We took Ainsley to her very first Reds game Saturday. It was a gorgeous afternoon (except for the 10 minutes we got spit on by a small rain cloud), our home team won with an exciting come-from-behind 9th-inning homer, and the tickets were free. I won them in a drawing here at work. I never win anything, and to have won these tickets for the "Ohio Cup" series, on a perfect day, with a win by the Reds...I must have finally done something to make karma happy.
The one downside is that our seats were in an upper section (not quite the nosebleeds, but you pass this section on your way to the nosebleends) where the seats and steps are spectacularly steep. For someone suffering from vertigo, it was not ideal. When I first stood at the top of the steps in our section, needing to go down a few rows to our seats, I kept seeing myself losing my balance and pitching forward and tumbling all the way down my section to fall to my death in the rich people's section below. I looked at Jason and said, "I don't think I can do it."
With the handrail in a death grip, I made it to my seats. The very non-symmetrical layout of Great American kept throwing me; my eyes and my inner ears kept fighting each other as to where exactly my body fit into the weird shape. Which way was up? Which was down? The fluid in my ear kept telling lies.
But you know what helps vertigo at a ball park? Draft beer. Not so much helps, as masks the condition. After two Miller Lites (which only tastes good served ice cold at a baseball game, IMHO) it seemed natural and normal that I should feel a little dizzy. I didn't feel so much like I had vertigo, just like I had a beer buzz. Which I did. So it was all good for a while.
Dear hubby indulged me and served as my designated driver, and he and Ainsley enjoyed some peanuts and soft-serve (dished up in a plastic mini baseball cap, natch.) As the ninth inning neared, and I faced the prospect of having to get up and exit in a mass of people, I began to worry which was going to be worse: the way the whole ballpark felt like it was spinning around home plate, or the claustrophobia from being asses to elbows with 40,000 of my closest friends? Just then, they blasted U2's "Vertigo" throughout the park. I took it as a sign.
Thankfully, Adam Dunn hit the game-winning run and after a minute of cheering and screaming and showing Ainsley the little burst of celebratory fireworks, we got out of Dodge just before the rest of the crowd started to move.
So, thank you, Cincinnati Enquirer, for donating my tickets. And thank you, Reds, for helping to give me and my little family a nearly perfect day.