Wednesday, February 12, 2014

#369 Are You Read For Some Football? -- Episode Two (Ft. Lauderdale)

November 30, 2013

One of my good friends lives in Ft. Lauderdale.  I met Tammy in high school at the Purdue University women’s basketball camp in 1984 or 1985.  We reconnected when I played on an Athletes In Action team based in Cincinnati and I stayed at her house.  We didn’t know the other was going to be on the team, so it was a nice surprise to see each other again. 

Fast forward almost 30 years and she is now living in Ft. Lauderdale.  Her birthday was coming up and she invited me to visit for her party.  I hadn’t been to see her in maybe 10 years.  Florida in November?  Yes, please!  The party was weekend after Thanksgiving.  After I booked my trip I realized that the Iron Bowl (Auburn vs. Alabama) was that Saturday – the day of her party.  Not that that would have precluded me from going, but when I realized the game was that day I had a small panic attack.  You see, Tammy does not have cable. 

Luckily the game was on CBS and was I relieved that I could stream it on  I came prepared with a laptop and wireless hot spot.  Priorities! 

I flew in that Saturday and spent the afternoon helping her and her boyfriend get ready for the party, which was held at the covered patio area by the pool.  I had my little corner spot for my laptop and was ready for game time. 

The party was a mix of mostly men and a few women.  You would think that the men would have been equally as interested to watch the game as I was.  That was not the case, as most of the men at her party were gay.  And her boyfriend had no interest.  There was one man wearing an Oregon sweatshirt who was excited I had the game on.  We became fast friends. 
The game started at the same time as the party.  I did talk to people and did my best to interact and be social, but I was still pretty focused on the game. 

And what a game it was.  Very close.  Down to the last second.  Which the Alabama coach fought to have added back on the clock.  The score was tied.  If you didn’t hear about it, the Alabama kicker then missed the field goal and the Auburn player ran it back 109 yards with NO TIME on the clock for the winning touchdown.  Unbelievable!! 

By this time the party had wound down and the remaining people had moved up to Tammy’s condo.  One gay guy couple, a couple of Tammy’s women friends, Tammy and me.  A the very last play everyone was crowded around my laptop and they watched me go bananas.  One of the guys said, “Well, that WAS exciting, wasn’t it?”  Hilarious!  I felt like I was on an episode of Will and Grace. 

Tammy’s boyfriend had left before the end of the game to take his daughter home (she lives with his ex-wife).  After he returned, he asked me who won.  I went into detail about the last play and he stopped me and said, “That means nothing to me.  Who won?”  Really??!!  You’re a heterosexual male and you don’t know what I’m talking about?  Missed field goal?  Ran it back 100+ yards for a touchdown?  Are you mental?  Whatever.  Auburn won!  War Eagle!

The remainder of my stay was very eventful.  We drove to the Everglades Sunday and rode mountain bikes along a 14-mile trail in Shark Valley.  It rained the entire drive but was sunny during our bike ride.  Luckily Tammy is close to my height and the bike was a pretty good fit for a short ride.  She told me I didn’t need a helmet but I brought my own to wear.  Safety first! 
Speaking of safety, we rode really close to lots of alligators sunning themselves along the trail.  It was very unnerving.  The trail is one way so when I spotted one I would ride as far as I could on the opposite side of the trail.  It’s crazy how close they were.  We stopped several times to take photos and I always expected them to come after me.  Their inactive time is during the day when it’s hot.  We also did an airboat tour through the everglades.  So cool!  You’re just floating through the grass.  After the half-an-hour ride we watched an alligator show and I even held a baby.  I jokingly acted like I was going to kiss it and the guide warned me to stop.  Like I would really kiss an alligator…

Monday I accompanied Tammy to one of her yoga classes.  She teaches at a couple places.  It was an hour-and-a half-class…and no one else showed up so I had a private class.  We had this giant studio all to ourselves.  She is a great teacher and we had a fun time.  Felt wonderful afterward.  She had another class so I met a mutual friend for a walk and lunch.  I met Barry in New York City when Tammy met my friends and me around 14 years ago.  He’s pretty much been a confirmed bachelor and surprised us all earlier this year when we found out he’d gotten married!  We had lots of laughs and got a long walk in along the beach sidewalk. 

Tuesday I headed home – and, of course, the sun was shining brightly on the drive to the airport.  It rained or was overcast most of the time I was there.  At least it was in the 70s.  It was wonderful to catch up with an “old” friend in person.  I need to not let so much time pass between my next visit!  Happy Birthday Tammy! 


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