Through some circuitous path, Thursday's tickets made their way to me Tuesday afternoon. The guy who brought them over said it was because I'm such a loyal Cub fan he thought of our little creative team immediately. I think it's because April weather is so changeable, no one else wanted them. Whatever. I had 'em, and I was using 'em.
My boss didn't want to go. His personal life is ever-changing and i's harder for him to get home from Wrigley Field than it is the Loop. The art director didn't want to go because she hates baseball. I wanted to go more than life itself.
But here's the thing! I couldn't find anyone to go with me! I thought of John first. He's my Cub-watching buddy. But he had a late morning client meeting and couldn't make it to the ballpark by 1:00. Then I thought of my nephew, who was shockingly willing to cut class but couldn't come along because he had to be at work* by 6:00, and that couldn't happen. Not navigating post-game traffic from Wrigley Field out to the suburbs.
So I brought a pair of coworkers who sit around me: David, the AE whose desk I pass every morning when I get in and with whom I compare notes on last night's game, and Emily, the HR rookie who is so blabby and engaging. They are both 2016 college graduates, which makes them 24. That's a lot of time socializing with people more than 30 years my junior. Since we all had the Cubs in common, it was less awkward than I thought it would be. After the game, we even went for drinks together at Joe's on Broadway, the ancient and seedy dive bar that my friend John introduced me to. They were impressed that I knew such a cool place. They asked me about what other bars I know, and I told them about my favorite, where John and I celebrated my birthday.
"Will we be invited to your birthday party this year?" Emily asked. That made me happy.
Oh, and there's this:
• The game itself was an unsuccessful snooze. We were still in it (behind just 3-1) when Joe turned to the bullpen. Then the deficit exploded, and we ending up losing big. Which is not to say we didn't have fun. I loved being able to watch Kyle Hendricks' motion from up close like that. And to see Kris Bryant take those big, wide swings in the on deck circle! You know, the things you miss when watching TV and the camera decides what you see.
• You can call me "mom." On the way into the park, the peanut vendor tried to guilt David into a sale by saying, "Buy a bag for mom." I was amused because it's better than "grandma" or "that crazy spinster cat lady."
*He takes his job at McDonald's very seriously! It's adorable.