I woke up and checked the weather forecast on-line. The most favorable reports called for thunderstorms starting around 3:30, when Jackie and I were scheduled to set up for our Nationals Ladies Day event. Ugh. I refreshed my screen, hoping for better news. Same thing. Rain. Thunderstorms. At least there were no tornado warnings, like the day before. But who wudda thunk it? The event went off without a hitch. We felt charmed, as did the event organizers, our new best friends.
Early in the day we decided to make the best of what everyone was telling us was quickly turning into a bad weather situation. Jackie read that the rained-out Nats game from the previous, stormy night was scheduled for 1PM. Heck, we thought, it was such a beautiful day “let’s watch two!” (as paraphrased from Ernie Banks). We rushed around my dad’s house, got ourselves together and missed the shuttle to the subway. So we leaned on my dad to drive us, which he kindly did. A father’s work is never done, is it? So we leaned on my dad to drive us, which he kindly did. A father’s work is never done, is it?… As the subway shot us underneath all the museums, statues and monuments, I felt badly for Jackie who, again, hadn’t seen D.C. for twenty years. Guess this just wasn’t her day, either. First I take the window seat on the airplane . . . now this. How long can I keep the city a secret from her? From my dad’s pad in Rockville, it took us 40 minutes to make it down to the ballpark via the “Metro” – or, the “subway.” It was so cool to walk out from the tunnel to see the entrance to the Nats centerfield only a block away.
We discussed how we were going to be all ballsy and scalp tickets again, a la our glorious experience in Philly. Here we were, poised to scalp. We were cocky. We were prepared. We counted our cash. We went in. What? No scalpers? What kind of bush-league outfit are they running, here? OK, OK, I didn’t really mean that, you know, being a native Washingtonian, myself. But… really! So we bought tickets at the box office. B-O-R-I-N-G.
Since the game was a quickie rain ticket, the stadium was empty and Jackie and I just walked around and around, never making it to our $18 seats. Again, as in Philly, we were amazed that they served booze in the ballpark. We bought some items at the team store, namely a Teddy Roosevelt doll for my daughter (to accompany the Philly Phanatic doll I got my son earlier in the week).
After the Nationals lost the first game, we found our table and began setting up. My dad and stepmom, Marion, were on-hand bringing around our supplies and taking some pictures. We ducked into the port-o-potties and got ourselves presentable which is really pretty difficult in a port-o-potty that has been stuck sucking up ninety degree heat all day. I’m not sure that we succeeded because while a rep for Mary Kay Cosmetics – a vendor booth near ours – was talking to us she said she couldn’t “stand to watch” us put on our makeup and just had to walk away. However, they kept checking on us, telling us to stop by. Yikes. I didn’t think we looked that bad.
The day was wonderful. The Nationals event planners had it all figured out (or at least it seemed as much). We have been working with them for a long time and Bree, Katherine, Christine and Sydney had things working like clockwork. I even wrote an article for the Nationals June/July program. It is about women fans and the sordid history that is the backdrop to any Ladies Day event (click for .pdf article.)
As often as we’ve done this sort of thing, we still get excited at the hundreds of people starting to line-up to get into the event. It was Ryan Zimmerman bobblehead night and the check-in table was filled with bobbleheads for the Ladies Nights attendees – men and women – to grab. Attractions were a wine bar, jewelry sales, massage chairs, a fun lingerie line called Slumber Party and, as you know, Mary Kay. All the vendors were supportive and fun as they walked around before the event checking out the wares others had to offer. Good Party!
Dad and Marion were in charge with helping us keep track of what we were doing, whether it was getting us drinks, snapping photos or making change for people buying our books. The DJ was spinning some fine tunes as the party of 600 or so danced under a tent by the first base entrance. Even the mascots made an appearance – two of the presidents (Teddy and I think it was George, though he looked like Thomas Jefferson – Abe is easy to pick out) and Screech, the bald eagle – were out whooping it up..
Afterward, Jackie and slipped into our own post-event coma with a couple amazing tickets in the Nats “Diamond Club.” We had a couple drinks, a hot dog and some good conversation, though, mainly, I was staring at a point somewhere in centerfield. Glad I snapped to it when Elijah Dukes (of an anger-management post I wrote a year ago, among other things…) hit the walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th.
Not only was the event a huge success for us and for the Nationals, it was a great deal of fun. And not a drop of rain. Who wudda thunk it?