Thursday, June 09, 2005

Take Me Out

Last week, I had the pleasure of spending an evening with my good friend, Amy. Although many of you know her as the I-love-red-hair-John-Stevens-from-American-Idol, she really is a great person. I mean, everyone has their shameful skeletons.

Amy and her husband, Pete joined us for the Nationals game at RFK stadium. It was truly a perfect night to be watching baseball; the rain held off the day, the air was a perfect 67 degrees and the people in front of us didn’t show so we could stretch our feet out into their seats.

Let me just say that if I were lucky enough to be David Sedaris, Amy would be my sister…Amy. (Ironic how life just works that way.) Amy is my verbal sparring partner; my equal in rapid chatter; the Crouching Tiger to my Hidden Dragon. You’ve heard of speed-dating? She’s my match in speed chatting.

I arrived after them and found Amy sitting alone in our seats. Pete & Larry had gone off to be the proverbial hunters of ballpark cuisine leaving her to be the gatherer of seats 404-407. Poor Amy had been feeling bad that day and worked from home. Not a fan of potential vomit, I sat down with a seat between us to for Pete to buffer out germs. After all, isn’t that a spouse's duty?

Pete returned with a platter of chicken tenders and fries for himself. The smell of grease and fried foods often cures an ailment and Amy pulled spousal privilege. Fries disappeared at an alarming rate in between Amy’s explanation that if she were to throw up, she’d throw up happier having eating chicken tenders. How I love this woman!

Throughout the first inning, Amy & I chatted over Pete until he finally moved over. I was feeling safe from being barfed on so I welcomed the decrease in distance between us. Amy & I hadn’t seen each other in months so the nine innings were a good beginning to catch up.

There is a validation when out with other couples that proves your own companion isn’t the only crazy one out there. About mid-way though the third inning, some play happened that drove the crowd to their feet. Amy & I were discussing the paint choices for her guest room when the crowd broke into applause. Pete looks over and annunciates what happened to Amy as if she were Marlee Matlin in “Children of a Lesser God at a Major League Game.” I could only smile.

Amy & I announced that we were going to pay closer attention to the game. She said, “I should be able to discuss something that happened, don’t you think?” I nodded in agreement saying, “Absolutely. So what are you serving for your dinner party on Sunday?”

Inning number six was when we discovered a runner on base wearing a windbreaker. I asked loudly how he earned it. “Did he do something good? Like they give out green jackets in golf, right?” Neither Larry nor Pete felt obligated to answer me. In the seventh inning, Amy asked when they would bring in a relief pitcher. “10 minutes ago,” they both said without even looking over.

Nine innings came and went. Again, neither of them acknowledged us when Amy asked when “the closer” would come in. I just pointed out it was nice that the team felt a need for someone to bring closure to a major sporting event.

All in all, both sets of the couples felt a great satisfaction from the game. After all, this is the national pastime. For some, it was chance to sit back with a beer and watch the Nationals and …well, another team that wears grey outfits. For others, it was the opportunity to discuss the advantages & disadvantages of hardwoods versus ceramic tile in the new foyer.

I sense that we’ll be having many future outings together.


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