One of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome early in my relationship with Becky was the amount of baggage she brought to the situation.
Baggage = Red Sox fanaticism
I’ve never been much on baseball. My enjoyment of the game pretty much died when I was in fourth grade and in summer league. Our team travelled to another town to play, and I managed to be the only person who didn’t get on the field during an entire game. I quit pretty shortly after that.
I’ve never watched “The Natural.”
I have, however, seen A League of their Own, Field of Dreams, The Sandlot, Bull Durham and that Charlie Sheen baseball movie. So before you get your cleats in a bunch, I’m not a completely soulless person. I do appreciate the game.
So Becky comes into my life, and I’m pretty much consigned to being a fan of the Red Sox as well by default. I hold Becky’s hand through the good and bad times with the team. We have made it to at least one game every year when they come play the Twins in April or May.
Last week, we got to go to two games. Becky wrote about our first game as lower deck people here. The second game was a day game on Thursday. Once again it came down to a tense last couple innings, even stretching into the 10th.
This was also the coldest game we’ve been to. Last year, the game got rained out while we watched The Sandlot on the big screen at Target Field (You’re Killing Me, Smalls!). I love going to see Becky in her element. She becomes more alive, more Becky, at a ball game. We sat in the rain watching The Sandlot because she could still see the feet of Sox players in their dugout, and we weren’t going until they did.
This year, it was just cold cold cold.
Being back in the upper deck with the wind probably didn’t help matters.
After 4 innings, I went to go find hot chocolate. Halfway across the stadium I found a station that had it. They also had the longest lines. A line that barely moved. I stood in the same place for more than an entire inning before I began missing Becky too much and giving up on ever being warm again. I left, but luckily spotted another booth just down the other way from our seat that also had hot chocolate.
There are a few standard joys in life. One is beer, brats and peanuts at a ballgame. It’s a given that this will make you happier. But it is nothing next to the power of hot chocolate on a cold day at the ballpark.
Before hot chocolate – sniping, grumbling, miserable.
After hot chocolate – happy, love, fun.
I didn’t even mind Becky’s talent for getting everyone around us riled up with her Red Sox cheers. I was in chocolate nirvana.
Even with the hot chocolate fortifications, we were about done with it after the top of the 8th inning. We started heading downstairs and to our gate to make the long walk to the car since the parking lot we usually used was full for this day game. At the last aisle near that gate, we stopped to watch the Sox at bat, and they miraculously caught up with a two run 9th inning.
“They must think you left,” I said to Becky. I got a pounding on the arm for that. So worth it.
We stuck around under the heating lamps behind the seats of the lower deck and watched the next inning and a half. The game ended with a Twins home run. Sad trombone.
So both games we went to, the Sox lost. They aren’t having a good year. But don’t tell Becky I said that.
Truth is, I love watching the games. I have Becky to thank for that. (Don’t tell her I said that either, ha!)