There's a lady that frequents our restaurant who recently departed for Mexico. From what I gathered, she was gone for good. Making a life changing move and not looking back. A bit of information that quietly pleased me at the time of it's delivery. Although she was one of our biggest spenders, her volume rubbed me the wrong way.
However, before she departed, she purchased 4 sets of dice for the restaurant. An attempt to reel us in to one of her favorite pastimes, "Liar's Dice." She and another one of our regulars played sparingly before she departed as I watched from afar writing off the entire affair as just downright corny.
After she left, I'd pluck 3 of the dice every now and then and play a lil Cee-lo when my man from NY would stop in. But other than that, they sat idle for a few months. That is, until one slow night we decided to blow the dust off em, and give this game "Liar's Dice" a shot. As is the case with any new game, be it cards or dice, it takes a little while to get a feel for the reads and decision making process. But after 2 rounds, I started to get the hang of it. And dare I say, even like it.
Sure enough, not long after, we got to playin every chance we could. This much to the delight of Mr. Lee, our #1 customer. Especially since, not only was he playing, but he was also assuming the role of mentor. Showing us the ropes. An opportunity he relished.
Well don't you know, just as we got the hang of it, lo and behold, along comes the original lady who started us off. Back from Mexico without warning. In her 1st night back I was a bit surprised at myself. I sensed no trace of that usual internal judgment that was ever present before. And the moment she requested the dice, things actually flipped to the other end of the spectrum. I was enjoying her company along with the energy surrounding her presence.
Little did I know, this shift occurred right on time because the next time she showed up in the restaurant she was celebrating the fact that a friend of hers just GAVE her 2 tickets to the San Jose Sharks Western Conference Finals Game 1 versus the Chicago Blackhawks. I congratulated her. Asked her who she was taking. And then surprised even myself as I blurted out..."Really! I've never been to an NHL game..Take me!!!"
She responded cordially and said, "I've got a few friends to ask 1st, but if it doesn't work out, I'll let you know."
Well it didn't work out..for them..and just like that I got to go to not only my 1st ever NHL game, but also my 1st ever playoff game for any professional sport. And let me tell you it was INCREDIBLE!!
I will say, I definitely took note at how few black people were in attendance. And even more noticeable was the choice of music during each intermission. At any NBA, NFL or MLB game I've been to, I've heard, at the very least, a handful of hip hop songs in the mix. However, in NHL land, you can fuggedaboudit! Classic rock all day erryday! "Pour some sugar" to "Bang Your Head!" Songs I embarrassingly recognized! ha haa! Simply put the NHL knows it market and is playing to them just the same as the other leagues. But I guess it'd been awhile since I was such a blatant minority...well, at least in America.
I'm not much of hockey fan, but as a basketball player there are so many similarities that I could appreciate the subtleties of the game. The Sharks went up 1-0 in the 1st period. And we all jumped, screamed, hooted and hollered like school children. But that was gradually numbed, as the Blackhawks equalized in the 2nd before taking a 2-1 lead in the 3rd period.
Despite having a 2 man advantage for the last minute of play, the Sharks couldn't manage to score again. And they ended up losing 2-1. As anti-climactic as the ending was, it was still an absolutely amazing experience. One I'd never foreseen, yet enjoyed with all my being.
Moments like this only attest to the magic that life is. And continue to teach me more about suspending judgments in hopes of making grander connections with those surrounding.
Blessings and Light