question I didn’t address? Leave it in a comment below!