Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Trump Card

Well everyone, first and foremost I would just like to say GO RAVENS!!!!! If you read my post Play Calling, you know that Hubby and I went to the Ravens vs Texans playoff game on Sunday. (If you haven't you can do so here) We had a fantastic time!We were both at our restaurant Saturday night and didn't get home and in bed until about 4am but we were up by 8:30am, like 2 kids on Christmas morning. I am also proud to announce that I have effectively brainwashed my children when it comes to football and Billy made his Mama proud today when he proceeded to scream  "GO RAISINS" (close enough for me) from his backseat window when we stopped at red lights. For the record, he also does quite a "move those chains" arm pump and is currently perfecting his touchdown dance.

My husband and I have been season ticket holders for the past 10 years and started our tradition of attending the games together in 2002. Although soccer is my husband's first love (we won't hold that against him, he grew up in Greece), he has become quite the fanatical Ravens Fan. We went to nearly every single home game until I became pregnant with Billy in 2007. Going to the game was and has always been "our thing".  When we first purchased our season tickets, my husband owned a 24/7 diner in Baltimore and we would work all night until about 7am and then go home shower, change into our Raven's gear and head to the stadium. We never cared how tired we were and we always looked forward to those 8 afternoons that we spent together each year, screaming and rooting for our home team. After having Billy and opening a new restaurant, all within months of each other, our lives changed and became more hectic, as they often do. As sad as it was for us, we realized that we would need to take a break from attending our beloved Raven's Games, to be at our restaurant on Sundays which had only been open a few months and was building quite a Sunday football customer base. In short, we did the "adult thing", the "responsible thing" and even though we both knew that it was the right decision, it certainly didn't make it easier to watch Ray Rice break a run or Terrell Suggs sack a quarterback on television rather than from the stands.

We sold the entire season's tickets to my old boss for 4 years straight. This year was the first year that we kept our season tickets and we were able to attend 2 regular season games and the playoff game yesterday together. As the season was nearing its end this year, and a home playoff game became inevitable rather than a dream, I offered myself up as the sacrificial lamb and said I would stay at the restaurant and make sure things went smoothly and he could go to the playoff game with a person of his choosing. However, if there was to be a second playoff game at home, that one was mine for the taking and he would have to stay back. This really was a genuine offer and the fact that I was possibly going to gain a "trump card" from the scenario was a bonus. (I prefer to have a trump card at all times but I kind of used my last one a few months ago and I have been keeping my eye out for a "trump card situation" ever since.) For anyone who doesn't know what a "trump card" is in marriage, it is a time when you maybe took one for the team for your husband, or he did or said something really stupid but instead of flipping out you are the "understanding wife" and let it slide and instead just file that bad boy away as your trump card to be used at a later date when you really need to get through to your spouse about something. In a few severe cases you may even be able to gain 2 or 3 trump cards. Which reminds me of a funny little story.  In 2000 my Dad had played his last trump card on my stepmother to attend the Ravens first (but certainly not last) Superbowl appearance. Fast forward a few years, and my stepmother had purchased a beautiful brand new car that she was absolutely in love with. She allowed my father to "borrow" her car to meet a few of his buddies out one night with the urging that he be careful and not smoke in her car. The following morning she woke up to a heavy down pour and didn't think much of it, until she went to get in her car.  There she found, what was the equivalent of Noah's Ark inside her car. Allegedly, he had left her sunroof open, and the night's rainfall had collected nicely inside her car. Her cup holders were filled to the rim, her leather seats and carpeting were completely soaked and the new car smell had definitely been washed away. I didn't know whether laugh or cry for her and to top it off, we all quickly realized that the reason my dad had even had the sunroof open at night was because he was smoking in her car and was attempting to air out.  Although the situation was horrific, this is the stuff trump card legends are made of and she definitely gained some in the double digits that day. Even now, several years later, you can feel the tension a rainy day brings to my father and when my son asks me if the rumbling in the distance is thunder, I tell him "no, that's just GiGi shuffling her trump cards". This type of scenario is going to happen few and far between and your definitely playing against the odds to wait for one of these times to come around. Now, a trump card ladies and gentlemen is to be used sparingly, and I repeat SPARINGLY, because as you can see, it may take you a few months or even years to get one back. I can usually bank on about 1 a year from my husband, but my father, on the other hand, never has recovered his trump card. So, enough about trump cards and back to the playoff game discussion with my husband. After I offered to stay home for the first playoff game, I was definitely expecting a good amount of gratitude from him (along with a trump card) for being the first to offer to sit this one out. He instead claimed that it wouldn't be fair because if we did have a second game at home it would be the AFC Championship (I was also aware of this). Being the quick thinker and savvy trump card holder that I am, I retreated once again and offered to go to the first game and he could take the second game, if there was one. He was not happy with this agreement either, stating that if there wasn't a second game, that would mean he wouldn't go to any.  I knew at this point, we were no longer in trump card territory and that he had no intentions of handing one out.  I told him that he was going to have to take a risk somewhere because I was not agreeing to sit out both games. He was not willing to take either risk and our manager was willing to work, so we both went to the game.

We really did enjoy the day's festivities at the game and ultimately neither of us truly wanted to go without the other. Being at the game with my husband reminds of that carefree time in our life that we had before mortgages, kids, bills, schedules, PTA meetings... A time when we were just a couple, not Mommy and Daddy.  As much as we adore our family and our lives now, it really is refreshing to visit that place and take an afternoon to just be "us". Win or lose, we always enjoy ourselves at every game we have been to over the years and although we don't do it nearly enough, it's nice to know that we can find our way back to being just the two of us on any given Sunday.

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