Monday, March 1, 2010

And Then We Went out for Burritos

If you'd like to know how many text messages I got yesterday the moment after Sidney Crosby scored the overtime goal that made Canada the Olympic champions of 2010, the answer is this: a whole lot.

Most of them were supportive toward me (and my heartbreak for my rumored fiance)--my mother said, He needs you! Comfort him!--but one of them, from one of the boys I went to grad school with, said he was pleased with the outcome because he loves Sidney Crosby and Canada, and as far as he was concerned, America sucks.

It took all the strength I had to keep myself from responding this way: I'll cut you, bitch.

Because as much as I grew up loving Canada, and as much time as I have spent in Canada, and as much as I support Canada's claim on hockey, I was solidly pro-USA in the hockey tournament, for obvious reasons. And last night that reason let an overtime goal into his net, and after he did that he fell straight to the ground. He smashed his face into the ice and just stayed there for a minute. And I thought, Oh, Ryan. I know. It's okay. Really, it is.

And you could tell just how much he wanted to kill himself then and, well, for the next twenty minutes while the Canadian team celebrated and the Americans had to stay on the ice and watch as they waited for the medal ceremony to be set up. And those boys couldn't even crack the smallest of smiles as the silver medals were hung around their necks. They couldn't even try. I felt so awful for my boy, who got quite a rousing round of applause from everyone in the arena. He still looked like he was two seconds away from taking that medal and slicing it across his throat to see what would happen. See?

Oh, don't you just want to fold him into your arms? Don't you just want to push that hair back off his forehead? Don't you just want to kiss his temple and say, "Let's go key Crosby's limo, okay?" And don't you want to actually follow through with that--key Crosby's limo--and then take Ryan Miller to some dive-y Irish bar where there's a loud band playing Flogging Molly songs, and don't you want to bring a tray of Car Bombs back to the table for him, and don't you want to drink with him until you're both drunk and stupid and singing, and don't you want to get up and do a little jig just to make him smile, just to make him laugh?

Still, even though it's clear that's not exactly how he spent his time after the game yesterday, he did end the day smiling a little bit. He went to the closing ceremony, and the camera went straight to him, got right up in his face, and you know what? Ryan Miller was smiling. He was holding out his phone, recording the whole scene, and he was smiling. See?

Maybe he's smiling because he was able to put things into perspective, to know that he and the team did some pretty fantastic things over a two week period. Or maybe he's smiling because he realizes how good he looks in that hat. (But we aren't surprised by this, are we? We've discussed this before.) Either way, he no longer looked like he wanted to off himself, and that made me happy. Because he shouldn't. I can't tell you how happy that two weeks' worth of hockey made me. I don't get to watch a lot of Sabres games here in Bruins-Land, but I loved watching him play on the world stage. I loved watching all of them play. (Especially David Backes, the boy who was playing for the Mavericks while I was at MSU. If anyone is ever wondering what Midwestern boys look like, he is a PERFECT EXAMPLE. Minnesota was filled with boys who looked like that. Tall. Strong of jaw. Broad of shoulder. Can you see why I am so boy crazy?)

What they did was really something else. No one thought they were going to be that good. But they were.

So, it's no shock really that when I went to bed last night I dreamed of Ryan Miller. This is no big shake--I dream about him a lot--but last night he was sad, so sad, and it was up to us--Western New Yorkers--to cheer him up. He hosted a charity Frisbee-throwing contest when he got home from the Olympics, and I got into the game somehow.

Honest to God: In the dream I was paired with a handicapped child who couldn't throw the Frisbee at all, and I thought, Jesus! Ryan Miller is never going to notice me because this little girl and I, our combined Frisbee throwing is going to be so rotten! But that little handicapped girl and I threw our Frisbee the best we could, and when it was really, really rotten, I tried to teach her how to throw it less-rottenly, and when he saw I was doing that, Ryan Miller sent everyone home and invited me in to his house.

What happened next would displease my father.

Then, the next morning, we woke up and talked about how we needed to practice kissing some more, so we did, and then Ryan Miller said to me, "How about we go get some burritos? I know a great little place."

And then we went out for burritos.

So, as you can see, everything works out for the best in the end. Silver's okay. Actually, it's spectacular. And so is a morning of kissing and burritos.

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