Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Time Has Come For One and All...To Plaaaay Kickball!

The ice has melted, the pollen is freely floating/slowly killing us and the smell of cherry blossoms and mischievousness is in the air. That can only mean one thing: it’s kickball season once again!

Throughout my seasons (and years) of kickball there have been highs and lows, random make outs and dance parties galore. There are ugly parts I’d rather forget, parts I did forget after blacking out and things that I never, ever want to forget. Since we have our first kickball game of a new season tonight, I thought it only appropriate to take a trip down memory lame and recap some of the highlights from previous seasons.

Without further ado…

Season 1

This was our inaugural season in kickball. I was new to the area and had heard kickball was THE way to meet people. So we rounded up some coworkers and a couple other friends and joined the league. Since we were a small group they mixed us in with another group of people to form one team. I was so excited to get to meet new people, maybe some cute boys and drink my face off. For some ungodly reason that I can’t recall, we decided to play on Sunday afternoons (whaaaa?) Once I got over my initial nerves (OMG, I’m going to whiff, ah athletic prowess being displayed in front of strangers, I’m sooo nervous), the season turned out to be pretty fun, despite half of our team never showing up for games and having to forfeit.

The good: We were all dismayed to find out that our flip cup tournament fell on the day that I was going to move. Now, not wanting to let the team down, my friends rallied and vowed to not let this deter us. They helped me move the majority of my crap ahead of time so that on actual move in day, my parents could help me quickly move the rest of my junk so I could make the afternoon tournament. I mean, priorities people, priorites. It worked (basically), but my parent’s may still be wondering why I placed so much importance on getting to that damn flip cup game. I, myself, still wonder the same.

Oh, also the fact that everyone knew us as team name (kid tested, mother approved), and we ate a lot of our team namesake’s cereal at games/drinking occasions was another bonus.

(And my really good friend met her current boyfriend at the pre-season party. We kept saying how we’d totes find our bfs through kickball. At least one of us did, you go girl!)

The bad: Although I was able to move in lightening speed, my dad attempted to drop me off at the tournament in his pickup truck, navigating the treacherous roads of DC in the middle of a tsunami. It was not a pretty sight when my dad, the I-have-no-time-for-this-BS, and I, the directionally challenged, were trying to find Cheers. Somehow, we managed to find it, I grabbed his bright yellow poncho and bolted, profusely thanking my parents for helping me move, almost crashing by taking me into city and accepting their questionably alcoholic child.

The ugly: Since I was in such a frenzy to complete my move in time, I forgot to eat breakfast…or lunch. Sure, I think I ate a random granola bar or popsicle at one point, but that, in combination with hours of flip cup and shots = a drunk mess. I made out with a kid on the winning flip cup team, wondered around DC for a few hours and finally had to ditch this kid in an alley near Pentagon City. It wasn’t my finest moment, but lesson learned: Eat before playing flip cup (or participating in a tournament!?!).

Season 2

For our second season, we made the best move ever by switching to the Thursday night league. We only retained players from the prior season who actually showed up to games. Again, we needed to join with another team and we were semi-lucky in getting what we thought seemed like a pretty great group of people. In truth, most of them were really fun people. This season wasn’t anything remarkable but it was a good time and Thursdays were the way to go. It was especially nice having every other Friday off in the summer. In fact, I think this is the season that I didn’t work one single Friday in August. It was glorious. I had also just moved into a big house, so all my coworkers would just crash there afterwards. It was just one big sleepover!

The good: We met our good friend BlackBerry on this team. She was one of the first people I met at the pre-season party and we instantly got along. Although she wasn’t able to make it to that many games, we became good friends regardless and today she is one of my closest friends in the city.

The bad: Not all the girls were as cool as BlackBerry. A couple of the girls were, in fact, straight up B-words. Or maybe they were bi-polar. They’d generally seem cool and chill and then start acting all aloof and crazy/weird. I think the breaking point came when I left one of the chick’s bday parties because I had another obligation (or more fun people I actually preferred to hang with). Upon my departure, which was obviously the end of the world, she looked and me and said, “Why don’t you just go slit your wrists.” Um, ALRIGHT DRAMA QUEEN. Or PSYCHOPATH. Needless to say, we don’t hang with those girls no mo'!

Oh, and one night the staff decided to literally hose us down. That was kinda bad/kinda awesome.

The ugly: I made out with a bald dude (shaved, but still). Do I really need to say anything else? Alright, to make myself feel less like a loser, I will say that he was actually smart (had a PhD), but Baldy was a serious stage 5 clinger. In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I did go out with a fellow teammate one night. I’m not sure if it should be classified as a “date”, but he was a cool dude and we are still friends today.

(Note: This is for Italian Mother. I’m not sure how we would classify a certain other member of our team who was in love with my friend. I think Italian Mother’s sentiments were accurately described when she said this: “I felt like I had to shower every time after I hung out with that kid.” If only she was joking bahah...)

Season 3

Season 3 could be more accurately described as the rainy season. For some reason, that spring, it would rain every single Thursday. I’m not sure if April/May/early June were more rainy than normal overall, but without fail, if it was Thursday and we were supposed to play kickball, it would thunderstorm, pour cats and dogs or otherwise cancel our beloved kickball. As a result, we spent a lot of time just drinking at Cheers, getting to know the wait staff. Our season lasted well into June because of our many delays, but overall, it was another successful season. We joined with another random team, but met some cool people who are on our team currently.

The good: This was a pretty chill season with a good group of people. We had coworkers who actually showed up to games and/or nongame drinking fests, and we had a good group of randoms join our team who were fun and a good time. We also went on an end of season boat cruise which was pretty freakin’ awesome (despite me and BlackBerry getting locked in the bathroom. We’re on a boaaaat!). We also met another team who we joined with in season 4, so that was another gain on the season.

The bad: There honestly wasn’t much bad about this season other than the shitty, shitty weather. As a result we were forced to spend way more time at Cheers then we ever intended. A low point may have been when we thought it was acceptable to bring jell-o shots into the bar. While they were delicious, obviously you can’t bring your own alcohol into a damn bar. They should have thrown us out and banned us for life, but luckily we just got a little scolding.

I also met ATM here, thanks to Italian Mother’s urgings. And he left me at the bar stranded one night. And I sobbed on the street corner to my friend on the phone as I desperately searched for a cab. How the tables have turned…

The ugly: My ugly moment involved wine, jell-o shots and Irish Trash Cans and resulted in my first blackout. I relived the harrowing experience on this blog once, but as a recap: 1) I was calling people names from Harry Potter. Seriously, I referred to our coach as Lord Voldemort. Why that dude still even speaks to me is beyond me. 2) I hit on the very married waiter, who I have to see every week and who never lets me live it down. 3) Apparently on the metro I was acting all shady and then simultaneously expressing my love. At one point I turned to my friends and screamed “I f*ing love you bitches!” Well, at least my true feelings came out :) But no, no more Irish trash cans for moi. Bring on the cherry bombs instead!

Season 4

My, my, my. Where do I even start? Some have described season 4 as epic. Others have called it a shit-show, incestuous dance party. But, if I could be so bold as to borrow a term from my favorite TV show, HIMYM, they only way to give due justice to season 4 is to refer to it as LEGEND - wait for it - DARY.

I’m not sure why this season tops all the rest. It could be a combination of many things. First, we had a core group of hardcore kickballas/flipcuppas. Then we met another team in season 3 who were equally as awesome (albeit a little creepy with a paparazzi who documented our every move). When we combined forces it was like atoms and molecules fusing together to create new energy. We became a team of pure awesome. And we all loved each other. Maybe a bit too much.

The good: In addition to being fun, our team was actually pretty good on the field. I knew our competitive nature ran deep when the pansy dude from another team bunted the ball and Italian Mother shouted in disgust, “And you call yourself a man!“ Indeed sir, or should I say madam? Our ultimate goal for many seasons had been to beat our rival team. They were ridic and actually recruited players for their team. I searched high and low, far and wide to find this email, but I just must reprint a few words from a wise kickball teammate whose pep talk must have steered us towards victory.

“For those of you who are new, you may not know the eternal wrath against this team, probably stemming from the beginning of time (at least the beginning of KICKBALL), the kind of wrath that makes your blood boil, the wrath that makes you throw up a little in your mouth, the wrath that has been brought on by the undeserved greatness of the team that is called "A"

Bottom line. WE gotta Drink Hard. then Play Hard. Then Drink even harder as we reminisce over their dead bodies......I mean, beaten bodies, heavily maimed. (in a kickball sense of course)”

And drink we did. To celebrate not only beating this despicable team, but kicking their asses!

The good keeps coming with season 4: I met some of my now closest friends on this team. I met Mr. Clean, which for a time, I had a lot of fun with. And we truly earned our spot as favorite team of Cheers by closing the bar down every single night. Oh and I can’t forget our incessantly long email (100 +) chains that helped me get through my workday.

The bad: As I’ve mentioned before our team really loved each other. As in, we dated and made out with other more than a backwards family from West Virginia. I was not immune from this phenomenon. Though I did have a longer-lasting affair with one particular highly coveted player. At one point there was a little drama between me, him and another girl that wanted him BAD. She actually stuck her claws into him first, so I let it be and figured I’d cut my losses. If she was his cup of tea, I probably wasn’t. But then, he pursued me and I went with it. I didn’t want to offend this girl, but now, I’m so glad I saved him from her she-devil ways. If this were survivor, we’d probably have to vote this chick off the island. But that’s a whole other story.

There was another bad apple on our team, who had a scary poker face. His true character wasn’t revealed until much later. But again, a story for another time and place.

The ugly: This season was by far my favorite. The ugly is only in the fact that the season ended. There are things I wish I could change. I wish things had worked out between Mr. Clean and me. But they didn’t, and we are both adults enough to be able to still play on the same team and enjoy it. I wish a certain someone on our team hadn’t turned out be such a douche bag. But, it was all a learning experience. I wish I hadn’t spent so much damn hard earned money at the bar, but what’s kickball without flip cup, and beer… lots of it.

So tonight, as we don our neon bright t-shirts and another season awaits, untainted and pure as a little baby, I like to give a little nod to our kickball past. These shenanigans helped make our team who we are today. In all seriousness, tonight, I’ll be taking the field with best friends, coworkers, a boy I gave my heart to and people who have been there through the tough times…and hangovers. And I can’t wait. TO KICK SOME BALLS!

If my liver and dignity survive (c’mon, who am I kidding), check back again in about 3 months for a Season 5 recap. (Kick balls, flip cups, hoorah!)

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