They say that everyone has a price it is just a matter of finding out what that price is. For the longest time I took the ethical high road told myself that the quote was a fallacy. It was possible to maintain your value system and not deviate from it no matter what the consequences. Sure there have been times when I have thought that I may be willing to sacrifice my beliefs for the right price but then after moments of contemplation I would evaluate myself and realize that the level of guilt that I would feel as a result of selling out was too much of a price to pay. After all there is nothing in my life that I want enough to justify trading in my values and my conscious for it. And then in just one 24-hour period I did the unthinkable, I sold out and all in the name of Arizona Diamondbacks fantasy camp.
Many of you may remember me lamenting the fact that for the third year in a row I did not go to Arizona Diamondbacks fantasy camp. I had dropped pretty much every hint subtle and obvious that I could think of. I gave hints to Trina as well as each of the kids. I thought I had covered pretty much every base. I figured I had it made, the family would have to be idiots to not know how much I wanted to go to Fantasy Camp. Yet when the time arrived I stood there like a puppy in a pet store window hoping someone would come and rescue me and send me to a nice home. In my case the nice home would have to be Tucson Electric Park and Diamondbacks Fantasy Camp. Instead I felt like the dog sent to the pound with the only escape being to be put to sleep. Ok that may be a drastic metaphor or is that a simile? I always did confuse those two.
When I missed fantasy camp raising my losing streak to 0-3 I decided perhaps I was going about this the wrong way. Maybe if I found something that Trina was really interested in and made sure that she did not miss out on it then she would repay the favor for the 2009 Fantasy Camp. I couldn’t just pick something and ship her off. That would be way to shallow and she would see right through that. No it had to be sincere and it had to be something she really liked. After weeks of carefully listening to my wife which in itself was a painful experience that should best be left to professionals, I finally had the answer I needed. Trina has been getting very involved in quilting and there was an upcoming quilting and craft show coming to Phoenix. So in the name of Fantasy Camp I made the generous suggestion that she go to this show because it was something she really wanted. I even made sure that she had adequate spending money to get whatever might catch her eye thereby ensuring she had the best possible time she could have. My plan was then to do the proverbial hand washing ceremony cleansing myself of this event with hopes of reaping a future benefit. It sounds devious but hey we’re talking Fantasy Camp and that takes commitment. As the day of the craft/quilting show approached Trina’s quilting buddy (I guess that is what they are called, I dunno. All I know for sure is that quilters seem to travel in packs kind of like hyenas) made plans to spend the day down at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. The night before the plan began to unravel. Quilting buddy had something come up and she could no longer go to the show. The hurt and disappointment on Trina’s face was something I knew all too well having experienced that same thing when Fantasy Camp went on without me. Something had to be done and desperate times call for desperate measures. In a weak moment that I may live to regret for the remainder of my life I uttered two words that I never thought would come out of my mouth, “I’ll go”. What the heck was I thinking? In a brief instant I did the unthinkable and volunteered to go to a quilting show. Why didn’t I just offer to dance naked on the freeway in 120 degree weather? That would have been much less painful.
Trina leapt on my words with the speed of a tiger devouring a wildebeest. I was trapped and I knew it. I briefly thought about gnawing my own leg off to escape the trap but then realized that I would have a hard time going to Fantasy Camp with a stub for a leg. No I had to live with the realization that I just sold my soul for Fantasy Camp and the price I was going to pay was higher than any price I had ever paid in my life.
This morning we were up early so that we could get to the fairgrounds as soon as it opened. Heaven forbid we might miss a quilt block being created. As we entered the show I quickly assessed my surroundings. In case of an emergency such as a terrorist attack or a category 5 tornado I wanted to make sure I knew where the quickest exit would be. Unfortunately I was not lucky enough to have a tornado touch ground and no terrorist in their right mind would attack a quilt show. As I was assessing my options I realized that I was probably one of five men who were in attendance at this show. My odds were likely to change too since the other four guys had to be pushing 90 years old. The majority of the participants of this show were older than my parents and were probably closer to my grandparents age. The noise in the place was deafening which I think was a result that the majority of the people at the show probably forgot their hearing aid or forgot to turn it on. The worst part was that there was no way I could possibly say how painful this was since that would completely ruin the plan to use this at a later date to get me to Fantasy Camp. No I had to stay engaged and look interested which I have to admit was much more difficult than I had anticipated. There is absolutely nothing about quilting that I find interesting. It’s a blanket. Blankets are usually on beds. Beds are used to sleep. You sleep at night. Night is dark. You can’t see in the dark. It doesn’t matter what the quilt looks like. I just wanted to scream; but I didn’t. I spent the day shadowing my wife and listened to her as she gushed over a pattern or a piece of fabric. I even learned that quilters have their own specialized tools which I would have never anticipated. In the end Trina had a wonderful day. It was torture for me but I realized that baseball is probably just as painful for her so in a sense we are probably even. That’s what makes it even worse, after selling my soul thinking I would have the upper hand in the pursuit of Fantasy Camp ended up with me realizing that there is no way I can ever repay Trina for all she does for me and the kids and therefore I will be subjected to countless more of these kinds of activities because I love her. I’m never going to get to Fantasy Camp and I’ll probably end up with a new sewing machine. How could a plan go this terribly wrong?