(Larry and me at Morton's for our anniversary dinner.)
As soon as I became a hockey fan, hockey stories seemed to follow me everywhere. Really, I have the best luck. I almost ran over Matt Beleskey in a cross walk once. I ran into Ryan Getzlaf at The Lazy Dog Cafe and then the time I sat next to Ilya Bryzgalov's family at a Ducks game. This tale is further proof of my hockey luck.
My husband, Larry, and I were celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary at Morton's last November when in walked four men.
They were hockey players.
Don't ask me how I knew they were hockey players. I just did. Like some girls know how to fold a fitted sheet or the correct way to peel a pineapple (apparently, it's to be done with a knife not a peeler), I just knew they were hockey players.
They had hockey hair.
After settling down at the table next to us I heard their accents and, again, there was that hair, so I was just sure. I lean over to my husband and said, "They're hockey players." Then I gestured with my chin over to their table. He glanced over his glass of wine half interested. "How do you know?" he started. "Never mind," he wisely said after thinking about the manic logic that would follow that question.
As we ordered our dinner the waiter noticed the Ducks logo on my phone and said, "Those are four Pittsburgh Penguins sitting at that table." At that, just like a teeter-totter, Larry sunk down in his chair a little and I perked right up in mine. Just like that the night suddenly became about hockey.
The Ducks were playing the Penguins the next night and they were there for steak and potatoes...and to talk about the Ducks. I'm not saying I'm proud of myself, I'm saying I have no self control when it comes to hockey; I had to eavesdrop. I had to.
Here's what I heard:
"Oh, man. I think Jiggy should retire. He's had his time," said the first Penguin who was quickly rebutted by another.
"He has..." and that's as far as he got.
"You'll get your turn," continued the first Penguin in a thick accent. "He was a great goalie. He should leave it that way."
"Can I talk now?" asked the second Penguin. The first one nodded. "Just wait, he'll recover and be back..."
Then I was asked by my patient husband if I wanted more wine. I waved my hand at him and nodded quickly. "They're talking about Jiggy!" I said in an excited whisper and then told him what I heard. There was something so wrong about listening in on their conversation, yet, I couldn't stop myself for doing it (and now telling you about it).
After that, I listened in now and then, but they mostly talked about stupid 'ol golf. When I got up to leave I wanted to say something to them. But, what should I say? It was our anniversary after all. I was trying my very best to not make the night about hockey.