Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The banquet from hell

It's official - McKay's baseball team is in the playoffs this year (in spite of the horrible, mean, nasty she-coach on the Braves and her accusations of cheating). We played our hearts out tonight and beat the Yankees in overtime. Our reward? We get to play several more baseball games, rather than being done for the year (isn't that just awesome?).

In celebration of such a great year, they held a banquet after the game at a local Mexican restaurant. Picture this: A small, dingy banquet room filled with at least 50 people. All 14 boys from the baseball team running literal circles around the table, high-fiving each other and screaming - bits of tortilla chips spewing from their mouths and being ground into the carpet. Parents are sitting at one table, players at another. The margarita pitchers have been flowing around the parents' table for a while now and everyone is starting to get puhRETTy cozy, if you know what I mean (that and oblivious to the fact that we were nearly destroying this restaurant, what with the shouting and smashing of tortilla chips). As the only non-drinking adult in the room, I had plenty of wits about me to notice these little things. And no benefit of alcohol in my brain to drown out the nails-on-a-chalkboard feel to the room.

So where did I end up in this little fray? Smack dab in the middle of the younger siblings (logical, given that I have two and they needed attending to) and the Angry Divorced Dads. A group of seemingly nice guys - good fathers supporting their kids - but bitterly angry at all women. I couldn't decide which conversation to be a part of - the one focused on cookies, Cinderella, and Sponge Bob Square Pants, or the one focused on how women of a "certain age" are undesirable because they come with baggage. [This said by the men who have KIDS and are DIVORCED. Um, baggage?]

Needless to say, I chose cookies and Cinderella. It was all very awkward - I am sure they knew I could hear them, but that did not slow their tirade any. The next hour spent waiting for our food felt like four. Chase was melting into a puddle of starvation and Hannah was near tears. At one point, Chase reached out and grabbed a bus boy by the arm and asked "HOW MUCH LONGER, por favor?" Can't say that I blame them - it was after eight o'clock, they had not eaten dinner, and they were wiped out.

When the food finally came, we shoved it in quickly and prepared to make our exit. Just in time for the Angry Divorced Dads to notice that, Oh! there was an adult sitting next to them. They turned on the politeness to inquire all about me, my camera, my darling children (one of whom was so charmingly upside down in his chair at that very moment). I made nice for as long as is socially acceptable (like three whole seconds), excused myself, and grabbed McKay, his trophy, Her Royal Tiredness, and Mr. Upside-Down-Square-Pants. We bolted for the door, paid our check, and ran like mad for the car.

Truly makes you appreciate those long, lonely nights where you have a quiet dinner at home, read stories together, give the children their baths, and put them straight to bed - with only yourself and the t.v. for company because your husband is already working at his new job in St. Louis.

I soooo will not be complaining about gloriously boring days like that after today.


marta said...

this made me laugh out loud, stie! seriously i can just imagine it. oh my.. you ARE a trooper and should receive a trophy yourself.

sit yourself down and enjoy a reeses peanut butter cup and a dr. mcdreamy rerun. you've earned it!

gab said...'s a good thing we don't drink, huh? We would seriously be alcoholics! But a Diet Coke on the rocks can make a bad night a little better. Hang in there, only a couple more weeks, right?

Amber said...

I think you handled it marvelously. I would have been sooooo ignoring everything they said but at the same time, exceedingly tempted to make a few quips about their own baggage. :-)

Daniel said...

Your kids might be more trained to remain awake until 8pm if you didn't put them down for the evening at 4:30pm.

Marty: said...

This is WHY people drink!

Scribbit said...

Sounds like you could use a long quiet weekend--

And daniel's comment is um . . . interesting. :)

Annie said...

Two thoughts: First, I think those divorced dads were trying to impress you with their single status (you were, after all, by yourself too !) and second, weren't you thinking the whole time "this is going to make a great blog post"? :) At least you got that out of it!

Bridget said...

Oh the things we do for our kids! If they only knew. I could just imagine the scene- you're a great writer. Hang in there!

Stie said...

Daniel - I know you're just jealous that my kids go to bed right after lunch. You keep yours up until, what, midnight? CUHRAZY!

Amanda said...

I think that Annie nailed it right on the head. It made a great post! Sorry to hear that the night was a bust. I hope that the food was good!