We bought tickets for two ND games . . . both had conflicts. My last post explained more about the ticket process, conflict #1, and seeing my Gumby dream become a reality. It's the little things, or in this case the BIG green things.
Conflict #2: The reason I took
Curly and Reg to the Sept 10th game: they were supposed to attend the game on Oct. 15th with ALL OF US. The whole family, damn it.
|BTW - This is the photo I shared |
in a prior post to see if anyone
could figure out what this was.
This is me outside of my car trying
to take a photo of Gumby smashed
up against the window because he
looked so funny. Well, all I got
was this reflection of me, because it
was so sunny. My phone is reflecting
Gumby's mouth. Couldn't repeat this
photo if I tried. Not that I would
try. There's art, and then theirs 'oops.'
The high school was under construction, so school started Sept 6th vs mid-August. While the homecoming dance has ALWAYS been in September, this year it was pushed back until . . . Oct. 15th, because of the delayed school start. Oops.
We're leaving Reg and Curly home to attend the dance. I'll be begging rides off of people, asking people to take photos of them, and making sure everyone's clothes and shoes and flowers are ready to go before we leave. Oh, the lists I need to make.
The Mom Of The Year Contest Judges called, they want me to withdraw my application, understandably so.
Because the Oct 15th game is a night game, we ended up getting a costly hotel room in a hotel that is a far cry from the Ritz. Because hotels aren't stupid, reservations can only be made for 2 nights. Cha-ching. Ed is coming to the game with his girlfriend from their school 3 hours south of Notre Dame. Lad is coming. Tank has two friends flying in from Dallas and Omaha. I'm very excited, but a little anxious about leaving 2 kids home when neither of them can drive and one takes anti seizure meds.
|The kids I sit for enjoyed seeing who |
could throw a ball in Gumby's mouth.
Flashback to late August: initially when questions arose like: how do we get tickets to a game that we didn't request, like Sept 10th? Or how will we sell tickets to the game that we can't go to anymore, like Sept 17th? - I wondered what games my sister, Marie, was attending.
I decided to ask Marie which games she was going to. As an ND alum, she can request more tickets than just the 8 that current parents can buy if they have a kid at the school. I also wondered if she was tailgating, but I refused to ask because I didn't want to appear to be begging for an invite - even though, normal families would extend an invite to their family members attending games.
Me: Hey Marie. What games are you going to at ND this year?
Marie: All of them.
(it might be just me, but I heard this text as if Nellie Olsen, the brat on Little House on the Prairie, herself had spoken it).
Me (to myself): ALL OF THEM?
About 6 hours passed, then Marie texted me to ask what games I planned to attend. I'd bet money that her husband told her to inquire as a friendly gesture, because really - why the delay?
She didn't invite me to tailgate. I wanted to do my own thing anyway, but at that point I hadn't found a parking pass. I felt like her lack of forthcoming-ness was a clear line drawn in the sand. I told myself that maybe she was just going to the game. Maybe she wasn't tailgating.
Sept 9th I was busy texting my friend, Becky (Hi BECKY), who was loaning me her step stool that we were inserting between Gumby's legs. She was championing my Gumby efforts - I was giddy with excitement about how my Gumby tailgating beacon was shaping up. I decided to text Marie.
|Becky suggested I use one of my |
kids' shirts for Gumby.
Um, not gonna fit.
Look at me - I was the bigger person.
Sorry, I misspoke. Gumby was clearly the BIGGEST person.
Me: Hey, not sure if you're tailgating or not tomorrow, but you're welcome to come to our tailgate. We'll be in the Stadium Lot. Gumby will be on top of our car.
Marie: Oh, we will be in Joyce lot (next to Stadium Lot). We will have this flag above our car. (insert photo of a flag like most other people will display, just saying) Kids just got it for me for my birthday. Where are your seats? If I don't see you tailgating, we can meet at half time.
* flag on top of your car? That's so last year. Green Halloween costumes are all the rage, sis.
Mini ended up stumbling upon Marie's tailgate before ours. She then came to ours with Elizabeth in tow. Elizabeth is my favorite niece/goddaughter. She's Lad's age and she's Marie's daughter, and she's a hoot, full of spunk, humor, fun - just delightful.
Elizabeth witnessed Mini break down and cry while at my tailgate, under the watchful eye of Gumby. This happened when my SIL gave her a little 'It'll get better' pep talk. Elizabeth returned to her mom's tailgate and apparently told her that she'd seen Mini cry. Marie showed up to my tailgate a bit later after Mini had moved on with her friends. Marie was full of compassion for Mini. This was a nice gesture. I was my friendly self. Pointed out my funny car decoration, offered her my tasty food, etc.
Still, what's her beef? I wrote a funny story from 37 years ago. I asked her to urge dad to click over out of courtesy when someone is calling on the other line. Really? She can't make a peep about her tailgate or inquire if I need help navigating the ND parent stuff? I don't get it. Proud to say I was the bigger person, but my sisters are a piece of work.
A look back: In 2014, Coach and I bought tickets to go to a Notre Dame game. We asked three other couples, loaded them all into the Great White. I hadn't realized that tickets were sometimes available to the public through the ticket office. I was tired of relying on my parents to occasionally invite us to use one of their extra tickets.
I graduated from Saint Mary's College, and as a student I attended all of the games, but only Notre Dame grads are able to be part of the ticket lottery.
Coach and I were excited to tailgate and socialize with our friends. I had no parking pass though. I hadn't even heard of StubHub. I called my dad to ask him if it was possible for him to get me a parking pass for that one game, since he was an alum. I was willing to pay for the pass, but I just didn't have any way of scoring one.
I really didn't have any information on when the ticket lottery happened or how parking passes were doled out. Was it too late?
Dad: I have a parking pass for that game already. I requested it in the lottery, but I'm giving it to Marie. I'm surprising her for her birthday.
I remember vividly this conversation. I was driving home from my kids' final swim meet in late July. My eyes filled with tears. My breath caught in my throat. My kids in the back seat asked me what was wrong. I just shook my head and glanced at them in the rearview mirror, and assured them 'no big deal.'
Further explanation, because without it his comment really doesn't have context:
My dad has never, EVER gotten me a birthday gift. Sure, my parents give me something for my birthday. My dad would never have shopped for something specific for me though. I usually get clothes or something else and it's VERY clear that my mom has selected it for me. Not a problem. All normal and acceptable.
I never batted an eye about the birthday gift process until my father tells me that he bought something for my sister, specifically. To surprise her. For her birthday. She, herself a graduate of Notre Dame, could've probably figured out a way to get a parking pass. She would've had contacts, or information.
|This is a photo from that '15 tailgate . Tank, Mini, and Reg went to the game at the last minute with my sisters I think, because they had extra tickets. They came over to our tailgate to say hi. That is Tank with an N on his belly. Reg (not pictured) had a D on his belly. The taller kid is a nephew on Coach's side who was a freshman at ND at the time, but he looked like he was a freshman in high school. |
In a Google search, I discovered StubHub. I paid $435 for a parking pass for this one game with our friends. Yep. I did.
At the game, we walked over to where my sisters (because of course Marie brought Ann) were tailgating. My dad forgot to let ND know that he didn't want a handicapped lot ticket for this specific game. He and my mom had parked in the handicapped lot in recent years. My sisters were in the handicapped lot. There wasn't a lot of tailgating going on.
My friends: well, glad we ended up over where we are, because it's way more happening by the Great White than it is over in this lot.
The morale of the story - sometimes we gotta do things our own way, if that means mount Gumby on top of your car, have a kid attend ND for next to nothing after your father has suggested that she attend Saint Mary's to find a husband, or surround yourself with friends who treat you right - then so.be.it.
Any fun stuff you've done that may have eliminated you from the running as mother of the year, or have you paid way more than necessary for something and ended up totally happy that you did? Any great 'bigger person' stories to share? Do tell.