Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Three periods in a row and no mess!


I was all set to write about that grand sport that all Alaskans try at least once before giving up and moving to Arizona.  The experience that cannot be accurately simulated, imagined, or described.  And just one of the many sporting activities in which three year-olds regularly out-perform the Last Frontier Gardener.  Naturally, I’m referring to ice hockey.  But first I want to see how long I can ramble before I get to the point.  This may be a new record.

The LFG hubby and I celebrated a double digit anniversary in high style: an early walk-about at my favorite art galleries downtown, a dinner at trusty go-to restaurant Club Paris (a great little dive, and a great filet mignon), and attendance at the University of Alaska Anchorage men’s hockey game. 

I feel I also must mention that we capped the whole thing off with a trip to Home Depot.  It’s just not a truly romantic and meaningful date without that compulsory last minute trip to pick up odds and ends for the house.  (For the record, we bought a box of rivets, three magnetic register covers, and torx screw bits.  I have no idea what those last bits are.) 

Now, you may be smirking at our little pit stop, but I haven’t even shared the part where we went through the McDonald’s drive-thru for dessert.  Oh yes, it gets better and better.  Our low brow natures (well, his at least) got the best of us.  He got a vanilla ice cream cone and I got the Oreo McFlurry.  McYummy!  (I think all those items at the galleries that I pointed out would be a great investment/make the room look smashing/I can’t live without/etc. made him feel like he needed to be thrifty for the remainder of the evening.)

The best part of the evening was the art gallery walk hockey game.  Besides politics, what can turn ordinary, even sensible folk into a bellowing mob of borderline lunatics?  Why, organized sports of course.  What flips a switch in cute little six-year old children, wherein they utter phrases like, “Die ref!” or “You suck!” at the top of their precocious little lungs?  Why, sports of course.  Just what is it that turns docile, frail octogenarians into potential agents of destruction for someone wearing/waving the “wrong” colors?  Sports again.

I am fully prepared to believe hockey fans are the most deranged of them all but I have yet to attend a curling match or a cricket match, so I may be wrong.  And I’m sure you’ll all let me know.  The LFG hubby played hockey at college, so he keeps a little torch burning for the sport and we indulge in watching a live game when we can.  I stand up and cheer but do not hoot, holler, roar, bray, or bawl.  Not for hockey at least….

After sitting through three twenty minute periods and ruefully noting the miserable state of my tailbone area, I concluded that hockey, like so many other sports, is way too long.  Give me the first twenty minutes and I’m satisfied.  The next twenty minutes I’m thinking about those nachos at concessions I should have gotten and the bathroom break I should have taken.  The last twenty minute period, I’m usually listening in on other people’s conversations around me and speculating on the amount of time I can continue to torture my bladder before I make a scene.  You can all relax, I made it through.

How do you celebrate big occasions?  And are sports games too long?


  1. As a former hockey Mom here in New England, I can sympathize. I put myself through years of what you endured, from the time my boys were 6 year olds through college. Some awfully dreary, long events at the time, but I miss all of it now. Go figure.

    Happy happy anniversary! Sounds like you had a spectacular celebration.

  2. I would feel the same way you did at the hockey game if I had to go watch one in person. I would feel that way about any sport except football which I can get into. I guess because my brother and various cousins played in school so I was hooked at an early age. I think all the hollering is a good way to relieve stress. It seems that the more digits we add to our anniversary the cheaper the celebration. Shouldn't that be the opposite??

  3. You pretty much described my experience with organized sports. Check out the food, where is the bathroom... is it over yet.

    Personally, I think nothing says romance than a McFlurry...but that is just me.

  4. Love, love this post. First, can relate to the HD and McD's stops. We've done that many a times. But I will add that I absolutely love ice hockey and am obsessive with my New York Rangers. Now if I can find a way to combine gardening and hockey into one post, I'd be thrilled.

  5. You've got no idea what torx screw bits are? You're lucky: I am not only in the dark with them but am drawing a blank with magnetic register covers.

    It is not so much the sports as the seating. I went to a football match the other day (proper football not your American version) and the seats were padded and delightful: I could have managed another half hour if pushed. The last time I went it was more comfortable standing than sitting.
    And it is not just sports.
    I went to see Hamlet in a rather old theatre the other day and, believe me, 3 1/2 hours of Shakespeare (while brilliant) needs really comfortable upholstery.

  6. Cute story. Loved your little side trips and a big happy anniversary. Now you got me jonesing for a those very unhealthy McNuggets.

  7. Hi Christine~~ I hear you. Not big on crowds. Not big on being forced to be a spectator. Not big on being forced to subject my derriere to such harsh accommodations--or lack thereof. But I'm a huge fan of anniversaries, McDonalds, steak and Home Depot. Overall, your date sounds fun.

  8. @LaurrieYou survived hockey mom-hood in good working order?! I'll have to pass the news along to my sad sack hockey mom friends who are in doubt they will make it through.

    I'm not sure how we could be cheaper than McD's, but I'm sure the hubby would be only to glad to find a way.


    I can see a new and lucrative marketing campaign for McFlurrys forming right now. I think they might need Russell Crowe to make it believable though.


    Can't you turn compost with a hockey stick?

    J A-S,

    Don't you know padded seats are for Sunday school only? Padded sports seating in this country would result in a flood of missing person reports from the spouses of fans that would never come home.


    McNuggets are McYummy, too, but on accou t of an expanding waistline, the McSalads would probably be more appropriate for me.


    One day I'll do a post on crowds. Elevators, too, I need to post on the dynamics of the elevator. The date was fun, and we're still married, so that's a good sign.


  9. This post was hilarious, as usual. I think ever since beginning to renovate their current house two years ago my parents, too, will combine pit stops at Home Depot and Lowes with almost any itinerary. As for the sports, the most trying experience for me was the first baseball game I had to sit through shortly after moving to the US from Germany. Having been accustomed only to fast-paced and comparatively short soccer matches, the game seemed interminable.

  10. Happy Anniversary....the way you and hubby celebrated sounds just about perfect to me. Even the dessert from McD's is appealing.

    I've taken my 8 year old grandson to a few Green Bay Gamblers (US Hockey League)games. He luvs to go and always begs for me to buy him an energy drink, Venom, while we're there. I let him have an Orange Crush....that enough energy.


  11. @Jim GrobleNo Gophers in Alaska, but we do have seawolves, aces, cougars, lynx, thunderbirds, eagles, and various other creatures.

    College Gardener,
    I agree soccer games seem to go by quicker, except when I'm playing in them. Then they seem an eternity.

    I could airmail you a grizzly bear...seeing one tends to give anyone lots of energy, no caffeine required.


  12. My husband and I sometimes think about going out to some romantic place to eat, and then look at each other and end up somewhere like Home Depot to get stuff for house and garden, so I can relate. It's what we really like to do. One of my sons played field hockey and the parents at those matches were unbelievable - I'd never seen such an assortment of noisemakers. But I sort of miss it now. Hilarious post.

  13. Christine, This had me gasping with laughter; you are such a great comic writer. Perhaps you could retaliate -- oops, I mean reciprocate -- by planning a special evening for your husband for his birthday or some other big occasion. An evening at a spa getting manicures and pedicures, perhaps, followed by a visit to some high-end boutiques? -Jean

  14. @BarbaraHome Depot is extremely romantic. Or maybe the idea of once and for all getting the house done is. Getting a new furnace or two would be like a second honeymoon at this point.

    Oh, I reciprocated, all right. Yesterday I went back to the gallery and picked out something nice.



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