Mike and I both went to the same university. We didn’t meet there, and in fact only had one year of overlapping attendance. I’m full of school pride and spirit and all that, while Mike…isn’t. He was in Film School. That should explain it all.
I am into college football in a major way, and so are all of our friends and family. We are those really insane people that tailgate all day long, bringing TVs and satellite dishes and the whole nine yards to football games. We go big. Mike, being an agreeable guy, gets dragged along with us. He likes to go to the tailgates for the food and booze, the drinking games (OH, the games we have), and the people. The football? Not so much. He’s more of a baseball guy.
In 2005, I was looking forward to the fall football season even more than usual. I’d just moved back to California from NYC and I was very excited to tailgate again. Our college stadium was one of the last to ban the sale of alcohol inside the stadium, and 2005 was the first year booze wasn’t going to be available. The school president said this was to prevent drunken fights and disorderly conduct. Anyone with half a brain knew that people would just drink WAY more before the game started, getting more smashed than anyone ever needs to be.
The first football Saturday was met with much excitement from me, and much remorse from Mike. He was in the middle of an intense Masters program, and he had class from 8am to 5pm the day of the game. Luckily, kick off was at 7pm, so he would still be able to make the game, although he’d miss all of the tailgating. I promised to save him food, and I secretly packed him some of his favorite Belgian beer – beer with twice as much alcohol as domestic lager.
Luckily for Mike, his class let out a bit early, and he was at our tailgate by 5:30. We all had saved him TONS of food. I gave him the chicken teriyaki I’d made, Derek gave him a spicy bratwurst, Woodsy gave him some carne asada. As he scarfed down the food, he kept saying, “how much longer until we go in?” He knew there wasn’t a lot of time until we had to join the masses of people making their way into the coliseum.
I showed him where our cooler was, and then I got distracted by something shiny. The next thing I knew, an hour had gone by and Mike…well, let’s go over everything he’d consumed.
Four Belgian Beers
“A few” tequila shots – I assume that means three or more
At least one Bud Light (that I saw) during a shotgun contest
Chicken teriyaki, a spicy brat, and carne asada
For some reason, I wasn’t alarmed. Mike seemed improbably sober, but I chalked it up to his iron stomach. We joined the masses waiting to be searched (no rogue flasks allowed!) before entering the coliseum.
I was scanning the crowd for the shortest line, while Mike and our friend Matt were walking behind me. Suddenly, Matt grabbed the back of my shirt. “Mike doesn’t look so hot,” he said, pointing. I looked at Mike, who had frozen in his tracks. He looked grayer than the Seattle sky. I knew at that point he was going to barf, it was just a question of when. I said to him, “can you hold it in until we’re inside the gates?” Probably not my most caring moment, but if he barfed outside, we were never going to get let in. Luckily, his color came back and he said he’d be fine.
After we went through the inspection point, we had to wait in the line of people getting their tickets scanned. Suddenly, I felt a shove from behind, and I turned to see Mike sprinting from the queue. He pushed all the skinny freshmen out of his way, then proceeded to projectile vomit all over the ivy-covered fence. People started screaming in terror and disgust. I may have been one of them.
At that point, I was struck with a dilemma – be the caring, supportive girlfriend, or stand back so the puke couldn’t splash my feet. I chose the former, and walked over to pat him on the back while he retched. I looked down, trying not to make eye contact with anyone. In between heaves, Mike would yell out things like, “They don’t sell alcohol inside anymore!” or “I’ve only been here an HOUR!” He did a great job defending his honor.
When he was done puking, he turned to me, wiped his mouth, and exclaimed, “Let’s go watch some football!!” The look of pride on his face…I’d never been so in love. Maddie gave me the same look this morning right after she threw up all over my work clothes. Somehow, Mike not only managed to convince me to marry him, but he even convinced me to have his delightful, vomiting child! They both love a good puke and rally.
Mike’s other day job (you know, besides being a Maddie Daddy) is writing. Some of you may have clicked the link for his baseball blog, but he has another blog, too. It’s called The Newborn Identity, and he writes about life with Maddie. It’s pretty new, so he could use some feedback. Go over there and give him some love – and tell him to lay off the spicy bratwursts.