Me: So, deep down, do you really want to be white, rich and 17?
Mike: Well, I am white and I once was 17. Two out of three ain’t bad.
Our first year wedding anniversary is coming up and I am out of idears. I want to make it special because my husband is a good man. You see, he puts up with me when I call him, “Father Time” or tell him that I hope Nathan is out of diapers by the time he needs his first package of Depends. Yesterday, I told him I was feeling down and that maybe blackberry picking would cheer me up. He said, “Don’t worry, I’ll do it.”
An hour later he came back with this.
His stained, pricked fingers poked out of the thin latex gloves. He asked if I felt any better.
That’s love, I say.
I should tell you this story: two summers ago, Mike wanted to take me to a Storm game. It was the Storm BBQ Tools Night so the first 300 people get BBQ tools with the Storm logo. It was on. I had never been to a WNBA game before and I wasn’t sure what to wear so I wore what I always did when we went on dates: a black dress and heels (haaawt!). Once we were seated, a woman with a Storm clipboard came up to us and asked me if I wanted to play in a half-time game called “Hot and Cold.” The premise was that a contestant would be blindfolded and chase the mascot Doppler across the court. The crowd would clap if he/she was “hot” and boo if he/she was, you guessed it, “cold.” I immediately turned to Mike and said, “You’d be PERFECT for this!”
The woman shook her head and said, “Uhh, no. This would be more fun if a girl participated.”
Mike grabbed my shoulders. “You have to do this!”
Before I could protest, I was already being ushered to a room on the ground floor. The clipboard woman explained again how the game worked and showed me an autographed basketball that I could win. A man showed up and introduced himself as the guy would be helping me on the floor.
It was happening so fast. I told her, “This is such a coincidence. This is my first basketball game ever!”
She just smiled, nodded and added some Storm t-shirts to my goodie bag.
I couldn’t focus on the game even though I was close enough to see the sweat fly off of Lauren Jackson’s forehead. I was too busy hating myself for wearing ridiculous, impratical, come-hither heels and praying that I would. not. fall. in front of 8,000 screaming lesbians.
The floor guy told me it was time and handed me a blindfold. I was thankful that I wouldn’t have to see the faces watching me transform into a full-on Hee Haw jackass. Maybe half-jackass, half-headless chicken. In heels.
“Don’t worry!” He assured me. “It’ll be over quickly.”
I followed him into the darkness. Here’s where it gets fuzzy. I remember the announcer asking the crowd to help Ramona on the court. I remember the crowd screaming and floor guy saying, “That’s it, walk this way.” And when the crowd booed, he said, “Now turn!” My hands were outstretched. I hobbled. I wondered how my heels were affecting the court. I hobbled some more.
Then I felt my whole front push into a soft cushy mass. Thank God, I thought. The effing mascot.
When I pulled the blindfold off, Mike was right in front of me.
“Hi baby! What are you doing here?” I asked. “Did you see me out there?!?”
I hadn’t recognized that look on him. He looked like I had told him the oysters he just chucked down were three days old.
Another fuzzy part: I don’t remember exactly what he said then. My ears were filled with crowd noise. The arena lights were harsh and disorienting.
He kneeled. He spoke of loving me and wanting to be with me and somewhere in all that there was the question, “Will you marry me?”
And I nodded at first and then said yes for the next two days.
Okay, I’m going to log off now because The Cheesy Love Department just called and told me they have an opening.