Saturday, February 13, 2010

Concessions and Valentine's Day

Wife and I worked at the basketball concession stand last night. At Younger Son's high school, the athletes' parents work the concession stands and, generally, you get to work at games for sports your child does not play. Since Younger Son is a football player, we usually do basketball games or wrestling tournaments. That way, of course, we don't miss any of the action when Younger son is on the field.

It's a great system and, call me weird, but I really enjoy working the concession stand. I like working with the other parents and I just have a blast talking to the people who come and buy stuff. It's big business, too, and we're always busy. Last night we worked a girls' and boys' game against our cross-town rival so there was hardly a lull in activity.

The offerings are simple -- popcorn, soft drinks, bottled water and sports drinks, burgers, hot dogs, pizza , nachos and assorted candy bars. The menu is prominently displayed but, inevitably, people come up and ask, "What do you have?" and, "How much is so-and-so?" when it's all posted right in front of them. And of course they love to try and custom order things as if we have a chef in the back room. I'm patient with all of that, though, being one who often misses the forest for the trees myself.

I also enjoy handling the money. As a mild anal-retentive, I like lining it all up in the cash box, all face-up, where the presidents' heads point the same direction. OK so I'm easily amused.

Before we went, Wife told me she does not enjoy it as much as I do. She says she feels a bit inadequate. This is a woman who, among her notable attributes owns a business, has raised three children and can whip up a meal for two or twenty-two on a few moments' notice. And the high school concession stand stresses her out?!

And this little exchange led, of course, to the age-old conversation that Wife and I have had for nearly 26 years now, about how, when she shares something that she is feeling, it is not my responsibility to try and tell her why she shouldn't be feeling that way. Quite the contrary, in fact. She is not wanting me to try and help her be rational or help the feelings go away. She needs me to listen and understand. I guess you might be thinking I would have learned this by now.

I'll keep trying.


I'll tell you this, though. I am way smarter than the husband of one of Wife's friends who told his wife he "doesn't believe in Valentine's Day."

Doesn't "believe" in Valentine's Day?! As if what he believes has anything at all to do with the fact that he, forthwith, needs to get himself to the grocery store florist (just like I did this morning) where flowers are very reasonably priced. By tonight, although they might be picked over a bit, they might even be marked down.

I wouldn't risk waiting until tomorrow morning, though, when so many other dumb schmucks will be hovering over the blooms that are left. That will be way too obvious and probably a little late to redeem himself from saying something so stupid.

But seriously, man. Don't try to argue your way out of Valentine's Day. The card makers and florists are way ahead of you and they have deeper pockets. Just go with it.


Kelly said...

You're a good man, Bob (in many ways). I never liked working concession, though I do share your need to line up money as you described. I have many OCD traits in addition to being a bit anal-retentive.

As for Valentine's Day, *sigh*, I'm afraid I'm no more of a romantic than my husband is (and he's not!). I informed him early in the week that all I had for him was a card and that was all I required in return. At least I included Sonic giftcards in the Valentines I sent to our kids and granddaughter.

Hal Johnson said...

"She is not wanting me to try and help her be rational or help the feelings go away. She needs me to listen and understand. I guess you might be thinking I would have learned this by now."

Learned what? Har!

Debby said...

Tim and I don't 'do' Valentine's Day the traditional way. We exchange cards and spend the day with each other, relaxing. Usually we're doing something. It will be nice to just sprawl lazily.

Pam said...

There were swarms of dumb schmucks
at Wal-Mart and Kroger this morning! LOL!

"mildly-anal"??? lined up bills with heads facing in the same direction?? hmmmm... perhaps more than mildly or moderately, but less that totally. How about just "anal"? :)

Speaking as one who is moderately to severely.....

Bob said...

Yes Pam, it is more than mild. But it manifests itself in different ways; I can still keep a messy closet and not be bothered. But the bills have to line up, even in my wallet.

Yes I had to go get milk to have with the red velvet cake Wife made and there they were, the frantic and panicked ones.

Kelly and Debby: you are both "doing" Valentine's Day if you got each other cards. We usually don't do much more than that either but I decided yesterday I could spring for some flowers with which you can never go wrong. And I would never say I don't "believe!"

As I have written here before, we got engaged on V-Day -- 26 years ago today!

quid said...

Funny, funny piece, and so damn human. Loved reading it, Bob.