The Mexican baseball team that pimped us all over their country the year before, welcomed Anthony back for the 2012 season. I want to say this was really exciting news – and for Anthony, it was – but I found it a little bit more difficult to be supportive this time. Baseball no longer meant a glamorous, spontaneous life of my boyfriend running around in tight white pants while I pageant-clapped for him in the stands and blew kisses. First of all, I’ve never blown a kiss in my life. Second of all, I’d have to be a notch higher than miserable in those dirt-caked seats at the stadium without sweat dripping down into my ass to actually consider doing something as girly and polite as that. Generally, if the games started to get close and extra innings were a possibility I’d text Anthony to consider striking out so I could get the hell out of there. Probably not the kind of encouragement that the managers would be thrilled to hear, but hey, I’m just keeping it real.
The (only) nice part about Anthony playing for San Luis again was that we were out there in Arizona a few months too early. That meant that we could head back to Maine and spend some quality time together before the season. I figured I might even get taken on my first date, but I wasn’t going to push it. It had only been a year, three months, and 8 days since we started dating so I figured he must be just planning something really extravagant and I didn’t want to ruin any element of surprise. I reminded myself that he had a knack for being charming and decided he must just be building suspense.
In Maine, we became a really normal couple for a change. Normal as in we didn’t live in an RV in the middle of the desert, and we ate dinner at a table instead of on a homemade plywood couch. I joined a co-ed basketball league and Anthony played flag football with his buddies to fill the void of their football Sunday bromace. It was really cute to see him wake up for games at 7AM on Sundays, and then refuse to go to a 10:00AM breakfast with me any other day of the week. Or an 8:00PM dinner. On my dime. I literally couldn’t pay the guy to pretend he was out on a date with me. I finally threw in the towel and settled for nights with Netflix and Amato’s in bed. Being together is all that really mattered anyway, right? And he was leaving soon for baseball so I left this battle, unbattled. (Made up word. My blog, my rules).
On one of his last weekends in Maine – a perfect time for some dates – Anthony shared that he’d be heading to Massachusetts for a flag football tournament. Okay, cool – and then you’re taking me out to dinner in Boston? Perfect. I’ll go pack. But no, this was not a getaway for girls. Bromance members only. So I watched him pack up some dry-fits while I made bitching-session, I mean dinner plans, with my girlfriends.
On that Sunday morning, I got a call from Anthony that he had attempted to be Wes Welker in his game, but his 6’4″ frame had failed to follow his ambition. He made a valiant effort at a cut and twisted his knee before falling to the ground, which ended his flag football fun for the weekend. He whined about being bored and cold and hungry and just wanting to be home with me. Oh, that’s convenient. But do you think I told him to suck it up? Of course I did! And then I asked if he wanted me to come pick him up. Two hours away. In the world’s most annoying city to drive in. I was starting to realize that I reveled in the idea of coming to the rescue for people, so I was overwhelmed with pleasure when I arrived and my 230 pound boyfriend needed my help hobbling to my car. I tucked him nicely into the passenger seat of my car, threw his gear in the trunk and headed home. For Amato’s and Netflix.
Well it turned out that Anthony actually had a serious problem. Exams revealed that he had a lateral tear in his MCL and needed surgery and physical therapy to repair it. He absolutely couldn’t play on it, so we had to go through with the surgery and do our best to get him to Mexico on time for the season. It was the second knee surgery he’d have to overcome since being denied a draft pick, and the adversity just seemed to be continuously stacked against him. Poor guy. Shoulda just taken me out on a damn date.