"Ready to head back to the sewer?" Penny asked. I nodded my consent. "The sewer" is what we affectionately call the outfield seats at Sunlife Stadium. We never really know where we are at Sunlife. We always park in the wrong section, have to walk a millionty miles to our seats, forget what gate we came in through and then lose our car and walk around like losers pressing the panic button, hoping we'll eventually stumble across it.
It never fails.
Basically, to get to the sewer, you walk, walk some more, and walk past all the concession stands to where no food exists. Penny often jokes that the best part of the sewer is that we're the best looking girls there.
"Hey, I thought maybe we were getting close to the sewer 'cause that man was oogling me. But then I realized he was just looking at my fries."
"Maybe that's 'cause you're holding your fries right next to your boobs," Penny suggested.
I giggled as I noticed how I was holding my corn dog and basket of fries. Whoops.
We eventually made it over to our section. I will never tire of the that first step into the stadium. The sun was particularly bright for this Saturday afternoon game, a rarity in the Marlins schedule. It's always beautiful, in a fresh air, deep breath kind of way. I followed behind Penny as we found our seats.
"See any little boys with whistles?" Penny asked.
I laughed at the memory as we dug into our food, talked about our previous games that season and how hot a 4pm baseball game turned out to be. I felt my vanilla cupcake lotion melting off of me. Penny was turning bright pink and freckles had magically appeared on her face. The game hadn't even started yet.
Down below, a man stood up in the first row. His grandmother-type-woman was a row up and taking a picture of him with the field in the background. I watched him for a second, noting that he was smiling really hard. So hard, in fact, that he lifted his shoulders to his ears every time he smiled. That had the added bonus of placing his clasped hands just at penis level in front of him.
I tapped Penny.
"What is he doing?" I asked motioning to the man.
"I dunno, dawgs but... that's not it. Why is he smiling like that?"
"Say cheese and hold your wood!" I said, probably a little too loudly. Penny and I giggled into the first inning. I'm not really sure what happened in the first inning, though, because we were melting. The outfield was completely exposed to the sun with not a bit of shade anywhere in the sections near us.
"Hey, uh, we can leave after the first inning and go find new seats," I told Penny. She looked relieved.
Five minutes later: "Hey, uh, we can go now and find new seats."
And we did. We'd spent about $10 on the sewer seats and were now making our way toward the first base side. Penny and I aren't stealth to save our lives. We kept looking around all shiftily, trying to see if anyone noticed the two short girls trying to steal better seats.
Even as we managed to walk in and sit down in the shade in a better section, we felt like total rebels.
"Everyone knows! They are all looking at us," Penny said between gritted teeth. It took an inning or two before we calmed down and enjoyed the game.
And the cute little baby in front of us who kept waving and smiling at us. One time she kept staring at me though, so I turned to Penny and said, "She's grilling me, yo!" except, again, probably a little too loudly.
"She's jos playin wif chu," her mom said in a heavy accent, after she probably heard what I said.
There was also a guy who would. not. stop. talking. I think all I heard his friend say was, "mmhmm" and "yeah man." Every few minutes, I'd say to Pen, "He's still talking," and we'd both shake our heads in unison.
There was the ugly little girl who kept throwing temper tantrums.
"What if my kid comes out ugly," Penny wondered out loud after we watched the ugly temper girl. "Is there a return policy?"
"Nope. That's not the way it works."
"Will you at least tell me if my kid is ugly," she asked.
"Nope," I answered honestly. "At least not until they are like 18 and moved out of your house. Then I'd be all... look... all those times I would only compliment your kids' clothes? It wasn't really cause I liked their clothes..."
Next time the girl came over to stomp her feet and cry about having to leave the game early, Penny laughed as I stared, the look of disgust clearly on my face.
"Oh, what? Didn't you have a yellow pineapple shirt when you were growing up?" she asked, referring to the tropical shirt tantrum girl was wearing.
"Nope. Or a horse face."
This was the day of the faux-rapture, too. I should really stop making fun of other people's kids. They should really stop having temper tantrums around me, though.
This morning, when I woke up, I reminded myself that I had to log onto Facebook as soon as I got to work. Thankfully, my boss called out of work, so I sat down this morning, and pulled up Penny's Facebook wall. "Dear best Penny of ever," I started.
There were so many things to say. Happy Birthday, of course, as that was the reason for the post. But also, thank you for being the best friend a girl could ever have.
Thank you for making sure that no matter where we go, whether it's just us, or a million other people, we always have a good time.
Thank you for being such a great friend. The just calling to check up on you friend. The email me at work to keep me entertained friend. The I can always count on you friend. The I'm always invited to bum on your couch friend. The understanding my love of sleep and chocolate friend. The I can rant and rave when I'm annoyed and you'll listen and calm me down friend.
I wanted to remind you of everything that's happened in the last year. This time last year, we were sitting at another $8 baseball game. I'd just met Flava Puff for the first time and we'd convinced ourselves that we each needed a tub of cotton candy.
Remember for my birthday we randomly saw a Lady Gaga impersonator? Yeah... I still don't know.
Remember our weekends at the beach, and how you tried to teach me how to draw in the sand but I'm super special and I still couldn't do it?
Remember the baby hood ornament who was riding in his stroller backwards?
Remember when you yelled, "ever feel like you're stuck in a douche sandwich?"
Remember online dating days and I Hate Everything? Do you still owe me for that?
Remember just walking down 72nd Avenue, talking and talking and kind of worried that something might jump out of the bushes? (Maybe even a douche bag...)
Remember when we stayed up at my house until 4am watching YouTube videos and the Gameshow Network?
Remember when you wrote a blog?
Remember when you got mad because I drew you and you said you looked a little phallic?
Remember how you are the skort?
I remember it all. Not really all though because you are the one with the steal trap memory. So you remember it all, and then when we're old and gray, you can tell me all about how I used to make fun of ugly babies and I can outright deny it.
We joke that we've been best friends for 15 years. The truth is that you claim I was mean to you in high school. I don't remember that either.
But, through whatever weird life circumstances, we met again, and were given another chance to be friends. You probably couldn't write up a better fit. It feels like I've known you for 15 years. It feels like you've been around forever.
I wanted to write all this, but Facebook has character limits. So instead I wrote thanks for 15 years of friendship.
Instead I wrote, "say cheese and hold your wood."
I love you forever Penny.
Happy Birthday. :)