Today in 2010 I went to a Braves game.
A new friend at my work said he had an extra ticket and would I like to come along. I said sure. It had already been years since the last baseball game attended and… well it would be a fun change of pace.
We met at the stadium and this is where I found that instead of a group, as I had assumed from “come along” it was just the two of us. Well, still this is a new friendship and it should be fun.
For the first time I had a hot dog and soda at a baseball game. I was a little appalled at the price, but hey – you only live once and I am going to enjoy it! Besides, he offered to pay for it once we got up to the front of the line. With hands full of food, we went to our seats.
Years between baseball games lends them an air of festivity no matter the win or lose. However, there was a player on the other team who looked like a viking. I found myself rooting for him – not the rest of his team. But it was the wrong team (not the Braves). So my new friend learned what a terrible sportsball person I am. I might pick a team by their color, their mascot or because they have a player with a cool backstory, hair style or name… nothing to do with anything to do with the sport.
The not-really-a-rivalry between us created a bit of tension. Not bad, angry tension but intensity between us. Friction in a fun, playful way – especially because he just found it hilarious that I was cheering for the viking on the Phillies team against the Braves in Atlanta. And Atlanta was winning. I do like rooting for the underdog.
It got a little chilly and I shivered once. He immediately offered me his jacket. I looked at him in happy surprise. Somehow, at some point I realized it felt like a date more than just a friends-hanging-out. And that the difference was making me happy.
After the game we hung out around Underground Atlanta while the crowds died down. We talked. We laughed. I think I bought fudge, but I don’t really remember that part. I do remember the warm fuzzy feeling.
So six years later we are married, just bought our house and he still gives me warm fuzzy feelings. He has spent these years telling me that Braves game wasn’t supposed to be a date, but I like to remember it as our first date.