Tuesday night I was spoiled.
My good friend Alicia, whose family has seasons tickets for the Canucks, invited me to the game against New York. While the game was awful (let's just not talk about that), there were some great moments.
Let's begin with the afternoon before I left for the game.
Carleigh told the kids, "Say good bye to Kathleen, because she won't be home until after you've gone to bed! She's going to the hockey game!"
Charlee, eyes like saucers, breathed slowly as she exclaimed:
"Kathleen, are you PLAYING in the hockey game?"
I laughed and explained, no, I was just watching the game.
To which Charlee and Jane, in unison, as if they just found out that raisins are actually dried grapes, complete with the head tilt, said:
Then when we arrived at the arena, Alicia looked at me and curiously questioned:
"So, who are you going to run into tonight?"
For as long as Alicia and I have been attending Canucks games together (5 + years?), I have always run into someone I know. Once, standing in line for the washroom, I saw a girl I'd met in Costa Rica. Another time, a picture of two boys from the college flashed onto the big screen. Yet another time, this happened. So, it wasn't that surprising when, between the 2nd and 3rd periods, I looked down a few rows and saw a man standing, having a stretch. I laughed out loud and turned to Alicia:
"Found him. See the guy in the blue shirt, black jacket? That's my cousin Chris!"
My cousin, whom I probably last saw about 5 years ago, was sitting with his teenage son, in some excellent seats near the glass. So, I ran down and said hi. I came back to my seat, and Alicia and I just laughed. It is my destiny to always know someone in my outings to Vancouver...as long as Alicia joins me.
And then there were the tears.
I have to admit that while the Canucks played so disappointingly on Tuesday night, they had good reason. Prior to the start of the game, they shared a tribute to Rick Rypien, their team member who passed away over the summer. It was a beautiful tribute. When it was done, and we were about to sing the national anthem, I turned to Alicia and said: "And how the heck are they supposed to play after that??"
So yes, there were great moments during my initiation into the 2011-12 season.
And here we go again...