Last Thursday, three of my girlfriends and I snuck off to an afternoon Cubs game. We rearranged carpools and called in favors for after school play dates for our kids. Feeling as giddy as teenagers cutting class, we stuffed cash and lipstick into our back pockets, shoved baseball caps on our heads, and caught the “EL” into the city. Once on the train, packed with like-minded Cubs fans, we grinned at each other. We’d successfully made our escape.
The weather was gray and chilly, but it was warm and toasty within the friendly confines of Wrigley Field ‘cause the Cubs were up and the Padres never got on the board. Winning Cubs fans are happy Cubs fans and Lisa, Suzanne, Cheryl and I were no exception. Especially after we’d chugged down a couple of the big Bud Lights we bought from the beer vendor.
We weren’t up to speed on the nuances of the game but the guys sitting behind us – Desmond, Tom and Tommy - were happy to educate us. “ This may be the last time you’ll ever see Greg Maddux pitch at Wrigley Field,” Desmond informed us, as Tom passed around his nachos. They were nice. Everyone around us was nice - and almost entirely male. We four gals found ourselves getting a lot more attention than we were used to on an average weekday afternoon.
And it wasn’t because we were looking all that hot. We sported sweatshirts and fleece, sneakers and scarves. One of us (okay, it was me) wore long underwear. But who cared? It was two-thirty in the afternoon and the Cubbies were ahead and the good will and camaraderie flowed through the stands along with the Budweiser. When we stood to sing “Take Me out to the Ball Game” during the seventh inning stretch, I knew there was no better place in the world for a forty-something suburban mom to be.
The beer buzz wore off on the train ride home, when we had to switch seats to avoid being barfed on by a drunken high school girl who really was playing hooky. We shook our heads with maternal concern. As the train lurched north, reality began to seep in. There was dinner to make and homework to supervise and bedtimes to enforce.
But still, we’d had our afternoon in the (figurative) sun. And now, a week later, what Lisa, Suzanne, Cheryl and I want to know is this – anyone got Cubs tickets?