Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In which I make a rare departure from commenting solely on Hofstra sports to wish my wife a happy anniversary

The most momentous day in Defiantly Dutch history occurred exactly 14 years ago tonight, and it had nothing to do with sports on campus. I was pacing around my tiny corner dorm room at Vander Poel Hall, watching this thing that used to show music videos and looking for decent clothes to wear for an impending first date, when Weezer’s “Buddy Holly” appeared on my screen.

And at that moment, I thought to myself, holy smokes, this might be my last first date ever. I might end up marrying that really cute news writer from The Chronicle named Michelle.

Sure, the bolt of lightning should have hit me while I was listening to something terribly cheesy, like this. But for some reason, the unabashed ebullience of the “Buddy Holly” song and video—the best and most brilliant video ever made, in my modest opinion—summed up how I was already feeling about Michelle.

I mean, geez, she liked sports as much as me. Our unofficial introduction occurred when she won the weekly football pool at the office and I grouched about how I couldn’t believe I lost to a girl. And our unofficial first date was the result of a bet: I bet my favorite NFL team, the then-godawful Tampa Bay Buccaneers, would cover the spread against the equally crappy Seattle Seahawks. The loser had to buy the winner lunch at the Student Center. A girl who understood gambling? Sign me up!

She thought Jay Wright was really cute, but found the beauty in the subtle games of Darius Burton and Jason Hernandez. She thought spending Arctic-type “spring” afternoons watching the Hofstra baseball team was a great idea, not a sign she should immediately dump me. She agreed that going to North Carolina to see Hofstra play UCLA in 2001 was something we had to do, even though I was unemployed and she was in grad school.

She doesn’t wonder why I spend so much time playing fantasy sports, she’s the competition. She’s the yin to my yang, the one who sat sadly silent on Selection Sunday 2006, opening her mouth only to say how bad she felt for the Flying Dutchmen, while I unleashed a stream of profanity that would make Eddie Murphy, circa 1983, blush.

Her favorite baseball player is Derek Jeter. I think he’s hilariously overrated, and love her anyway.

I’d like to sit here and tell you I took her to a five-star restaurant and then the opera 14 years ago tonight, but that’d be a lie. Like thousands of young Long Islanders doing the mating dance, we went out for pizza and then went bowling, and I managed to get through the night without my heart exploding out of my chest.

A month later, she met my best friends from back home. During the first minute or so in the car on the way back from Long Island, something along the line of “She’s the one, Beach” tumbled out of their mouths. But the words I remember most came from Chronicle editor-in-chief Jeff.

“Don’t screw this one up,” he said.

I like to think I didn’t. Happy anniversary, dear. Hanging out with Sully Ray is fun, but I’d still rather sit next to you at basketball games.

Email Jerry at defiantlydutch@yahoo.com.

1 comment:

Cake Sitter said...

Though it (amazingly) did not seem to hurt my case, thank God you didn't play "Bring Da Ruckus."

Congrats, Beaches.