“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals
On Saturday, my baby, my honey, the MILF of my children, my best friend had her birthday. She has many birthdays, but not a lot. She looks as though she has had only a couple dozen of them. No more, no less. On this birthday we did something that we have done for her past 10 birthdays, we went to Wrigley Field.
This birthday was only the second night game in the 10 years we had been going. The first one was 2004. It allowed us to take our time in the morning. We dropped the kids off at my sisters around noon and slowly made our way up to Wrigleyville. For three hours, I was lucky to share the car with Laura. Just her and me. On her birthday. There is no place I would rather be.
We got to Chicago around 2:30 local time and picked up Laura’s BFF, Kari and her sister Garen. Her name is not really Garen, but it would be funny if it were. Cyndi doesn’t have the same ring as Garen. We discussed this while on Lake Shore Drive. We laughed which made Laura’s overfilled bladder ease dangerously close to evacuation.
We arrived at the field and Laura was able to pour her morning coffee directly down the drain of a Wrigleyville Taco Bell toilet. Kari bought a taco. Not a significant fact, unless you were there at O’Mally’s when 20 minutes later she devoured 2 and a half sliders, plus a significant portion of Irish Nachos while simultaneously finishing two Captain and Cokes before her sister finished her regular Coke.
Well, we did arrive at O’Mally’s. we ordered our beer and we ordered our food. My stomach was full and achey from watching Kari eat. I pushed through. The Blackhawks opened up their playoff series against the LA Kings while we were there. The owner of the bar wanted to hear the game. He also wanted people inside Wrigley to hear the game. The decibel level was beyond deafening. Our shouts were deflated and exterminated as they left our lips.
Garen didn’t let that dampen her faux interest in the game and her cheering for small hockey plays that only diehards notice. Eric and Jessi arrived to surprise Laura. Kyle and Jimmy were supposed to be there, but extenuating circumstances prevented their arrival. But that is okay. I don’t like to share that much, so I got more of Laura than I was going to get if they came.
Kari and Garen had to leave and we had to go to the game. As we were getting ready to leave Laura and Jessi befriended a beautiful man named Vincent. He was there with his beautiful friend Franky. They were on their first date. Vincent went to Purdue, so we all put in a good word to Franky that Purdue breeds good people. We put the first man on the moon for cry eye. After a couple of rounds with our new friends we went to the game and walked in to see the tarp still on the field.
As soon as we got to our seats the PA system played the Blackhawks horn followed by the Fratelli’s “Chelsea Dagger.” The hawks win! The 2,500 people in the field went nuts. After the commotion we were ordered to go downstairs because of a downpour and possible lightning. We naturally went to get more beer. In the process I befriended a nice kid. His name was Mike Hansen. We liked each other’s name as much as we liked beer. We ran into him several times throughout the duration.
The game was slow and the night was starting to get late. My dad needed to go home. We weren’t ready. He was our ride. We had invited Eric and Jessi and did not want to leave them, plus it was Laura’s birthday and she wanted to be out. I agreed. We let him know that he could leave. We would figure it out. Even if we were a couple of hundred miles from home with no car.
We stayed about and hour or so longer. The game was turning sour and they stopped selling beer. Our natural instinct was to go back to Omally’s to figure out how to get home or where to stay the rest of the night. Laura and I had a couple of beers and then went outside to hail a cab to stay the night with Kari. I went to the curb to hail a cab. Laura talked to a homeless man and hugged him.
We got in the cab and started on our way to Kari’s safe from the El and the streets. Laura went to check her phone. It was gone. In her birthday celebration bliss, the homeless man feigned politeness and jacked her phone. I called. He didn’t answer. I went online and shut the phone off before we even got to Kari’s. It feels weird to know that for the two seconds you are looking away that your best friend can be violated like that. I felt bad for her that her innocence was taken a bit.
Kari let us up. Her husband said hi, we said goodnight and slept hard in Mazie’s bed. I woke up early the next morning. I always wake up early when I am away from the kids. I just want to get home as soon as I can. No matter how fun the night before was, I just want to be with Laura and them and be a family. I don’t regret having fun, it is just a small anxiety I have.
Kari made us breakfast. I watched a really, really shitty movie with Mazie. We found a rental car at Midway. Kari drove us to the train after her husband and I talked sports. We got to the Orange Line. I went to buy tickets for the 20 minute train ride. Cash Only. Shit. We had to leave and walk to the gas station on that 45 degree June morning. We got the cash, got the tickets and embarked on our way to Midway.
We arrived at Midway and started to proceed through the concrete maze that led us to the terminal. Laura and I both have flying anxiety and this was not helping. Oh yeah, I did suggest the night before that we buy tickets and fly home. That would have been terrible! Well, we found our way to the shuttle to the rental car. Another leg to the journey. The shuttle took us five minutes to the rental cars, which were close to where the train dropped us.
We get in line at the rental car. There is one person in front of us. She didn’t understand how rentals worked and was with the clerk for over 30 minutes. The other clerk was on the phone. She finished her call. There was a gentlemen in line a head of us. She began to help him. The next shuttle arrived. People from that shuttle were finishing up before us. We finally got called. A middle-aged man behind was confused. And kept saying so. He was called by the other clerk and rather go to him, he stood right next to me and was talking over the clerk that was talking to me. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!
I was starting to boil over. We got our car and left the garage to find that there were no signs to the highway. My phone’s GPS wasn’t loading. We found the highway and headed west so that we could go back east. We missed our exit, so we continued west for another 10 miles or so until we righted the ship. We were finally on our way home.
I got to spend the next three hours with the only person that I would want to spend three hours in a car with after that kind of adventure. I’m truly blessed to be so stupid with this girl and she comes back for more. It was one of our more memorable experiences and I am so happy that she keeps picking me to have these experiences with. I hope you had a happy birthday, babe! Let’s make mine just as memorable! I love you, I love you, I love you.
Please to enjoy.