Flashback: October 28, 2012 Bears & Panthers at Home…
We weren’t planning on going to this game – although most of the games we end up going to are not “preplanned.”
I woke up and turned to see him propped up with the laptop…”WOW”, he said. “There’s a couple of great seats for only $_ _ _. These are going to go fast…What do you think – do you want to go?” He’s talking really fast – his game-day mind is racing. I just give “The Look.” He immediately starts on “The Pitch”: “Today would be a perfect day – cool, crisp, sunny – maybe downright balmy”…He tries to evoke a Norman Rockwell fall painting scenario of how it would be.. . “What do you say? LET’S GO - Do you want to go? OK, we won’t go – it’s OK. C’mon honey, what do you say? How about this…if these tickets are still available in 10 MINUTES – We’re going. OK? What do you say?”
How could I argue with that – that would be nothing less than Divine Intervention – the Universe telling us it was meant to be? So, in what seemed suspiciously less than 10 full minutes, I hear the drone of the printer, and he emerges with tickets in hand.
Now we are in full gear. He mentally calculates the backward time clock from kickoff to the present moment. “You have 20 minutes to get ready,” he yells. “Shit.” Twenty minutes is really a stretch for me. I am mentally dressing myself – how many layers will I need? I forgo the hot curlers, but plug in the flat iron, hoping he won’t notice. Because, he WILL say “YOUR HAIR LOOKS FINE – WEAR A HAT – LET’S GO. “ (He doesn’t understand my hair.)
I hear him yell from the bathroom, “DON’T MAKE THE BED – WE DON’T HAVE TIME.” (I hate not making the bed.) “OK OK ,” I get it together and 20sh minutes later announce that I’m ready.
We’re in the cab – no time for the bus – we are racing the kickoff clock. The preferred route is discussed with the cabbie, a crucial part of the time-saving strategy. “Take this, not that.” The two of them are in agreement and the bond is further cemented when the driver (feeling the high level of pressure and anxiety) runs a red light.
We get as close as we can get to Soldier Field and make a frantic exit. We blend into the Orange and Navy masses making their way to The Game…and I am now thinking about how in my “no huddle” hurry-up dressing rush, I couldn’t find my orange lipstick. My pinkish lipstick is clashing with my orange outerwear. Sigh. I deal with it.
It turns out we have plenty of time. The gods are guiding us? We meander through the Tail-Gating Circus. “Hey buddy, can I buy a beer from you?” He asks a big bruiser of a guy who is reaching into a cooler the size of a U Haul truck …“No, but you can HAVE one, haha. Go Bears.” (This buy a beer from a buddy line works every time.)
We cunningly head toward a gate where there is virtually NO line. “No one knows about this,” he proudly proclaims. “Everyone goes to the gates in the front.” I am overcome with admiration. “You are the best,” I stroke him. He beams. “See how I take care of you.” He gives me a quick kiss and we are IN.
The Game: It looked sooooo bad – a real train wreck. Cutler was sacked a zillion times. We were quickly swirling down the toilet.
This is interesting…At some point, my guy, who has a Sponge Brain/Sports Head vehemently blames a Carolina player named Steve Smith for our demise.
He relates (the Sponge Brain reference illustrated), “I remember being here in 2005, sitting right over there – pointing across field – when Steve Smith blah blah blah and blah blah blah,” as he describes some play that the hated Steve Smith was involved in that was SO Horrific that it was burned into his memory and has resurfaced in detail SEVEN YEARS LATER!
Half Time: It is FREEZING – by the way. The wind off the lake is brutal – I should have dressed warmer – but remember the promise of a sunny, beautiful BALMY day with no mention of freezing? I am drinking hot chocolate and he is happy that his BEER is staying nice and COLD. Perfect. I go to the Ladies Room, while waiting in the endless line, I am still scrounging around in the bottom of my purse for the orange lipstick- nothing. There is talk about how some women are cutting in by entering through the Exit and we silently guard our positions with an eye on the Exit Door…. D-FENCE (;>
Back to The Game: Nervous anticipation and tension – not looking good - and then OMG – it turns out that “the gods” were just TEASING us. Victory is so heightened when it is snatched up from the opponent in the VERY LAST SECONDS. Robbie Gould kicks a field goal for the win…Final Score: 23-22. BEARS WIN.
Unbelievable. We are singing a rousing last “Bear Down Chicago Bears” and as they say, “The crowd goes wild”. My guy is EUPHORIC – he tells me how Horrible it would have been if we had stayed home…I am really relieved that “fate” intervened and brought us to the game.
We make our way out as he verbally is replaying the high points and pivotal moments – probably to burn into his Sponge Brain so they can be flawlessly recalled Seven Years from now?
After again going to our respective bathrooms – I walk toward him and can see he is still reeling from the thrill of the win. We have another celebratory hug and kiss, and he says: “The MEN’S room was really CRAZY – everybody’s yelling DA BEARS – game talking – high fiving – up for grabs insanity.”
“Really?” I ask with a strange look. Not that this surprises me, but I am just wondering if they are high fiving before or after they wash their hands.
Then he looked at me, with what I could tell was a sudden quizzical thought, and asks, “So what about the LADIES Room…Is everybody talking about the game – were they going crazy too – like the MENS Room - were they????
I paused for a moment and looked him in the eye – squeezed his hand and then revealed the truth – I couldn’t lie. “No honey, nothing went on in the LADIES Room after the game. No game-talk – no hysteria – no one even mentioned the game - nada – nothing. One girl commented that it was less crowded than at Half Time and another girl said she liked someone else’s boots…otherwise pretty damn quiet except for the flushing.” (I thought about mentioning the half-time rumor of Exit Door Entrants – to maybe add some drama – but realized that was pretty weak compared to the Mardi Gras in the Men’s Room. I decided it is what it is.)
He returned my intense gaze and held it for a brief few seconds, with the implication of This –Does- Not- Compute…and then, immediately spun around and joined a group of fans chanting GO BEARS GO BEARS, to which my Guy upped the ante with a S-U-P-E-R B-O-W-L S-U-P-E-R- B-O-W-L, and a wide-eyed vision of the title in hand. Then, there we were out the gate, in the parading flow of the jubilant cheering crowd, and the shocking revelation of a SILENT LADIES ROOM at Soldier Field was soon forgotten.
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