Today is the Chicago Cubs home opener and I couldn’t be more excited. And that’s not just because it’s not snowing. This marks our first year as Cubs season ticket holders. I know! After over ten-years on the waiting list (when I signed up, back in the ‘90’s, I was, like, number 16,253) we finally got our own little personal slice of the friendly confines, which is testimony in and of itself to how poorly my beloved team is doing.
When my husband and I first moved back into the city in 1989, our first apartment was a third floor walk-up less than a block away. We’d sit out at night on the fire-escape of a deck with a little black and white TV (Yes kids, they did have color TV back then. It was an old TV even in 1989) and watch the games, hearing the cheers from Wrigley Field before we heard them from the TV. Those were the days when we could decide, spur of the moment, Bleacher-Bum-style, if we wanted to go to a game, and bleacher seats were, I think, about $7. Our team did pretty well that year, winning the NL East division, and along with the yuppification of Wrigleyville, seats became harder and harder and more expensive to come by.
By 2012, we’d been on the waiting list for season tickets for so long, the email notification the Cubs sent me went to an address I no longer use. If it weren’t for a last-ditch reminder postcard that arrived the first week in December, we would have missed our opportunity entirely, going back to the bottom of a waiting list that now tops 100,000. Since we were already part of a Cubs ticket group, getting about 9 games a year since we joined them four years ago, I had to talk my husband into getting our own tickets. I know! Even though we love our group, the season tickets are non-transferrable (which explains why so many Cubs season ticket holders were still alive the last time we won the World Series) and therefore forever out of our control. At any time, we could lose our seats. Success! On December 8th 2012 at 08:30 am, the husband and I were let loose in the stadium to pick our very own.
Talk about being a pig in shit. (I leave that wide open for you Sox fans.) It was unbelievable fun. Available seats had sheets of paper taped to them that, if you chose that seat, you tore off and brought inside to pay. It was a smorgasbord. We sat in some great seats, some very expensive seats. Two right behind home plate were available. Only $24,000 each. Right. Luckily the ever budget-minded husband reminded me if we sat there, I would have to be on my cellphone every game, telling my friends to tune in to WGN so I could wave, or finding other more creative ways to be a dork, e.g. ill-chosen cardboard signs, flipping the bird, or other inappropriate gestures, etc..
Our two seats are Terrace Box Infield, and as my
tight-wad frugal husband pointed out, the first row in which the price drops.
The last time I went to an Opening Day game was 1994. I went with my friend Liz, who wore a very cute but not very practical leather jacket, so we had to resort to beer to stay warm and even though I was sober enough to procure Phil Jackson’s autograph on my Cubs Calendar refrigerator magnet after the game at Guthrie’s, when my husband came home he found me and Liz feeding Easy Cheese to the cat straight from the can. Come to think of it, that was the last time I got to play with Liz, either.
So I’m excited for today. For a new Cubs beginning. For our new Cubs beginning. I know it's raining, but at least it's not snowing. It rained on our wedding day, too, and we all know how that turned out. Thanks Honey, for indulging your helpless Cubs fan wife, and for turning to the Blue side with her.
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