Take me out to the ball game

September 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

I was riding the 4 train Uptown one evening last month when I was living in the Bronx. There was a Yankee game that night, so the train was pretty packed and I was standing next to a man and a woman who appeared to be on a first date. Now, I love watching any kind of stranger, but watching strangers on a date is pretty much the Mecca of people watching. So I settled into my cozy little spot pressed between the pole, a stroller and a woman’s over-flowing shoulder bag, and began to listen in.

Since we were practically on top of each other, I gave myself full permission to eavesdrop on everything the two people said to each other. The conversation had all the trimmings of a first date – Oh, you live in Hoboken and you work in Midtown? How’s that commute? Who’s your favorite Yankee? Did you listen to the new Kanye/Jay-Z album? Two brothers, you said?

Needless to say, it was one of my more entertaining commutes.

In my head I wished them well as they waddled off the train and into the crowds of people filing into the colossal stadium. I absently wondered if they would end up sleeping together as I continued on my way home.

Tonight, I was leaving the Yankee game, taking the 4 train in the opposite direction (since I no longer live in the Bronx), and noticed that guy I had seen on the date a few weeks back.

When things like this happen, when I somehow cross paths with a complete stranger for the second time in a hugely crowded city, I take a pause to wonder about the order of the universe and other such things that may explain these kinds of “coincidences”. But, as I began existential-izing, I noticed that he was with a girl this time as well. It was a different girl.

He had the same slightly uncomfortable, slightly excited look on his face, and, I kid you not, he was saying some of the exact same things I had heard him say on the uptown train with the other woman. He was on another first date! At another Yankee game!
I giggled, probably louder than I should have.

Admittedly, perhaps the stranger fact here is that I happened to see this perfect stranger in nearly the exact same situation on two completely unrelated occasions, but the questions about that are much too vast and my theories are much too underdeveloped to posit a guess at them here.

So, instead, I am left wondering about first dates.

I get it, some guys love sports, and baseball games are a great first date place. There is just enough action to provide conversation if she turns out to be a dud. Or, the game can be easily ignored if you find out your date is someone you actually like talking to.

And, beer gets delivered to you.

Seems like an ideal place for a super fun and laid back date.

Hell, my parents’ first date was to a baseball game and they’ve been married for 30 years (god bless them).

But, taking multiple people to the same first-date spot seems like it would lose some of its magic. Plus, what if you accidentally call someone by the wrong name? I mean, baseball games and first dates are all kinda the same after a while, so it could get confusing faster than you’d think.

Maybe I’m being too harsh, though. I mean, I guess we’re bound to run out of options for good first date spots the longer we stay on the “scene”. And, it’s not like dinner and a bottle of wine, even if you change up the restaurant and the kind of wine, is all that different or interesting.

Is the alternative to keep a rotating list of first date spots? You could then create a schedule and set a limit as to how many times you can repeat the date spot. Then, you could document which dates went the best at which locations and determine those locations you’d like to continue taking dates to, and those you need to cross off the list with a black Sharpie. You can create a ranking system to cut down on clerical work, maybe introduce some color-coding into the mix…

Or, maybe a go-to first date spot isn’t such a bad idea?


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