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Today I Became a Mets Fan

Today was one of those days where amazing things happen. I am not saying it was an amazing day. Actually, Maya was in a bratty mood all day and tried really hard to ruin it. But despite her whining, her mean faces and her general shitty demeanor, she was no match for the incredible luck we had today.

Our day started out at Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the US Open. Ever gone to this? I do not recommend it. It was very hot and unbelievably crowded. We paid $20 for parking. We waited in line in the sun for twenty minutes so Maya could hit a tennis ball with some coaches, only to have her chicken out at the last minute. The lines were what I imagine Disney World to be like (I have never gone.), only without Micky Mouse and the pretty princesses. Maya got a free snap bracelet. I waited in line at the Wilson store to procure what I assumed to be a free giant tennis ball. The "free" ball was actually $45. I left the store empty handed. After about an hour of sweating and whining and shouting at each other we decided to go roll around in the grass in Flushing Meadows Park instead.

We took the shuttle bus back to our car and on the way noticed the Parks Department's lunch truck, where I managed to grab not one but three free lunches. Suddenly our day was looking up, as there are few things that thrill me more than free food. As I happily munched on my PB & J and bag of carrot sticks, Matthew noticed that our parking ticket actually said Citi Field on it. Hmmm, the Mets do have a home game today. Could we use our $20 ticket to park at the ballfield too?

Here is where our new buddy Gene comes in. Gene works in the parking area at Flushing Meadows Park. When we asked him if we could drive our car over to Citi Field he replied, "Well....I'm not really supposed to.. but ...let me call them over there and tell them to let you in." He then gets on his walkie talkie thing and says (no joke) "This is Gene. I'm sending a grey Camry over. His name is Matt. Can you please let him through?" He then waves us on.

When we get to the other lot, we are stopped by the women at the booth who informs us that our ticket is not good there. We drop Gene's name. "Oh, you're the one Gene called in? Ok go ahead."

Gene, you rock.

So now we are in the parking lot at Citi Field. Of course, we do not have Mets tickets. This is not a problem, however,  because lets just say that the Mets have not been playing so well lately. I find $14 tickets on my phone, (nosebleed seats, way way up at the top of the stadium where the planes fly by) and buy two. We figure we will just carry Maya in on Matthew's shoulders and pretend she is really small. As we are about to go inside a man stops us and offers us his tickets. Three of them. For free. In section 114, 13 rows behind the Mets dugout. I find two hipster doofuses and hand them our other two tickets. They blink at me in stunned hipster disbelief.  Karma points all around!

The man's name is Paul and he is a lawyer for the MLB Players Association. We are sitting in a section that is comprised of the friends and family members of ballplayers, close enough to the field for all the kids around us to have gloves and to keep running down closer whenever the ball boy approaches. We are in the section where you can order your peanuts and Cracker Jacks and sushi rolls (I personally would not eat sushi from Citi Field but whatever floats your boat) from a waiter with a little electronic tablet in his hand.

Maya appreciates none of this. She watches the game for awhile, not understanding how incredible it is that she can actually see the players faces. She fidgets. She plays with her Mike Piazza bobble head doll. We buy her chocolate ice cream in a little Mets helmet. She is unimpressed. She whines for a pretzel. She notices that  fly balls keep whizzing past our area and switches her demands to that instead. She really wants a ball. I try to explain to her that no one ever gets one, EVER. I point out the thousands of people seated in the stadium and tell her how every single one of them wants a ball.  She whines into her pretzel. I begin to feel like my sweet Maya has turned into Veruca Salt instead. ("Daddy I want an ooompa loompa. I want an ooompa loompa right now!) I want to beat her with Mike Piazza's big bobbly skull.

The nice couple sitting in front of us have been listening to my patient explanation of the ways of a baseball game. Their son is one of the boys with the gloves. In fact, their son is a professional "boy with glove". He already has himself a game ball and his mom is pretty sure he can get one for Maya. So me and little Snappy Mc Whine Whine follow this kid (I think his name was John) down to the front row directly behind the dugout. Yes that is the FRONT ROW DIRECTLY BEHIND THE METS DUGOUT! You can smell the dirt from down there. Maybe-John gets the ballboy's attention (by calling out his NAME!) and points at the little blond four year old girl with chocolate on her face. He tosses John a ball, who immediately gives it to Maya. She at least remembers to say "thank you".

About half an inning later we leave with our three bobblehead dolls, our Mets ice cream helmet, a souvenir cup from the beer I drank and our game ball. Thankfully Maya knows enough to be excited about the ball. In fact she can't wait to bring it to the playground! I stare at her for a moment, eyes wide, and then patiently explain that this ball is special but we are happy to buy her a baseball from Modells to take to the playgound.

We have left early enough to beat the traffic. Matthew and I are sweaty and tired. We both have a headache but we are happy. Even a pissy four year old could not ruin this day of amazing luck. Too bad Maya is too young to appreciate any of it. Except for the pretzel, she liked that.

Oh and the Mets won 3-1! I guess I am a Mets fan now, which is fine because I never did like those smug Yankee fans.

I really hope the hipsters enjoyed the game.


  1. Hey! Do not mock Yankee fans! *waggles finger*

    ---signed, a Yankee fan since 1976


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