The Long Suffering Husband isn't interested in hockey. Not even a little bit.
He'll watch television in another room while I'm watching hockey. He keeps track of how my favorite team - we're not mentioning the name, because the playoffs loom and I'm afraid of jinxes - is doing by how much I yell.
Getting him to a game is like pulling teeth. (He's a hermit and hates crowds.) Instead, I take Grampy Grumpy, and he brings my sister's two boys. He'd never tell, but he likes spending time with all the grandkids; it's special grampy-grandkids time.
We go to see the local hockey team, because it's more convenient and comfortable. Also, I hate city traffic.
We go two or three times a month. (Between concessions and souvenirs for four children, I don't think my wallet could take it if we went any more often.) Sometimes, I get tickets through work, and sometimes, we buy our own. The Heathenish had his birthday party there a few weeks ago, and he recently expressed the desire to obtain season tickets. I am making in-roads with the kids on the hockey front.
We've hit a road block.
Some of the tickets I get from work are on glass. I prefer to sit in the 200 section, because I can see the entire ice and plays developing. On the glass, it's harder to see the other end of the ice, but the kids - and Grampy - like sitting on the glass, especially when the players get squashed against it like bugs on a windshield. So I get those when I can.
Recently, it went all awry.
I was late, and, when I caught up to Grampy, there were people milling around.
"We're not sure where we're supposed to be," Grampy said, explaining there were two other parties, all of whom had tickets for different ice boxes and none of whom were sure where they were supposed to be sitting.
"What? I don't understand," I said. We sat there all season. However, the seats weren't marked, and there wasn't any signage indicating where the sections were. So we could have been sitting in the wrong seats all season. (I'm a worrier.) Luckily, no one was confrontational or intoxicated, or we might have been in a pickle. We all looked at each other and shrugged.
"I'll go find an usher," I said.
I went to hunt for one. Surely I would find one quickly and not miss any of the game.
I approached guest services. They didn't know. I asked the people at the 50/50 drawing booth. They didn't know. I asked security. He didn't know either.
I went back to consult with Grampy.
"Any luck?" he asked.
"No one knows where these boxes are," he said. "You think they'd mark them."
The concessions I'd bought for my dinner were ice cold. I'd missed 10 minutes of the game. And we still didn't know where we were supposed to be sitting.
I was mad. When the arena manager came by to tell us he didn't know where we were supposed to be sitting either, I told him so. (One of my co-workers was sitting in the 200s. "I know when you're mad," he told me. "And you were moving your hands a lot.")
"I can direct you to someone to give your complaint to," the arena manager said.
By this time, I had missed 15 minutes of a competitive game.
"Good," I said.
So I talked to someone else, who snagged one of the team's higher-ups. So I told it all again - for the 10th time - the seats weren't marked and none of the staff knew where we were supposed to be sitting.
That area was all four boxes, he said.
"So the problem is that everyone showed up this time," he said.
No, the problem was it wasn't marked, none of the staff knew and I wanted my first period of hockey back.
I wasn't getting my first period of hockey back.
They tried accommodating us with a riser to improve our view, but Grampy already a bad taste in his mouth.
"Disorganized," he grumbled and swore not to return.
I need to find a new grampy-grandkid activity.
Maybe we'll try baseball.
(Wallace-Minger, a resident of Weirton, is the community editor of The Weirton Daily Times.)