How odd it is to type that sentence. The big event has been a headache as venues and expenses and dresses and menus are considered and rejected and fretted over and wondered about. She's not looking to be the center of attention.... which is a problem when you are the bride.... and he wants everyone they love to be there and celebrate with them.... and everything costs more money than is reasonable to spend for one evening's entertainment when there's a house to be purchased and a life to be planned.
But this morning was different. This morning was fun. Thanks to Major League Baseball the subject was exciting and giggle-filled and, for a moment, until it wasn't, it was solving a problem in a way that would put a smile on everyone's face.
I'm getting ahead of myself, though. I haven't told you how MLB became involved in party planning.
My inbox is filled with emails from the Department of Justice and the Pima County Attorney's Office. Usually they are telling me of a rescheduled hearing, or reminding me where to send my uncovered bills for payment. The events to which I am invited are usually memorials or ceremonies or medal bestowings. They honor the worthy souls who did good deeds. They make me sad.
But Friday's inbox had a different kind of message. Forwarded from The Office of The Commissioner, TBG and I received an invitation to MLB's All-Star Game. For me, it was a perfectly worded note:
Like all Americans, I have been touched by the manner in which you have valiantly responded to the tragedy in Tucson last January. You have embodied the American spirit with courage and dignity in the face of such trying hardships, and you have my utmost admiration.Well, now.... Bud Selig thinks I am special. I've never been admired by a Commissioner before. I'm thrilled that he thinks that I have been valiant and courageous and dignified, because those are the things that I've wanted to be. I've wanted to avoid self-pity and ungainly falls and to show strength and determination and I guess if a total stranger can see it I must be demonstrating it somehow. Still, it's nice - very very nice - to see it in print.
Mr. Selig goes on to talk about the spirit of America, and his
great hope that the American way will echo at Chase Field in Phoenix on July 12th...when TBG and I will be sitting in the seats next to the National League dugout.
And this is where my notoriety and wedding planning and MLB collide. Little Cuter and SIR are die-hard Cubs fans. They are the only couple on Facebook whose mothers both displayed profile picture of themselves clad in Cubbie's gear, I am sure. They each brought a life-time's obsession with the team to their relationship, and the confluence of these two streams of familial loyalty and a lover to share in it have only fueled their passion.
My brain went into overdrive - could she kidnap him and marry him in public? Was I overstepping my good-mother-in-law-ness boundaries by suggesting this as an option? Would it seem heavy handed? Would they be thrilled? I brought up the subject of our invitation in my first email of the day and within 3 seconds the phone rang.
"Jealous!!!" was her only comment and then we three shook our heads once again at the amazing consequences of my getting shot. The President and First Lady are still at the top of our list, but being introduced at the All Star Game is pretty impressive, too. Rocking out with musicians from my past impressed me more than it did her, apparently. The fact of this game and our proximity to the NL dugout and potential autographs and being up-close and personal to the field, sitting on the first base line, well, it was just more than her heart could contain.
Given her receptive mood, I seized the moment and wondered aloud if she thought SIR would enjoy having his ceremony on the roof of that dugout. After reiterating the fact that starting her marriage with a ruse might not be the way to insure future bliss, she got into the swing of things as we imagined and planned and TBG rolled his eyes.
The National League dugout - where the Cubbies' players chosen for the team will be resting between at bats and fielding. How perfect would that be? And, we would be rid of all the planning and worrying and searching and agreeing that would be needed if the wedding were anything more normal than this.
We weren't being serious as we discussed outfits and the obtaining of rings and whether they would be back at work on Wednesday morning and then suddenly we were quite serious and I was deputized to contact MLB and see what might be done.
TBG thought we were nuts, but she and I knew we'd kick ourselves forever if the question were not asked. So, I left a much-too-long message on the answering machine of MLB's Senior VP for Special Events (no regular ordinary VP for me, it seems!) and followed up with an email asking if the kids could fly down and tie the knot in front of the zillions of baseball fans who've tuned in to see their favorite players vie for home field advantage at the World Series.
No pressure. I knew it was last minute. Eloping to the All Star Game appeals to the groom and the bride will, as I said, do just about anything to avoid being the center of attention just for being pretty in white. She would
allow a worldwide audience to demonstrate its solidarity and support,as Commissioner Selig promises, and I can't think of a better way to start off a marriage than with an international audience wishing you well. After all, the engagement was announced on national television (fast forward to minute 4:06); why shouldn't the wedding be an even bigger event?
TBG went off to the gym and I was alone when, 20 minutes after I'd hit Send, my Senior VP was back in my inbox, apologizing for the fact that we couldn't use their venue to hold our event but that the kids were welcome to come to the game. "Just let me know" she said, and I felt that familiar rush of warmth enveloping my heart as I felt the love.
She didn't know me until yesterday. She offered me a gift and I responded by trying to grab for more. I was outrageous and presumptuous and a mother in love with her daughter and my Senior VP knew it and understood it and let me down gently. Yes, she was demonstrating (her) solidarity and support, even if she couldn't let the kids walk down the aisle... okay, jump up on the dugout..... and get hitched.
Commissioner Selig wrote that
the All-Star game is a celebration not only of our national pasttime, but - far more importantly - of the American spirit, which has risen up in the wake of this tragedyand I couldn't agree with him more. There's a generosity in the American psyche that seems to need to do good, to share the things we have with those who might enjoy them, to celebrate resilience and love and civic engagement.
It's nice to have MLB in my corner, too.