Sunday, July 20, 2014

Let's go Giants

It’s game day and the Huffmans are wearing their best combination of orange and black.
To celebrate our girl turning 20, my husband bought tickets to take the girls to a Giants game at AT&T Park.
I’ll go too, I say, to his surprise. The last time I went to a Giants game was 14 years ago, when the stadium opened.
But with College Girl home for a few short days, I don’t want to miss out on any mother-daughter time. Even if it’s her, me and 41,541 other people.
Ready to cheer on his team, my husband has on orange shorts, a black Day of the Dead print shirt and Giants hat. College Girl is wearing an orange Giants headband, Giants uniform jersey with “Posey 28” written on the back, black leggings and black Converse high-tops. She also carries a giant orange foam finger.
I’m wearing a plain orange T-shirt. I think I need to step it up a bit in the team spirit category.
Arriving at AT&T Park, we are immediately caught up in a swirl of thousands of other orange and black-clad people moving very quickly toward the entrance gates. Inside, we head up multiple ramps, higher and higher until we pop out at the top level of the stadium.
I learn that it’s bad baseball manners to find your seat when someone’s at bat, so we wait in a holding pattern at the entrance tunnel before the usher gives us the nod and we dash up the aisle. Our seats are at the top. The very top. Like small aircraft altitude. The rows are so steep I gulp as I look down, wondering how easy it’d be to just topple right over the edge onto first base.
My husband and the girls immediately announce an expedition in search of a specific vendor’s calamari stand but I’m happy to just get acclimated at my new perch and people watch.
A few rows below me, a man heads up the steep stairs precariously balancing two beers filled to the brim. I am sure he will spill them. He does not.
One couple get to their seats by climbing up and over empty seats like mountain goats.
I watch enviously as a group of fans pass a box of gourmet mini cupcakes back and forth. Why didn’t I think of that?
A woman two rows over wears a sparkly Giants tank top, Giants flip-flops and Giants stick-on tattoos under her eyes. I make a mental note to shop for a better Giants shirt at halftime, then remember there is no halftime in baseball.
Between one inning, a “kiss cam” puts seatmates on the spot. Some kiss cam couples give each other a PG-rated peck but the stadium goes nuts when one pair smooches dramatically. Another camera keeps going back to a dancing grandma wildly waving streamers. The crowd loves her.
During the game, everyone claps in perfect synchronization to certain songs. I catch onto the clap-clap-clap end of the “Let’s Go Giants” chant but a longer, more complicated clapping routine has me stumped until about the eighth inning. Then finally I get it. It’s the intro from “Car Wash.”
I’ve mastered all the clapping songs, I tell my husband, when he and the girls finally return with calamari, hot dogs and a soda in a big plastic Giants cup.
Now I just need a better T-shirt.

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