My blog compatriots and some others on the Twitters have been bugging me to join them at the Cubs Convention next month. And yeah, I've been hemming and hawing about it for a while, trying to figure out if I really REALLY REALLY want to go, or if I'd just rather follow the updates on Twitter since we'll know what is being discussed at each roundtable a few hours later anyway. Thinking about my first experience, just after Theo Epstein was hired to oversee baseball operations and the rebuild was afoot, I had fun, but it wasn't exactly knock-me-on-my-back type of fun. Andy went last year and that was just after Rick Renteria was hired as Cubs manager (you know how that went), and it sounded kind of underwhelming, though you could almost smell the upswing because the farm system was amping up.
Maybe this year will be different, because the Cubs did just sign Jon Lester, they have a new manager (you may have heard of him), and for the first time in a while, we as Cubs fans can actually think of this team as contenders while keeping a straight face. I haven't been to the new venue yet, and I feel like the seminars and Q&A sessions would be informative, but still hemming and hawing about it.
The thing with me is that I'm notoriously cheap, mostly because I have to support a family on a teacher's salary and will soon have to consider things like a mortgage (eww), more life insurance (ugh), fixing up the car (blech) and saving up again so the kid can go to college (full ride scholarship please). I don't usually go to Cubs games at Wrigley Field unless I can get in for cheap or for free (thanks Anno and friends!). It's gotten more difficult now that CTA has gone away from their unlimited ride passes to Ventra, and even then I try not to eat or drink in the park because the markups are obscene. So when I saw that the Cubs Convention price tag seemed to have increased to $65 (didn't it use to be $60?) and the fees tacked on would take it to $72 for just ONE pass, I talked to the wife and tried to figure out if I wanted to go through with it. The answer, which was my final decision, was no.
Primarily, the reason was because I couldn't justify spending the money to take all of us. Our entire family likes the Cubs (obviously, duh, I'm writing on a Cubs blog) but my wife and kid like other things too, and so do I. Things that don't take as much money, like the trip we're taking to the Field Museum on Sunday to see their new Voodoo exhibit. Or things like WizardCon, where the wife and kid got to meet Yondu and the Doctor this past summer. I'd honestly rather they get to have fun, and I can still watch the Cubs play on TV pretty much for free. It just didn't seem right to go by myself anyway, like I did in 2012 when Anno generously gave me one pass to get in. It'd be like going to Disneyland or Legoland by myself, which would be kind of an empty trip. Maybe next year, after the Cubs have won the World Series (dreaming!), and we have a better handle on our financial situation plus a bit more planning, then we can all go.
Then again, we have to consider whether the family would enjoy it as much as I did, anyway. I'm not even sure I completely enjoyed myself because most of the time was trying to squeeze past people and wait in a line, plus a lot of walking around aimlessly. It certainly didn't sound as fun as when I took the wife and kid to WizardCon (they went, I didn't, because we could only afford the one ticket and the kid got in free). But I know that they like going to Wrigley Field, so I'll save up for that instead.
The weekend of the Cubs Convention also happens to be a birthday weekend for the wife and I. The boy was born during Super Bowl weekend so his birthday always gets overshadowed, but we make it up to him. I don't regret not going to the Cubs Convention in 2015. Don't get me wrong, I would love to go, but I think I'd rather go with the family. Since I can't, I'll live vicariously through the rest of Team WSD while we prance around Chicago doing something less expensive, but probably more fun for us as a family. At least until next year.