Saturday, May 13, 2006

On Spontaneity

On Thursday afternoon at about 3pm, I was sitting quietly at my desk at the office, diligently attacking a pile of paper to be processed. The phone rang. It was my husband. The conversation was pretty much one-sided:

Him: Hi, how are you? J-- has tickets for the Phillies tonight.
Me: OK, you're going with him? (Why else would he be calling me at work to tell me his friend has tickets?)
Him: No, his daughter has a game tonight, so he can't go. (That's why...uh-oh).
Me: (Hopefully) OK, so, you're gonna ask L--- or G---?
Him: It's too late to ask them. Can you get home a little early? If we could eat a fast sandwich and get out of the house by about 5:30, we could make it on time...
Me: But it's going to rain tonight. Heavy, flooding rains. (Again with the hopefulness) Won't they cancel the game?
Him: If we get there and it's cancelled, we can just go home. I'll do all of the driving. (Oh, yeah, that's comforting.)

And so began an exercise in spontaneity. Can you hear me thinking, "Oh, joy - drive an hour home from work, then an hour and a half to Philly, so that we can turn around and come home when Accuweather gets it right?"

While I don't mind going to the ballpark once in awhile, I'm not exactly a fan. I took a magazine with me, to read in the rain. And it did rain. There was a light, misty rain off and on throughout the first four innings. The hardy folks in front of us kept their umbrellas up most of the time, which meant that I couldn't see the field at all. You pay for good seats, then you can't see the game because the folks in front of you will melt like the Wicked Witch of the West if the slightest bit of moisture touches them. The LLBean waterproof anoraks they wore weren't enough to protect them from the mist, oh no.

The most dramatic moment came early in the first inning, when Aaron Rowand took on a fence to make an amazing catch. It wasn't raining at that moment, but the folks in front of us stood up as soon as the ball was airborn, so I still couldn't see a thing. I saw the replay, and I watched him walk off of the field with a towel over his face.

In the 4th inning, my husband points out that the game can be called after the 5th and still count. If the Phillies are still leading after the opposing team bats in the top of the 5th, then the game can end at that point as a win for the Phils.

It so happened that the Mets were still behind after the top of the 5th. This conversation ensued:

Him: I want a hotdog. I'm gonna go get a hotdog. I have to have one.
Me: But what if they call the game? I won't be able to find you?
Him: I'll come right back here if they call it.
Me: But, but...
Him: It's only drizzling. They won't call it for drizzle. I'm gonna get a hotdog.
Translation: If I want a hotdog, I better get it now. They might call the game, then it'll be too late!

He walks away. The sky opens up and it pours. The field crew pulls out the tarp. Fortunately, I have the umbrella, as I stand there in the rain, watching the stands empty and waiting for my husband to return. And waiting and waiting and waiting. I give up and head for the concession area to look for him. When I finally find him:

Me (grabbing his sleeve): I'm soaked, we're going home.
Him: But I still haven't had a hotdog! And it might stop raining. This is just a delay. J-- was here last year when they had a 2 hour delay.
(2 hours???)
Me: Please! One of us has to work tomorrow, and it isn't you! And I'm soaked. Wawa sells hotdogs.
Him: It's not the same. I want a hotdog. C'mon, lets get one, then we can go...

In the end, I'm glad I went. It took an effort to be spontaneous, but, between the raindrops, we managed to have a good time. Personally, I prefer to visit the ballpark during a May rainshower to visiting during the dog days of August. There is no escaping the Philly heat and humidity at Citizen's Bank Park on a brutal August evening. Philly didn't install air conditioning in the concession area, as Baltimore so sensibly did at Camden Yards. So maybe I've paid the spontaneity toll for this year, and I won't have to go back when things heat up late in the summer.

Yeah, right.


PaxRomano said...

That's even funnier than when you told me about it...but I am not laughing AT YOU, really!

Merci said...

It's OK, you can laugh at me. I'm fairly ridiculous when it comes to this stuff...

MissMagnoliaThunderpussy said...

Darling, was Ty Cobb playing that afternoon ???

Joe Tornatore said...

Rowand in the rain. how appropro.

Virginia Gal said...

I'm sure it was not hilarious at the time, but the picture created in my head from the whole rain secenario makes me laugh.

Merci said...

Miss Magnolia-
I didn't see Ty, not with all of those umbrellas in the way. I think Shoeless Joe might have put in an appearance, however. If you build it, they will come, and all of that...

And we just about had to Row home!

Virginia Gal-
Actually, it wasn't all that bad. It was kind of humorous, even at the time. My husband is such a baseball fan that he turns into a kid when he goes to the park. It's always funny to see.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a bobble head doll would have been a good souvenir. Only kidding.