Friday, April 23, 2010

Time After (Over) Time

Last night’s Penguins game going into triple overtime brought back memories of the time that a hockey game irreparably damaged my marriage.

Once upon a time, back in the 90s, I was married (cold chill runs down back.)  Future-Ex had 2 kids: one was in his early 20’s and out of the house, and the other was 11 (at the time of this story.)  I talked a little bit about the younger one in my post about Christmas/Santa Claus issues

When we met, Future-Ex knew nothing about hockey, or any other sports for that matter.  I’d try to explain hockey during games on TV, but it never sunk in.  Plus, she didn’t much care. 

But one day, I got a pair of free tickets to go see the Albany River Rats, the new minor league hockey team in our area.  Once I got her to see a game in person, she got much more interested, so much so that by the next season, we bought a small ticket package.  I might have had to remind her of the difference between icing and offside every time, but she re-grasped it quickly and knew enough that she would stand up and scream “Hit’em, just hit’em!  Beat him up!” when it was appropriate.  She knew to yell, “Get it out of there!” when the team needed to clear the defensive zone.  As a native New Yorker, she was very good at yelling things.

When Albany won the Calder Cup in 1995, we went to the big downtown Cup celebration and took videos and got autographs.  That fall, we went to Meet the Rats night, where after the game, you could go down on the ice and take pictures with all the players.  
 Steve Sullivan, currently with the Nashville Predators, signing for the Future-Ex, who is wearing my Jagr jersey.

All in all, we had big fun with it.  Once she took to live hockey, I got her to watch some Penguins games with me on TV.

Now, back in those days, my parents still lived in Green Bay WI, and would take trips to Panama City FL on vacation.  They’d stay in house right smack on the beach.  Pretty soon, they figured out that it would make a great family vacation spot.

They proposed having us get together in Panama City during the spring of 1996.  When I first talked to Future-Ex about it, she shot it down pretty quickly.  She didn’t want to take the boy out of school.  Plus, it would be a pile of cash for all of us to go.  So I told my dad that we were out.

Maybe about a week later, she reconsidered, thinking it would be a good family outing and represented a lot of bang for our bucks.  (The more people dividing up the cost of the beach house, the cheaper for all.  It really was a great deal.)  I called Dad back to see if we could get back in.  He said that he’d already booked a smaller place for just him and Mom, and my brother and his wife.  But if we could live with sleeping on a foldout couch in the living room, they’d still love to have us come.

Future-Ex and I discussed it and decided to go for it.  Mom and Dad had a room, my brother and his wife had one, Future-Ex’s boys would share a small room with 2 twin beds, and we would hit the couch in the living room.
 The couch in the middle of the shot was our bed.  It's facing a small TV, just out of frame.

The place was absolutely beautiful, with a grand view of the Gulf.  The sunsets were gorgeous!
Sunset over The Gulf.

This was the view from our balcony.  Not a bad place to spend a week, eh?

Yours truly, whipping up his famed Chicken ala Bluz.

What the hell does this have to do with hockey?” I hear you cry?

We took our vacation in April, when the playoffs were going on.  The Penguins were going up against the hated Washington Capitals.  I was really digging it because it gave me a rare chance to watch the Pens with my dad and brother, i.e. 2 people that knew something about hockey, for a change.

If you’re a Pens fan, you probably remember what happened on April 24, 1996 (14 years ago, tomorrow) and know where I’m going with this. 

That night, the Pens and Capitals played a game that went into 4 overtimes.  It was excruciating, and that’s just for hockey fans.

All Future-Ex wanted to do was go to bed, but there was nowhere for her to go.  Mom was upstairs in her bed, my sister-in-law was in hers, the boys were in their twin beds and unless she wanted to go sleep on the beach, she had to wait for the game to end before we could open the couch and call it a night.  I know that sleeping on the beach sounds like a romantic idea but all the little crabs on the beach that came out at night would have banded together and carried her away.  (Hmm, come to think of it, I should have made that recommendation.)

What, you think we were going to bail on a playoff game?  Not bloody likely!

I tried to sympathize the best I could, but as the hours rolled by, there wasn’t anything I could do.  It’s not like we were conducting a plot to deprive her of sleep, but the living room was the only place we could watch the game.

When the game finally finished around 1:00 AM (Central Time) as the 5th longest game in NHL history, (Whoo hoo, Pens win!) she was seriously pissed.  I tried to delicately explain that if she hadn’t dilly-dallied around before finally consenting to come, we would have had our own room and this never would have happened.  I may have slightly miscalculated, because for some reason, this only seemed to make her angrier.

We got through the next couple days before we had to leave, but it was frosty.

And from that day on, she never, ever went to another hockey game with me.  And whenever a game would come on TV, she’d leave the room.  Honestly.  She was Done.  With.  Hockey.  Forever.

And me too, soon after.  We were on the outs by January of the next year.  Yes, there were other issues, but I still think that night played a part.
I got even though…  I moved 600 miles away, so she’d have to find someone new to yell at.  Revenge is mine!


Faux Trixie said...

I mean, I don't like sports but I feel like she kind of overreacted. I mean, that happens, and it's warm outside. It's ONE night, too. Sorry your hobby apparently caused the disintegration of your marriage.

bluzdude said...

Thank you for the sympathy, FT.

There were other very conspicuous reasons it ended, but that night sure didn't help! And it really put a cloud over the rest of that trip.

Anyway, like I always say, "I used to be married, but I'm much better now."

Mary Ann said...


bluzdude said...

Right! Because then she could have went out to sleep on her tour bus!

IKNAB said...

I guess it coulda been a little worse...

"The two quarreled, in part because Mr. Abrams had stayed up late to watch the Penguins' game, which went into three overtimes, before he killed her, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said."

bluzdude said...

See, in OT, they stop the TV time outs. So there was no time for her to talk to him except during the game. Hence, the violence.

I always tell Pinky, "if you can't hold he comments to the commercials, the least you can do is appear in a little box at the corner of the screen. (and use Close Captioning.)

The Guy's Perspective said...

You're right. I had no idea where you were going with it, but it was a compelling story. I'd say sad, but you seem so happy about it that I think it may be just the opposite.

Hope you're having a good weekend.

bluzdude said...

I make light of it now... It's been about 13 years since we split up. Time is a great healer and it allows me to look back at some tough things now and still smile about them.

It was hard when we first split, but I was probably more upset for having failed at marriage. In reality, I knew that I wasn't happy and was better off starting over. Time has bore that out.

Cassie said...

I wanted to say, "Bitter much?" but then I realized your ex must have been one piece of work. I mean, really? She would hold a grudge over HOCKEY? That's totally sad. I mean, pathetic, really.

(However, as I type this, my husband threw my Pens jersey at me...a baby blue Malkin, thank-you-very-much...and and stared at me until I put it on. Perhaps I'm a little bias since I'm a fan...)

But really? REALLY? That's sad. Just sad. //////////////////////99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 (Oh, and Luca says hi.)

Loved this post.

Unapologetically Mundane said...

Hockey, for me, is the most exciting sport to watch simply because you get to yell, "GIVE 'IM A GROIN INJURY!!"

If there was the chance of groin injuries in baseball, I might go to more than one game a year.

bluzdude said...

She was definitely a piece of work. Like I was telling GUY, enough time has passed that I'm not really upset about anything any more. I just tell the stories. (and I have a couple of doozies to tell, in due time.)

Tell Luca I said "hi" back. Wait, let me put in in his language:

I'm rocking the white Jordan Staal jersey tonight.

The groin injuries in baseball come from the constant cup adjusting. Not exactly a recommendation for a spectator sport.

Unknown said...

What a PITA. There's plenty of floor, pull up a chunk, go to sleep and let it go.

bluzdude said...

PITA could have been her middle name, Vange.

Crazy Brunette said...

Oh shit!!!

Bluz- LOVING these shorts! Finally some normal shorts AND HAIR!!!!


I HATED NASCAR before the hubby and I got married. Now I LOVE it! We watch every race. We spent $700.00 on tickets to go to the races at the Speedway this year.

Your ex seems like a totally ball sucker!

Miley said...

I watch the pens when they are on - the bf is a huge fan. I support it. I like hockey. I'm not married to any team, though. (Not like my college football!) When he's unable to watch due to work or kid stuff (like thursday!!) I keep him updated with scores. As in "stayed up through all 3 OTs after working 12 hours that day even though I was exhausted". Your ex sounds like the worst woman in the world - good riddance!!

bluzdude said...

See, Brunette, that's why you should run the fashion world. You know quality!

I'm a total non-NASCAR fan, but I've actually been to a race. My company has a car in the Nationwide Series, so I got to go to a race (for free) in Dover. We had a pit pass, so we got a tour of the garage area and watched the race from right behind our pit crew. I couldn't get over all the high-tech equipment. There's a lot of $$ represented there. Unfortunately, the view was pretty shitty. All we could see was one little section of track, with cars whizzing by occasionally. Was like staring at the freeway.

bluzdude said...

Now YOU are a good girlfriend! And your bf must be very happy this morning, what with the Pens winning the series (in OT) last night.

Welcome to D-fish! Hope to see you again!

CrackerLilo said...

Wow, I am now even gladder that I got the wife into NASCAR and she got me into hockey. If anything, our sports have brought us closer. But I always try to see the humor in a situation, and my wife has seen some awful things growing up (yes, literally) in Siberia and therefore has a lot of perspective about smaller problems. Also, we can both sleep right by the TV in the middle of a game or race if we're tired enough--"Wake me up at the end, okay?" It sounds like your ex had none of those qualities.

I laughed out loud at the bit about how her being a New Yorker made her really good at yelling! It's so true! Glad you're not being yelled at anymore.

Annnnnnnd...Pens won the series, finally! And the Sharks won theirs, too! Now we're going to click between Talladega (which is absolutely sacred to me) and the Red Wings/Coyotes game. I'm going to cheer on the Red Wings, which makes me a bad Pens fan but a decent wife. I'm really cheering for her to be happy, of course.

bluzdude said...

Yeah, that really wasn't an earth-shattering problem, now, was it?

The thing that bothered me was that there wasn't anything I could do about it. If we were home, I could have slapped in a video tape and gone to bed. But here, it wasn't just me, it was my Dad and Brother, who are as big of hockey fans as I am. I couldn't ask them to turn off an epic game like that.

Anyway, it's just water under the bridge now.

As for the yelling, let me say this. Future Ex sounded exactly like Carmela Soprano. Coming from the midwest, it was tough to get used to, under the best of circumstances.

And today, as a non-appointed representative of the Penguins Nation, I hereby grant you a waiver to root for the Red Wings, for the sole purpose of seeing your baby happy. (There will be plenty of others rooting for the Coyotes...)

Mary Ann said...

if Norman Rockwell had known your X, he never woulda painted those sappy family dinners with rosy kids and smiling big folks. He would have included a hay haired Harpy scowling over the roast turkey. Or maybe sneaking a beer in the kitchen while pinching her kid.

Mary Ann said...

I think I'm in love with Pasqual DuPuis aka "Duper". Just hope Pgh fans don't mistake that for "Dupa".

bluzdude said...

Mary Ann,
I see you remember her well.

I hope Kris Letang doesn't get jealous over your newfound love for Dupuis! At least Duper can grow a decent beard. I think he gets more hair by 5:00 then Letang gets through an entire series.

Miley said...

oh, you'll be seeing me again LOL
I also took him to see Penn state vs LSU (MY team) as a Christmas present in the capital one bowl. 16 hour drive, but SO worth it!

I'm torn for you, Lilo... I would HATE to have to root for the red wings. Then again, I will still root for PSU in football unless they play LSU again.

bluzdude said...

Aren't you the extravagant girlfriend?

Wasn't that game played in a swamp this year? I vaguely remember a spongy, sloppy turf.

I always root for Penn State too, when they're not playing my team, Ohio State. (yes, yes, I know they kicked our ass in the BCS Championship, but I'm over it.)

Miley said...

Not extravagant - just love my Tigers!

Yes, mudfest 2010. In Orlando, TERRIBLE field conditions. Some idiots decided to re-sod the field 2 weeks prior, not taking into account that there would be rain, and then proceeded to schedule something like 12 HS FB championship games and the citrus bowl within those 2 weeks. Sod never took root and players were literally throwing chunks of field to the side before getting into formation.

Ohio State?

Nice knowin' ya. ;)

bluzdude said...

At least we had 2002!

Miley said...

hahaha, ok, fair enough.

Bachelor Girl said...

I agree with the other commenters - that woman is a nightmare. I don't like sports either, nor do I like being deprived of sleep, but geez Louise, just go to sleep on the floor or something or better yet, go bunk with your mother-in-law. Why waste all that energy being angry about a major sporting event that your husband's watching with his FAMILY???

Never mind the fact that I, personally, would see this as an opportunity for ME. You keep me up all night watching a sport I'm not that into? No big. Just take me shopping tomorrow :) All's fair.

bluzdude said...

Bachelor Girl,
I would have totally been up for a reasonable opportunity to make it up to her. She was pretty much just a giant ball of negative energy for the rest of the trip. Some people just aren’t happy unless they’re not happy.

And again… there was very little I could do about the whole situation.

Loved your New Orleans pics… you should caption your shots though, so we know who’s who.

Sassy said...

lol....way to get 600 miles...haha....that's like driving from New Brunswick to...ummm...the border of ontario and quebec. got distance...

bluzdude said...

Not even a New Yorker can yell that far.