This weekend, we celebrated our wedding anniversary…with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
It was a special one – 23 years on the 23rd – so merited a special celebration. Our trip to Minneapolis definitely felt special.
Through my husband’s work, we were offered the chance at courtside seats. I doubt this will ever happen again in our lifetime, but for a few short hours, we were treated VIP style at a professional sporting event.
We traveled with Troy’s co-worker and wife, Joel and Jill, and enjoyed a meal together before heading to the Target Center.
While there, we flipped a coin to see who would get the courtside seats the first half. Troy called heads. Guess who won the toss?
Our special tickets meant that we were treated extra special. People looked at us like, “How do you rate?” Then they congratulated us for getting lucky. This kind man was our escort to the hidden places where only special people go.
We were taken to a special room with private lockers and treats on the house. After placing our coats into classy wooden lockers, we made our way to the courts via a special “courtside folks only” entrance, arriving just as the teams were being introduced.
Flashing our special tickets, we were led to our special seats, which were even more “courtside” than we’d imagined.
Earlier, Jill had commented that she wanted to get so close to the players that they could drip sweat on her. We were THAT close.
I can’t exactly describe how it felt, but it’s a wholly different experience being right ON the court, just inches from the action.
The media was right there.
The security guards came within feet of us every time there was a break in the action on the court. See the guy on the left? He was like a Swiss Guard, never cracking a grin. He’d just stand there, surveying the crowd for any unwanted monkey business.
The mascot, Crunch, paid a visit to our section and made this little guy giggle.
We were so close to everything that it almost felt surreal, like we were inside of someone’s dream. These hip hop dancers, The Pups, came out on one of the breaks to shake their booties.
I’m sure we looked wide-eyed, while others near us seemed to be settled in like this was all so very usual.
I love basketball, so it wasn’t hard to watch the game, and during our half courtside, the Timberwolves were ahead pretty much the whole time. My characteristic four-fingered whistle got lots of use.
Then at halftime, more special stuff when we were treated to the extra-special Backcourt Club (like backstage), where all sorts of special things were going down.
At the start of the second half, we switched seats and were relegated to the spot where our friends had been earlier. See Joel in the orange? That’s where we’d been, cozy with the courts.
Once we left our coveted spots, the game went downhill in a hurry. I’m sure the Timberwolves sensed our absence and just couldn’t quite recover.
Now, the real truth is, their loss had nothing to do with us. In fact, we weren’t special at all. Just extra-special blessed for a few hours the night before our 23rd wedding anniversary. This trip could not have happened without the generosity of others, and we are grateful. Not only was it exciting, but it gave us a chance to glimpse how the other half…er, maybe more like the other 4 percent…live.
I have to admit. I enjoyed being treated like royalty for that short while. But the second half gave me a chance to pause and reflect, and by then, the excitement had worn off a little and my emotions had given way to thought. I’ll save most of those deeper reflections for another time, but suffice it so say…I began to feel very grateful for my humble little life in North Dakota. No, it doesn’t provide lots of chances for glitz and glamor. But my life is so incredibly rich. And if I had to choose between the two — regular courtside seats and my usual life of mostly nosebleed section seating — I’d trade in VIP for a more humble existence any day.
The truth of the matter is…my humble, ordinary life of being a mom and wife married to a humble, ordinary guy and raising five fairly ordinary children in a pretty humble city is really where it’s at.
I don’t think I’m just trying to convince myself of it. I’ve got a sweet deal going on.
And we must be doing something right. After all, try as we might, we couldn’t even get into Hell…or Hell’s Kitchen at least. We tried, but we were turned away. Too nice, they said.
No, I’m kidding. We just hadn’t prepared enough in advance (made reservations).
We missed out on some good food, I hear, but the place we landed instead was very pleasing with its rooftop view with lots of light and a heavenly gaze.
What a great celebration! So many fun city sights…
And as I told my Facebook friends tonight, each year more that Troy and I find ourselves celebrating this milestone of another year of marriage, it feels like that much more of a miracle.
Q4U: What is the miracle you celebrate at this time in your life?