When I started this here Life List thing I had no idea the effect it would have on other people, nor the extent to which people would want to help me complete my existential to-do list.
Since the Mighty Peach Life List inception, I’ve been told that I’ve inspired friends to start their own list and/or to go after that one thing they’ve been afraid of. My guy even took a huge leap in his career recently and credited me for helping him go for it. Then his 16-year-old cousin was inspired by HIM, and decided to pursue her dreams of attending college. It is incredibly humbling to know that just by my starting this list and making a few teeny dents in checking some things off, I’ve started other people on their way towards chasing their goals. It’s having a ripple effect. And that makes me so, so happy.
Some friends (ahem, Might-E) have joined me on my adventures. Other friends (ahem, NETTE) have already booked their tickets for upcoming overseas travel and inevitable debauchery with me. I’ve had friends plan out my fois grae tasting, which turned out to be one of the most deliciously epic meals I’ve had in my many years on this earth.
And most recently, I was told by my friend Bertie that she was able to snag tickets to the first preseason Atlanta Falcons game… and she was taking me! She knew it was on my Life List and jumped at the chance to check this off the list for me. If that wasn’t cool enough, the day of the game, two more tickets fell in her lap, and it worked out that we could bring along more friends. Luckily Bertie’s husband was a trooper and didn’t mind being the lone male with four females at a football game. He was truly a great sport about us invading the seats usually occupied by his big, burly guy friends and was so sweet to be our dedicated photographer, too!
As for the game itself, it needs to be said that this wasn’t my first NFL football game. I’ve been to many, but they were all New York Jets games in Giants Stadium (or the new MetLife Stadium), in New Jersey, and neither facility is a dome. More on that later.
So why is this a Life List item, along with “Attend an Atlanta Braves game”? Purely for the ridiculous fact that 1. I attended college in Georgia and never managed either of them. EVER. and 2. I’ve now lived in Atlanta for two years and… same thing. What’s the matter with me?!?
How was my first Atlanta Falcons game? In short… awesome.
We started off the night with dinner at Stats beforehand. Beers and bar food hit the spot for the night’s events and then we made the hike to the Dome, where we were met with some unpleasant news. Apparently the NFL decided to change the rule about the size of purses allowed into stadiums. While we had zero issue with the policy itself, we were taken aback and looked around at our purses ranging from small to huge (but none of them were allowed inside). Our choices were to “check” our purses in a tent about a 1/2 mile away or to stash them in our vehicles… which was about a 10-15 minute walk. Bertie truly took one for the team and hiked, in heels, back to the car with our purses so we could head inside for kickoff. Silver lining? She got cat-called on the trek, including this little gem: “Grrrllll, you must work out. I see your HEALTH.” Ha!
Once we made it into the stadium, my perma-grin appeared. I just love the charged atmosphere of pro events. The people-watching, the food vendors, the jumbo-trons, the booming announcer and the amazingly huge venue itself are all so much to take in at once, you can’t help but feel like a little kid at Christmas. Ever notice how the lighting in stadiums make everything super-crisp… almost as if everything has sharp edges on it? Perhaps it’s just me, but I love the hyper-vibrancy of the visual aspect.
I quickly got busy Instagram’ing and tweeting and there were pictures taken of us and generally just a whole bunch of social media happening. We were all guilty of it. When we weren’t face-to-phone with social media, we may have been group-texting about the guy a few rows down who was passed out asleep in his seat by 10pm. But eventually we chilled out to be in the moment and there were beers consumed and cheering for the team when they did well and life was good, you guys. It was so much fun. We cracked up at the fact that our purses were denied entry BUT A VUVUZELA WASN’T. WTF, seriously. Also, personally I was a bit weirded out by being in air-conditioned, covered-roof conditions for a pro game. I’m so used to being out in the elements, between the many college games I’ve attended and the Jets games, that being in full blast air-conditioning was … odd. Certainly not complaining about being sheltered from the face-melting humidity that night. Just, um. Different?
Yes, the Falcons lost the game badly to the Bengals. But on a cheerful note, we seemed to have some really good juju going for us that night. Not only did we make it onto the jumbo tron 3 or 4 times, our section was also the winner of a prize! According to Bertie’s husband, one jumbo tron appearance is a rarity.. much less 3 or 4. And the section prize? Unheard of.
Something about Life Lists makes good things happen, I swear.
Our prizes happened to be scratch-off lottery tickets that we picked up after the game ended. The next day we all checked in with each other – one of us won $15.00 and my ticket won me… another free ticket. Hey, it’s something, right? Maybe that other ticket will be a big winner and I can check off another Life List Item: #56 Pay off my ($*)$#(*%ing student loans.
In summary, our night at the Falcons game put a HUGE smile on my face for the entire evening. I seriously have the most amazing, generous friends and I am grateful for them. Bertie, thank you for taking me to the game and thank you for making it a night to remember. Grrrrrrllll. 😉