Today has been a very traumatic day for me and one I hope that no one should ever have to face. They say that bad things happen in threes and today I would have to agree. It started off poorly and went downhill from there. There is nothing worse for an Arizona Diamondbacks fan than to wake up in the morning, leap out of bed and check the schedule only to find that the Diamondbacks have an off-day. It makes you want to crawl back into bed and pull the Sedona Red sheets up over your head and just hibernate for 24 hours until this nightmare is over. But I promised myself that I was not going to brood over there not being Diamondbacks baseball today. I was going to look for the positive side of this. The 162-game season is a long trek and there must be some days off; well that’s what they tell me anyway. Personally I don’t think 162 games are near enough since that means that there are 203 days a year without baseball; 204 if it is a leap year. That means that over half the year is sans-baseball and no good can come from that. I personally think that we could eliminate all war and solve world hunger and global warming if we would just extend baseball to be year round. That theory has not yet gotten a lot of traction but I am hoping that it will soon. So until the planets align and we reach baseball nirvana I will have to be content dealing with days like today.
The second traumatic incident occurred shortly after I got dressed for the day. Although there was not a game that didn’t mean I couldn’t wear a Diamondbacks shirt and still support my team. Dressed in my favorite Diamondbacks polo shirt and wearing my new Diamondbacks hat I put on a happy face and headed downstairs. I thought it was important to try and hide the pain I was feeling inside not being able to watch the Diamondbacks today. After all, the kids would look to their father to be strong when adversity like this does strike. When I got to the kitchen the kids were already up and ready for school. They hesitated asking me how I was doing. I think they were afraid I would start crying and fall apart at the thoughts of the loss I was feeling today. I kept my composure although my lips did begin to quiver when my son Dakota patted me on the head and said it was only 24 hours. He’s right, I should be able to deal with 24-hours shouldn’t I? I could tell Trina was less than sympathetic about my plight. For a moment I thought about telling her that she’d never lost someone she loved so she didn’t know how I felt but I figured that would inevitably end up with a discussion of her grandmother and I wasn’t sure I was ready for that discussion again. Besides I don’t think that’s fair to bring that up. After all I had to deal with tragedy that day too; I missed the last inning and a half of that game so we all were hurting in that ordeal. Trina instead decided that the level of pain I was feeling today was just not deep enough. In her nonchalant manner she simply uttered, “Oh quit whining. It’s not like you were going to go to every game anyway. You promised me you would give up the Sunday games and go to church with me and the kids.” She may as well taken a knife and stuck it in my back. I am still not sure I understand how I got conned on that one. I keep thinking back over that conversation trying to figure out what she said that made me believe giving up Sunday tickets was a good idea. For the past four months I have been trying to recount the details so that I would learn from that mistake and somehow find a loophole that would allow me to continue to go to the Sunday games. But Trina had created a case that was more airtight than the International Space Station and I now found myself stuck having to give up my Sunday games. This of course led to an exhaustive candidate search to find the perfect person who could assume my role as Diamondbacks fan for the remaining 11 Sunday games for the 2008 season. There were interviews, resumes, and several oaths involving swearing over various family member graves but I finally found someone who I felt could carry the Sunday banner of diehard Diamondbacks fan. Today was the day that I was to deliver the tickets. I stood at the counter gently peeling each ticket from the ticket book. The sound of perforated cardstock ripped at my soul. I commented how handing over these tickets was equivalent to giving up one of the children. This of course led to a lengthy lecture on proper priorities. If that’s not the pot calling the kettle black I don’t know what is. After all it is her messed up priorities that caused this issue in the first place. Obviously God is a baseball fan and especially a Diamondbacks fan. How else can you explain that the Pope is only visiting baseball stadiums during his US visit and why every Arizona sunset includes Sedona Red? To have me give up my Sunday tickets to attend church is like slapping God in the face and I don’t think that is a good idea. If the Diamondbacks don’t make the play-offs I am holding Trina accountable for angering the baseball Gods. The argument was pointless, she was not budging on her request. So I headed out for work with an envelope of Diamondbacks tickets in what I had deemed the final “take your kids to work” day.
Traumatic experience number three occurred shortly after arriving at work. I had unpacked my briefcase and had just logged into my laptop. I had my iPod set and was just settling down for a day of meeting and writing. I have a white paper due which I have been working on for months and I am coming down the final stretch. As I opened the document and began to pen my thoughts the quietness of the office was interrupted with the sounds of smoke and fire alarms. The somewhat frantic voice asked everyone to quickly make their way to the nearest exit as the fire department had been notified of a potential fire. A fire? This is not good. I quickly looked around trying to decide what I should grab before making my way to the exit. My eyes quickly went from my laptop to my iPod to my briefcase to my near finished paper. Time was critical so I couldn’t gather up everything; I grabbed what I could and headed out the door. When I got to the parking lot there was a large crowd gathered as people tried to understand what was happening. I looked down relieved to find that I was safe. There in my hand I saved the most precious thing I could think of, my Diamondbacks tickets. iPods and laptops can be replaced, I can always rewrite the white paper but Diamondbacks tickets are priceless. Seriously, in case of fire who wouldn’t try to save their family? The fire department arrived and everything checked out without any damage and we were allowed to return to our offices. It all worked out but it’s good to know that in times of adversity I was able to quickly think on my feet and save what was most important. I was quite proud of myself. I could have panicked and just run in circles yelling, “STOP, DROP, and ROLL!” but I kept a level head and made sure that the children (my tickets) were safe. These are the kinds of stories that newspapers eat up. I could just see the headlines, “Heroic Man Selflessly Saves Tickets From Fiery Death”. It has been a very full day filled with pain, sorrow, death-defying rescues, and saying farewell to loved ones. For a day without baseball it was pretty exciting.