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Friday, November 7, 2014

“IS THAT YOUR WIFE STUCK ON THE CHAINLINK FENCE?”

 My husband once said to me that every day married to me is an Adventure.  After 18 years, I’m finally getting what he means.  There I was, last weekend, stuck like a Flat Stanley on a chainlink fence outside of Eastside High School in Patterson, NJ, praying no one would see me.  Of course, that’s when my husband walked by.  He looked at me.  I looked at him.  No words were exchanged but I was starting to understand what he meant about the Adventure part.

            It all started out so innocently and, like most of my adventures, involved the Student Ambassadors.  Christian, my oldest son, had an away game at Eastside High School in Patterson, NJ, a town I had never heard of.  The way it works is Anthony and Christian go down our high school, Don Bosco Prep, in Ramsey, NJ early, so Christian can get the Team bus.  I go later, so Michael can sleep in.
            “Listen,” said my husband, “I don’t like you going down to Patterson, NJ by yourself, it’s dangerous.”
            “No worries, honey,” I said cheerfully, “I’m from Newburgh!”
            “You are from Fishkill,” my husband said, “and we only technically live in Newburgh. There’s a stream in our backyard and your biggest worry is that the woodpeckers are going to peck our wooden house to death.”
            “Don’t forget,” I said, “I am in the City of Newburgh all the time!”
            “You are,” he admitted, “and you drive with a kayak paddle which you consider to be a ‘weapon’.  Which it would be if you were attacked by a giant salmon.  Listen, I just want you to bring one of The Boys with you when you go to Patteron.”
            He was in luck, it so happened that The Boys (my rowing kids, the Student Ambassadors who have become like family over the past 4 years) were coming with me to Christian’s game, and then we were all heading over to watch Soup play in his varsity football playoff game for the Harvey School. 
            Saturday morning rolled around and Kelvin and Keyrell showed up at 8 am and we hit the road.  It was raining cats and dogs.  As we got into Patterson, we started looking around to see if it was worse than Newburgh.  “Definitely not worse than Newburgh,” we collectively agreed.
            We always make a pit stop before we get to the game so I can use the facilities and get coffee and the boys can get their Monster Energy drinks.  We chose a place that kind of looked like it would fit the bill.  We tried to get in the door but it was double-locked and bolted from the inside.  Kelvin knocked on the glass which he declared to be “Bullet-proof” (how does a 16-year-old know these things?).  The woman inside was clearly startled and started yelling at us to “Get Out!  Go Home, Go home now!” 
            “No, no,” I said, “we are friendly, we just want to buy snacks.”  I tried to look open and friendly as I had been taught in my Dale Carnegie course so many years ago.  She looked dubious.  Kelvin held up a $20 bill.  She started un-bolting the door. 
            “That was weird,” I said to the kids afterward.  “Obviously, she gets robbed a lot,” the kids explained to me.  Again, how do they know these things?  I felt really bad for the little old lady bolting herself up behind bullet proof glass and started to re-think the whole Patterson’s not so bad thing.
            We were almost to the high school when I turned onto a one-way street only to find the entire street was being taken up by a flat bed truck.  The driver of the truck was using a device to jimmy open the door of a car parked on the street.  “Well, what in White Christmas is going on here?” I wondered out loud.  “That’s a repo, Mrs. Lo,” the kids explained. 
            “Like a repossession of a car?”  I said.  “That sounds time consuming.”
            “Plus there’s about to be a lot of shouting.  And maybe shots fired,” said the kids.  Again, I did not ask how they knew such a thing but I doubted it was from watching Criminal Minds.
            “I got this, Mrs. Lo,” said Kelvin, “this guy is Spanish.”  And before I could say Don’t You Dare Get Out of This Vehicle, Kelvin had already gotten out, talked to the guy in Spanish and the dude was moving his flatbed truck. 
            Then things seemed to look up.  Our GPS took us right to what seemed to be the football field AND there was an open parking spot on the street.  We got out, in the pouring rain, only to find that we were staring at a chain link fence, with the football field right beyond it.  I’m not going to lie, we do climb chain link fences from time to time.  Not to trespass of course, but it is a short cut in urban areas.  The only problem is, I can climb up the fence but then I get scared going over the top, so the kids have to climb up next to me and help me over the top. I could hear the game in progress and I wanted to see my son on the field.
            “OK, let’s go,” I said, and I started to climb the fence.  Of course I didn’t have my little white Puma sneakers on, which are perfect for scaling fences.  I had my UGG rainboots on, which are basically the LLBean duckboots of the 80’s but overpriced.  They are also the worst thing to wear if you are trying to climb a fence in the pouring rain in Patterson, NJ to get to your son’s football game. 
Yup, I was stuck.  AND the boys weren’t following me.  I wondered why.  Aloud.
            “Um, Mrs. Lo,” said the kids, “the first thing you do before going over a fence is look up.”  I looked up.  Holy ((CENSORED)).  This high school had BARBED WIRE at the top of their 8 foot chain link fence.  And I was stuck on it.  Really stuck. The kids were working on trying to get my boots unstuck and I was thinking really unkind thoughts about Patterson, NJ.  I was thinking I wasn’t really sure how things could get worse at this moment.
            “Hey, Anthony,” I heard one of the football parents call out, “Is that your wife stuck in the chain link fence over there?” 
            All of life is about timing.  And that day, my timing sucked.
            And then it hit me.  Why being married to me is such an Adventure.  I looked up and met my dear husband’s crystal blue eyes.  Was he mortified?  Worried?  Annoyed?  None of the above.  He was laughing. 
“Yes, yes,” he said, “that’s her, that’s my wife stuck in the fence.”  And he came over and rescued me.
            We missed quite a bit of the football game.  But we got to see Jarrett, from Bishop Dunn, our old school, get a touchdown carry.  And Don Bosco won 35-0.  We collected Christian and headed out to Soup’s playoff game. 
            As we were heading out, my husband came over to the driver’s side and said to me, “Good thing you had your kayak paddle, honey.” 
            A marriage, a partnership, a family, your Life should be an Adventure.  Because, really, who wants to play it safe all the time?
            Have a great day, everyone, and as always, remember to Count Your Blessings! <3 Mrs. Lo -- CHECK OUT MY NEW BLOG WEBSITE www.LoBiondo.org.  Also, visit our community page on Facebook www.Facebook.com/LoBiondoLaw 
P.S. The Harvey School won their game against NYMA and advanced to the next round of the playoffs.