Excuse Me – You’re in my Seat

So I went to the last game of the regular season this past Sunday at Yankee Stadium. My father got us all some great, great seats – it was supposed to be my parents, my sister and I – in the main box section by home plate… the good seats, with padded backs and waitress service and are up behind the Yankees dugout. My parents bailed on the game after they saw the 70% chance of rain that was schedule for the entire day but my sister and I decided to take a shot. It was a very, very memorable game, but not for the reasons you think!

Like I said, the seats were awesome. The only time I’ve ever gotten seats like these were if I moved to them throughout the course of a game. Actually for one of the games this season, I sat all over the stadium: the right field bleachers, the tier, the main, and the field level. Last season, I sat in those seats that are just about on the field and ended up talking the third base umpire between innings – I went down to the field wall during batting practice and never left… since it was against the White Sox (who weren’t contenders last year) the seats in the field boxes were half empty and no one came to claim these seats.

This game, however, the stadium was about three quarters full but scattered throughout the stadium. Roger Clemens was acting manager – Boomer was going for his 200th career win – Jeter was batting for the title for best average in the AL. Because of the rain, we left later and got there just as the starting line ups were being announced; we’re usually there an hour before the start to beat some traffic and get better parking. We got to the seats, drooled for an inning or two at our proximity to home plate, and I went to get lunch. I brought the food back and my sister moved off the aisle seat (we had tickets for seats 1-4) and moved in two; she figured that this would leave a seat open on either side of us so we weren’t bothering our neighbors while we were eating. Just as we were finishing lunch, some guy comes up and sits down next to me in the aisle seat.

Um, OK? I know he doesn’t have a ticket for the seat – I have my ticket (seat 2) and my sister has the tickets for 1, 3 and 4. They’re all clearly marked with a hefty $58.00/ticket price stamped on them. Alright – I do the same thing, so who am I to get all uppity about the price of tickets in the section? Granted I was enjoying the spaciousness of this arrangement, because it’s usually tight quarters in the seats at the Stadium, and yes this guy was sitting on top of me now, and even though I do have all the tickets for this box, so… well ya know what? That’s enough of a reason to nudge the dude out!

I waited a half inning. He doesn’t say anything which is not surprising. He’s in a boosted chair and this is New York City – we’re not supposed to be all that chatty, even at a ball game. During the inning break, he starts to take off his jacket and get comfy. I say to him, “Um, you do know that someone is sitting there, right?” He says, “Someone is sitting here? Are they here yet?” I blink. Resistance! “Yeah, they’re supposed to meet us here, but we have a tickets for this row,” I reply. “Oh, OK – let me know if you see them coming and I’ll move!” he replies.

*thump* I’ve been thwarted! Now the guy takes this opportunity to start chatting with me. Jeter’s average. Mueller’s average and Manny’s average from last night. Boomer’s 200th win. Roger’s last game. Blah Blah Blah! I musta been tense because my sister is now getting annoyed with the guy. I mean I wanna watch the game. We’re close enough to the field to be worried about foul balls – ya gotta pay attention! Every time a foul is lined into the stands, we watch the EMS team move down to make sure everyone OK. I had a game to watch!

I mention to the guy again that our people were coming any time. He says that he didn’t mind and continues to chat. I mention that there’s a bunch of other seats around us. He says that he took this one single so it wasn’t as conspicuous. I reply, “Conspicuous to who?” He says, “To anyone. That usher has been checking tickets randomly so I didn’t want him to think I wasn’t sitting where I was supposed to.” I say, “Yeah, but there’s lots of seats around here…” “I don’t mind moving later,” he replies. *tHuMp* I turn to my sister and say, “Have you heard from Mom and Dad? Are they coming?” She responds that she’s not sure. She then whispers to me that I should get the guy to move. Um, hello?

I turn back to the guy and tell him we do have the tickets for seats 1 and 2; we could show him the stubs. The guy responds, “Oh that’s alright – I don’t have to see the tickets,” and continues to watch the game. *THUMP*

Next the guy orders M&M’s, then a soda, and then peanuts. Now I’ve got peanut shells flying all over me and the place smells like the inside of a Skippy jar. And while I’ve got nothing against peanut butter, I don’t need it coming from this guy’s mouth – the blizzard of shells and peanut skins were also greatly annoying and I decide it’s time for a walkabout. My sister and I both hop up to get something else to drink… she tells me that I should tell him to go – I tell her that I’m Done. Nothing is working with this guy and I’m out of my reserves of subtly; I also feel a bit hypocritical because I’ve moved seats during other games. The difference with me is that if someone says it’s their seat, I bolt; I don’t even need to see the stub – I’m gone. Anyway. when we get back to the seats, my sister tells the guy that she wants to sit there again, because she could see better from that seat. He looks hurt but gets up and moves to the row directly behind this seat; that entire row was empty. We kept seats 1 and 2 for the rest of the game and the dude stayed in the seat behind us.

Basically I had to ask my sister to bounce someone for me, if only because subtlety was completely lost on this dude.

What can I say? Women’s lib rules.

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