Episode Twenty Three – Of Cats and Cavs

I just can’t keep to my word, can I? I tell you I’ll post soon and I don’t post for months; I tell you I probably won’t post for ages and I post again two days later. What can I say? I like to keep you on your toes. Anyhow, this post will be somewhat shorter than usual for a couple of reasons. The first is that while I was in Ohio for the spring, both Grant and I were working hard – he was still in classes and I had a linguistics paper to turn in when I returned to Edinburgh. The second is that Grant assures me he is working on a blog post for his own WordPress, although I don’t know how far along that is, and he’s working this summer as a legal intern at his dad’s office so he’s got quite a bit on his plate. The third is, quite simply, that I did not write down what I was up to while I was up to it, and I’ve been back for over a month and a half now so many of the details escape me. At any rate, I’m sure this news is not lamentable to you, so instead of making the post back up to regular Megan-length in my explanation of why it won’t be regular Megan-length, I’ll just get on with it, shall I?

Yes, I thought so.

So I high-tailed it out of Edinburgh almost as soon as classes were over, on a Monday in late March. Grant came to get me at the airport as usual, and as usual I started to cry when I saw him coming towards me.

I’m not sure he understands why I do this.

Also as usual, we had some difficulty locating the spot where Grant had parked the Jeep, and as usual I remarked on how confusing I find Port Columbus International Airport to be. I swear the building Grant picks me up from is a different one from the one he drops me off at, three weeks later.

Not as usual, however, when we reached the car there was a gorgeous Easter basket waiting for me! Grant had borrowed a Longaberger basket from his mum and enlisted her help in wrapping it up once he had filled it full of colourful goodies such as bracelets, sweets, a tiny purse and a divine mocha-scented candle-in-a-teacup which I like to light when I eat smelly food in my room. It is now well and truly spent  : (

I didn't get a picture while it was still wrapped up all nicely :( But don't I have the best boyfriend ever??!!?!

Then he handed over my Valentine’s Day / 1st Anniversary card, on which he had drawn a crazy robot flower design with which I was highly impressed, and inside which he had written a lovely message by which I was touched. On top of this, I also found a pair of tickets to a basketball game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Charlotte Bobcats! (That made it sound like I deserve the credit for ‘finding’ them – Grant had, in fact, purchased them and strategically placed them in there :P ) I was so psyched to see a sport I’d never witnessed before (at least, not outside the walls of West Muskingum Middle School), I didn’t even care when Grant told me that our Cavaliers were pretty much the worst team in the NBA. The game was in a week or so, in Cleveland, OH; so we had some time to look forward to it.

Meanwhile, Grant had four days of class to get through, and I had some sleep to catch up on. That week went by without much to write home about – some pool in the games room (I don’t know why we persevere with that game – we’re each as bad as the other); coffee, some episodes of Lost. We cooked together, a lot. We made apple dumplings with Mountain Dew (American fizzy juice that looks radioactive and is allegedly lemon and lime flavour); enchiladas, chickpea burgers as well as French Onion burgers and a bunch of other delicious things. How wonderful to be able to just spend time together! What a relief not to rely on lithium ion batteries and internet connections in order to see each other’s faces! Not to have to rely on imagination or memory to just curl up and listen to music together.

The weekend went by pretty much the same way. We cooked, we went out for coffee, we played video games. The things that couples do – not the things that long-distance couples do, even when they’re together. I liked that. And the next time we wee each other, we’ll be loaded up with backpacks and mosquito repellant and Spanish vocabulary – so a bit of pre-emptive R&R was in order.

I introduced Grant to Spyro and Abe; he introduced me to Crazy Taxi. We have a reciprocal relationship.

I was still a little sad, though. When we went to the gym together I couldn’t help but long for a time when we wouldn’t worry about that being one of the few activities in one of our few days together. Because nineteen days together really is few. Nineteen is a tiny number. I mean, I’ve spent nineteen whole years here on earth and I still feel so very young.

I digress. Grant and I whiled away the hours and the days, we ate out, we ate in, we worked at our courses. One of us worked harder than the other: I’ll let you guess which was which. We tried grocery shopping and I realised that it is a skill I am yet to master. When Tuesday the 5th of April rolled around, we took off after class for the much-anticipated basketball game. Grant warned me once again before we went in that the Cavaliers were the worst team in the league and I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

'Cited!

Grant had got us the good seats, right at the top of the stadium next to the VIP boxes. I guess when the team sucks you get good seats cheap! There were huge gaps in the seating so it looked ominously empty for a while, but it filled up before long. I’m afraid sports commentary is not my strong point, but after all the introductory fun and games were over and the tip-off gave the Cavs immediate possession, suffice to say we were in for an exciting, edge-of-your-seat ride.

Oh what fun we had...

Cleveland started positively and sprang to an early lead of about 10 or 12 points. I have always had this feeling that I would love basketball if I actually knew anything about hte league – and this game definitely reinforced that theory. I think it’s to do with the fact that it’s so much more fast-paced than football, where you’re lucky to see three or four goals in a match. In basketball it’s not uncommon for each team to score 80 or 90 points, which I guess equates to at least 35 baskets on both sides. Maybe that’s superficial of me to say – just because there aren’t as many goals in football doesn’t mean there’s not a bunch of great sport going on – but part of the excitement for me is watching the score shift balance every couple of minutes. And there was certainly a lot of that between the Cavaliers and the Bobcats! We were up about 20 points by the end of the first half, but we quickly began losing our lead during the 3rd quarter, and the tension began rising. I don’t know what kind of pep-talk the players received during the half-time break, but from the way they played from then on, I’d have to guess it was something like “Well lads, this game’s in the bag – you can all relax now”.

The Cavs win the tip-off for an early advantage

That’s not quite fair. Maybe it was more like “Now guys, we’ll lose advertising money if the fans start leaving because they think we’ve secured a win; so let’s give them a scare, something to stick around for.” I say this because – well, first of all, because apparently that happens a lot: people leaving once they think they know who will win, even if it’s their own team – but also because after a frightening plummet in our lead, the Cavaliers seemed to get back in the game. The sore gap began to widen again fairly steadily up until the final moments of the game, leaving us with a win of 10 points!

This by no means left us with a ‘safe’ (read: boring) final few minutes, however. While the majority of the 4th quarter suggested that a Cleveland win was on the agenda, there was another factor in play, which I have neglected to mention until now. Unbeknownst to me, too, until Grant realised it might be relevant and worth telling me, Taco Bell were running a promotion where, if the Cavaliers scored 100 points or more, we could take our tickets along to our local joint and claim our prize of 1 (one) free chaloopah! Per ticket! So after the score slowly climbed up to 97-83 with two minutes to go, then to 99-85 within another 30 seconds (while Grant was in the bathroom, haha), we were on the edges of our seats for the final minute-and-forty-seven-seconds of the game: waiting for that final slow-motion long shot just as the buzzer is sounding, during which the whole crowd watches with bated breath just like in every episode of One Tree Hill ever aired, before erupting in cheers as the fate of the next day’s dinner is finally decided by the majestic swoop of the ball through the net.

So close!!!!

Alas, no such shot was taken. The Cavaliers gained possession of the ball in the last twenty seconds or so of the match, and instead of doing their damnedest to secure the chaloopahs of their loyal fans, they just sort of dribbled the ball around, playing it safe until the match was over. I bet they had an ‘agreement’ with Taco Bell or something.

Maybe that’s going a bit far. I’m just very glad that we won, and that we had something else to root for even after victory was all but assured! That’s pretty much all you can ask for in a sports game, really.

Grant says I'm fun to take to sports matches : )

Besides, a chaloopah probably costs about 99¢ anyway.

So that is the end of one story. Stay tuned for more later, but for now I’m about to start on a tutorial for a Fathers’ Day card (adapted from scrap-a-little.com), so I’ll leave this post here for now and get on with that before Fathers’ Day itself is upon us! Dad (or Mr. Stubbins, for that matter), if you’re reading this, turn away now because here comes a preview. Oh, and also don’t read my next post until you’ve received your cards : )

Other than that, it’s over and out – keep your eyes peeled for more posts soon (unless, as I just said, you’re one of the aforementioned dads).

Best,

Megan.

x

What do you think? I'm super proud : )

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