This morning when I got up, I had much of the same feeling as when I woke up on Ruby's birthday. Here I had a special day planned, and the weather was not cooperating. I went out to the gym and did 6 miles on the elliptical in 55 minutes— a small improvement. Today I just happened to have the elliptical machine nearest to the window of the room where they hold aerobics. I observed through the glass a very mixed class of women, some older, some younger, some fit, some not so much. The moves in this particular class were so queer, that it was really making me laugh. There was a lot of arm swinging and finger circling, and hopping, much like a precocious tap dance routine at its finale. Two women struck me, because of how opposite they were: one, an older woman who looked like Eli Wallach, moved as though the ground was a magnet and she was a robot. Her plodding steps seeming to require the detachment of her feet from their electromagnetic captivity. Her arm movements had the decisive thrust of a Nazi salute, but the speed of 90 year old's walk. A younger woman closer to my view danced the same steps as if the ground were made of rubber. Her movements were fluid, and she seemed to be springing into the air as if she were attached to strings and needed not to come to full resting weight on the ground. I felt bad watching them, but the TVs were on an infomercial only setting, which while preferable to news, is hard to watch. This also leads me to look around the gym at others. Often I am met with looks back, as if to say "don't look at me."
Kashi Go Lean/Heritage Flakes
Unsweetened Soy Milk
Bananas & Blueberries
Postwork Out Snack
6 oz. Plain Yogurt
2 Tblspns S.C. Peanut Butter
3 Eggs, Scrambled
Romaine, Cabbage, Red Pepper & Feta Salad
Red Sox Game
Fried Dough with Powdered Sugar
Of course I knew that going to the Red Sox game would mean eating lots of junky stuff. To prepare for this, I worked out early in the day and ate a big lunch so that I did not go to the park hungry. One of my coworkers has parents that work at the park, and Ruby and I, following a tour of the newly family-friendly Yawkey Way, sought them out. They are purveyors of Nachos and Fried Dough and I told Ruby we would get a fried dough, which we did. These parents were so sweet and they insisted we have something to drink, so they brought us two cokes to go with our fried dough. Because we had arrived at the park about 30 minutes early, and it was raining, Ruby and I grabbed some cement and horked down the sweet treat. I must say that it was absolutely perfect—not too greasy, warm, but not hot, and just the right amount of powdered sugar (we demurred the slimy fake butter). The same could not be said of the coke, which was only different from straight uncarbonated syrup because of the ice cubes in it. I let Ruby have just enough Coke to wash it down and then we dumped them. It seemed a shame to waste it, but better in the garbage then down in us.
Figuring we'd be in our seats for a while, I bought a popcorn, thinking it would last us through the game. Unfortunately for us, the rain just kept coming so there wasn't much for us to do BUT eat the popcorn. We watched lots of guys roll and unroll the tarp. We never once sat in our ticket-assigned seats, opting for slightly dryer, but less back-friendly ones a few rows back. Since I was guarding Ruby's two Red Sox balloons, AND her Red Sox balloon hat AND her pink Red Sox hat, picking a spot was of great importance.
The game finally started at 5:10, but by then we'd been there for an hour and forty minutes. Even if it's an hour and forty minutes that seems like Christmas because nearly every minute is filled with something yummy or exciting, it's still quite a lot for a six year old. At 6:30, after three innings, and repeated answering of Ruby's query, "Did the Red Sox win?" we called it a game. And headed out. At this time, I also bought her a bat AND a hot dog, when she said she was hungry. Again, trying to do my best, I eschewed the famously infamous "Fenway Frank" and sought out an "All-Beef" hot dog, which like many claims by the denizens of Fenway Park, was dubious, at best. She ate the entire thing without speaking. We located the exit and we walked out towards Kenmore Square.
All in all I would say it was a very family-friendly trip, much more than my first trip to Fenway, which I'm pretty sure with was with Ray Metz, my college roommate who died September 11th. Then it was a pretty seedy, grimy place that smelled like Sunday morning in a some wild bar's back alley in New York City. That smell was entirely gone, and face painters, balloon-twisters and $20 lunch box offers were everywhere, proving that I am able to resist some things.
On the way out I asked her if she wanted to see where I met her mother. She didn't understand the question, so I took the common parental response and plowed ahead with my story anyway, pointing out that the Bank of America used to be an ice cream place called Bramerie...she really wasn't paying attention. We descended into the tunnel and took the T home to the car. She wanted ice cream. I figured, what's a Red Sox Christmas without ice cream? I got her a small at J.P. Licks and we headed home where she got into her pajamas, brushed, washed the remnants of Wally the Green Monster off of her face and got into bed, where she immediately, and sleepily started complaining that her stomach hurt. I told her she'd feel better in the morning. Such is the price you pay for going to the Red Sox game with me as your father.
The only sensible thing I could do after a day like this was skip dinner entirely, which I did, and without much problem either. I hope you all don't feel like I was a hypocrite, because for many of those moments, parked on the cement eating fried dough, riding the train home with all the balloons, or finally locating the traveling guy who sold ice cream, but mostly spending the day with Ruby, it was like Christmas for me too. I just didn't have a stomach ache. Because I did that part before, and I guess after 41 years, I've learned my lesson. If the Red Sox can change their curse, there's no reason I can't.