Thursday, October 7, 2010

The 2010 Atlanta Braves: A Love Story

Posted By on Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Derek Lowe gets the start in game one of the NLDS tonight against the San Francisco Giants
  • Derek Lowe gets the start in game one of the NLDS tonight against the San Francisco Giants

I started dating this girl back in April and let's just say that things didn't get off to the best of starts.

For instance, we had a great time on our first date—we laughed, we cried and it was an overall good experience—but for some inexplicable reason, our next couple of dates weren't quite as enjoyable.

For our second date, I took her out to this real fancy restaurant in the city—thinking that this would let her know that I'm a little more serious than she might have assumed.

However, she somehow misinterpreted my intentions of having a nice evening out on the town as the night quickly evolved into hours of awkward conversation and dinner roll/alcohol over-consumption.

I guess it was just her nerves, but after drinking an ungodly—and expensive—amount of wine and stuffing her face with buttered-up bread for three hours, I was having some doubts as to whether or not I wanted to continue seeing this girl.

But we'd had such a nice time on our first date that I figured I'd give her another shot.

So I decided to take her on a four-day trip to St. Louis during the last week of April just to prove to her that although things took a bad turn the week prior, I still wanted to give this thing a real chance of working out.

Unfortunately, things didn't get much better.

After touring the Gateway Arch on Monday morning, I realized that she had a severe fear of heights and an even worse fear of diagonal elevators—check and checkmate.

So, after 20 minutes of hysterical crying and another half hour of over-dramatic hyperventilation, we made it back to safe ground and were on our way to get lunch.

I had a hankering for seafood, so we grabbed a couple dozen oysters downtown then headed back to our hotel room to get ready for the night.

To make a long story short, the lunch oysters made her "apocalyptically-sick" and we ended up being stranded in our room—more specifically, the bathroom—until we checked out on Thursday afternoon.

Safe to say, it wasn't my favorite vacation.

When we got back to Atlanta, I figured I'd had enough and was going to wait a few days before I made the dreaded, "I know we haven't been dating that long, but I just don't think it's gonna work out"-break-up phone call.

But for some reason, I decided to give her one last chance and that's when things got real interesting.

A few days went by and we hadn't talked, so I figured that things were more than likely over between us.

But after a few more days, I got a text message from her saying that she had an extra ticket to a concert and was wondering if I would like to go with her.

I probably should've said no, but once again I decided to give her that one final shot.

We went to the show and everything was just as it had been on our first date—maybe things were starting to change.

I can't really put my finger on it, but from that point forward things were great. We hung out almost everyday, we talked every night and neither one of us felt the pressure of those first couple dates—it was incredible.

June, July and August flew by as if they were an elementary school summer break and, safe to say, I was in love.

But then summer ended, the calendar turned to September and almost as quickly as I had fallen for her, she pulled away.

She wouldn't return my phone calls or my party Evites and on the rare occasion that she did answer her phone, she was too busy to talk.

I was so confused.

Her grandfather had passed away in early August, but she had seemed to have moved on. Then her younger brother got really sick and was going to be in the hospital for awhile and I knew that tore her up inside.

All I could do was give her some space and hope that she would come back to me, but it just didn't look like she was going to make it.

Then one day, just as I had given up hope that she would return to the loving and outgoing woman I remember from those summer months, she gave me a call.

She apologized for being so distant, but explained that if I could give her another chance, that she would make it up to me—so I did.

In what I can only guess was a returned favor for our April trip to St. Louis, she had planned a two-day trip to San Francisco just for the two of us and I couldn't be happier just to be with her.

Who knows where things will go from here...

There you have it—my incredibly cheesy and somewhat overplayed analogy to the 2010 Atlanta Braves baseball season.

There have been many ups and downs and several times where I wanted to stop believing, but as the National League Division Series gets started tonight, I find myself less concerned about the ultimate outcome and more excited just to watch the events as they unfold.

Maybe comparing the 2010 Braves to a high-maintenance and utterly confounding girlfriend isn't the most accurate analogy, but that's the closest example I can think of after a year that truly cannot be described, quantified or rationalized in any singular way.

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