I Got Myself A Hat
Every Friday night Dodger home game, fireworks let off at the stadium. We can see them from our balcony way up on the 18th floor. It’s a nice perk of living in downtown Los Angeles (and also something we look forward to since Cory and I no longer circuit the bars on weekend nights, or on any night actually).
This past Sunday we decided to go to the Dodger game, one of the many activities on our west coast To Do: list. Besides the love of watching live sports, there is just something about being in the awesomeness of a baseball stadium that gets my heart pumping. So we bought tickets and finally committed to going to what would be my first Dodger game. Meiyee and Joel, another couple friend that lives a block away, joined us.
Upon entering one of the oldest stadium’s in the country, I could sense the history of the place looming. I also happen to notice everyone was wearing the same kind of Los Angeles Dodger hat. “Where did everybody get those?” I finally asked. We had just located our seats in Section 11, and were beginning to set-in for three hours of baseball ahead of us.
“Looks like they were the give away at the door. It says here,” Meiyee said, looking at the program. “The first 30,000 people got them.”
I studied the size of the stadium and how many seats were filled before responding,”There’s no way there’s 30,000 people here already. Meiyee… I’m going to get us some hats! Be right back.”
I strolled back towards the gait, the entrance we had originally marched through. I was determined to find us hats, even if it meant using my wheelchair sad face. “They’re all gone,” I overheard the attendant say to an elderly Asian woman.
“Really?” I chimed in. The sad face wasn’t working.
“Yes, sorry,” the young guy said, and then he made the worst recommendation he could give to a woman who spoke little English. “You could always steal one off someone’s head,” he teased. The Asian woman opened her mouth in disgust. “No!” she yelled. “Me not want to do that.” And she stomped off into the tunnel, looking for someone or something. I also didn’t want to steal a hat from someone’s head. Although, unlike the lady before me, I didn’t write the idea off completely. I just stored it in the last case scenario file.
I returned to the group with my head hung in shame. “Whoa,” Cory said. “The wheelchair didn’t even work.”
“Nope,” I responded. “But don’t worry. The game has only just started. I’ll find us some hats by the time it’s over.”
To my credit, I’m pretty good at getting things I want. But since the value of these FREE hats (courtesy of Wonderful Pistachios) seemed to be increasing in value by the second, this particular task was proving to be a bit more challenging than I originally thought. So I encouraged Meiyee to join me on the mission. She wanted one of those free hats too.
“Dang,” Meiyee said, plopping down into the folding chair beside me. “I even went to the customer service. No hats.” This was shocking news. If anyone could do something I couldn’t, it would be Meiyee. She’s excellent at coupons and knowing the hidden treasures of L.A.. She even is a member of the prestigious Magic Castle anomaly.
Looking to my left and towards Cory, I noticed our spanish-speaking neighbors had a stack of hats, two were the very ones we wanted. Cory must have read my mind, because before I could speak any words, he was already leaning over towards them and offering $5 for one hat, $10 for two. “Sorry,” the lady said. “They’re for the kids. Let me ask them though, because I’d like that $10.”
I became confused. What was she going to ask the kids? If she was the parent of these “kids,” which seemed to be the case, I felt like she could make the call. Ten dollars in exchange for the free hats sounded like quite the deal to me. She could buy herself more nachos, or more soda, or the blue finger. “I really do want that $10,” she said, again. I became hopeful.
During the fourth inning, I dragged Cory to the gift shop with me. I thought, Maybe there’s something cuter, or more fitting, waiting for me there. I was wrong. The only hat I could picture myself in was the Pistachio hat, and now that I saw everyone holding them on the lower levels I started to become enraged with jealousy. “My next plan of attack,” I began telling my new fiance. “Is to approach some of these young teenage girls that are too prissy to wear hats for fear they’ll mess up their hair.” He responded to my craziness with a smile. If I had to guess what he was thinking at that exact moment, I’d imagine it’d be something like, Oh boy. What have I got myself into? After all, we had only been engaged for one week.
Back in our section, Meiyee and Joel were stuffing themselves with a Dodger dog, pronounced Dough-her Dawg, and a tub of nachos. The baseball game also started to get very interesting. The Dodgers scored three runs and the stadium was responding with screams and cheers. I welcomed all these distractions but out of the corner of my eye, I kept an eye on the hats sitting next to us. No one was even wearing them; it didn’t seem fair.
“Still waiting to hear from the kids,” our neighbor piped up, adding insult to injury. I had waited patiently for five innings for a different answer.
“I even asked a guy if he’d sell his hat on the way to the bathroom and he said no,” Cory added.
“Of course he did,” I responded, pouting like a spoiled child. And then that’s when I saw another man behind us with a stack of six of the most wanted hats in the stadium. Cory caught my eye, and turned behind him to see the same thing. With out saying a word, he jumped up and ran over to the large man who was attempting to tuck his shirt back in his XXL pants. I love that man, I thought, referring to Cory of course. But I could grow to love that man too if he gave me what I wanted, I decided. I watched the guy shake his head no, a rejection Cory had suddenly become familiar with, and so I finally succumbed to the idea I wasn’t going to get my hat. I also decided I didn’t care. I had Cory, someone who is better than any hat I have ever gotten. Someone who will go on a rampage with me for a hat with the words “Wonderful Pistachios” stitched in the back. As he walked back towards me shaking his head no, I smiled and gave him a kiss for his efforts. His determination for the hat, matched mine, and it wasn’t even for him. The compassion made me feel a little guilty.
“I love you,” I said. And that’s when the large man tapped Cory on the shoulder and presented him with the hat.
“Here you go,” the stranger announced. Cory’s eyes lit up, and he began feverishly digging into his pockets for what I imagined to be cash. “Oh, no,” the man continued. “Don’t even worry about it. Enjoy the game!” As quickly a he had arrived, the large man disappeared and Cory sat next to me smiling with my hat in his hands.
“Yay!” I cheered, while Cory placed the hat on my head.
“Yup, it’s pretty adorable,” he commented while I sat there beaming, proud of both the hat and of my man.
“I told you this wheelchair is good for something,” I bragged, assuming the guy saw Cory come sit next to me after rejecting him.
“Yup,” he laughed. “Now… what are we going to tell Meiyee?” Her and Joel had left for five minutes to visit a friend closer to the field.