Have you ever had one of those days when you wake up and think, “This is going to be the best day of my life!” then within 30 minutes you feel like you took a Randy Johnson fastball in the back for crowding the plate? Today was one of those days for me.
Thirty-one years ago today I married my best friend, the mother of my children, and the most amazing woman I have ever known. She has stood beside me through the good times, the bad times, and even the crazy times. She nursed me back to health after four shoulder surgeries and was there to comfort me when I realized my playing days were behind me. In short, she is the best thing that has ever happened to me. There was only one small problem; I forgot that was today.
Yeah I know, I should have written a note, I should have marked the calendar, I should have not left things to the last minute. All of those thoughts went through my mind as I sat at the dining room table staring at a wrapped gift and card with my name on it.
Instead of planning the most romantic day and evening I could imagine to recognize this woman who has done everything for me I was instead wrapped up in the fact that the Arizona Diamondbacks were returning back home after a 2-4 road trip and would be finishing up Interleague play.
I was thinking about how much longer Stephen Drew would be out, whether Justin Upton could get things going and become the dominant hitter everyone expected, and if Wade Miley could sustain the great year he was having. Staring at that gift and card I went into panic mode. I needed to somehow recover from this nightmare that every husband fears the moment he gets married.
I quickly excused myself from breakfast and rushed to shower, get dressed, and somehow come up with a plan. It’s kind of a touchy thing. You have to pretend that you remembered your anniversary and downplay the lack of a visible card and gift as though you have something special planned while not playing that card too heavily for fear that you set your wife’s expectations too high that whatever you figure out won’t be nearly as cool as you’ve been selling it.
My first instinct was to rush down to the Diamondbacks Team Shop and pick her out a really cool personalized jersey. After all, what woman would not love a jersey with her name and number on it? But after dropping a few hints I guessed that probably wouldn’t work. And by guess I mean she said, “You better not be planning on getting me something at the Team Shop.” Dang!
I caught my mistake early in the day so it wasn’t so desperate that it would require purchasing jewelry or exotic gifts. Besides she said, “You don’t really need to get me anything. I would just be happy spending the day with you.” After 31 years of marriage I was not as naïve as to think that really meant don’t get her a gift. While I don’t mind sleeping on the couch once in a while I knew that getting nothing as she suggested would result in a trip to the post office to fill out a permanent change of address to the living room couch.
No, I needed something cool but that would also fit with my personality so it didn’t look too out of character. The ball game, of course! I would take her to the ballgame tonight to see the Diamondbacks play the Seattle Mariners. Who wouldn’t want to do that on their anniversary?
I had at least solved part of the problem; I knew what we would do tonight. We could spend some quality time together bonding while watching Wade Miley pitch and rooting for the D-backs. I already had Season Tickets and a parking pass so I was set that way. Now I just needed to figure out what to do about dinner.
While Hungry Hill makes an awesome Polish Sausage I was not sure Trina would think of that as a romantic dinner. No, I needed something special. I ran to the computer and sent an email to my Season Ticket Representative Jamie Gostyla hoping she could help.
Saving a season ticket holder from impending doom and a lifetime ban to the couch is probably not in her job description but it should be. Jamie came through with a pass to the Sedona Club at Chase Field. For those who have never been to the Sedona Club you don’t know what you are missing.
Located behind the Diamondbacks dugout under the seats at Chase Field is a small eatery filled with LED televisions and the most amazing gourmet hamburgers you have ever eaten. The best part is the caramelized onions they put on top. They are almost a religious experience. I’ve only been there twice but both times have left me speechless.
With Jamie’s help I now had our anniversary dinner planned and I had tickets to the game. Things were starting to look like they may actually work out. I still had the problem of a gift but I was at least feeling better about my chances of survival.
Time was running out and we were going to need to go to the game and I was still at a loss as to what to give Trina. In a desperation move I ran to the florist and picked out a dozen Sedona Red roses. It’s amazing the stares you get when you explain that the flowers are the wrong shade of red. Luckily I brought my Diamondbacks hat so we could get the proper color. So with flowers, baseball tickets, and a parking pass in hand and a pass to the Sedona Club waiting I was finally ready for my anniversary confident that I would live to see the end of this anniversary.
When we arrived at Chase Field I met with Jamie to pick up the pass. I was excited to eat at the Sedona Club and knew Trina would be too. As we walked down to the entrance Trina gave me a surprised look. I did my best James Bond impression to make her think I had been planning this for months. So far it was working.
With the game starting in 10 minutes we had decided to get our food to go and get back to our seats for first pitch. We walked into the Sedona Club and were met by Bob, the usher. Bob walked up to my wife and asked, “You wouldn’t be Trina would you?” I’m not sure who was more surprised by that question, me or Trina. She acknowledged his question and he motioned us to follow him.
We were led to a table that had a place card sitting on it that elegantly stated, “Happy Anniversary Jeff and Trina Summers”. My good husband stock value went through the roof. Suddenly I was the most romantic husband in Chase Field and maybe in the whole valley of the sun. Thoughts of getting food to go or missing first pitch from our seats went out the window. We sat at a small table reserved for us and held hands talking (while I watched the game out of the corner of my eye – hey what did you expect would happen).
The food was amazing but the experience was even better. Our waiter and the staff at the Sedona Club made sure our every need was met and each of them wished us a Happy Anniversary. By the end of our meal I was an anniversary hero.
We went back to our seats and watched the game. When Kiss Cam came around we were featured, the first time in 15 seasons of Diamondbacks games. Trina was so impressed that I somehow was able to manage that. I didn’t have the heart to tell her none of these things were planned. Instead I did what any other husband who had forgotten their anniversary would do, I took full credit and would ask for forgiveness later if the truth came out.
As JJ Putz came in the ninth inning and nailed down a Diamondbacks 7-1 victory my wife leaned over and kissed me on the cheek thanking me for an amazing anniversary. All the credit goes to the Arizona Diamondbacks for making today so special. They even seemed to get the Seattle Mariners to chip in and roll over so we could have free tacos at Taco Bell tomorrow.