So yeah, I went to a Twins game this year. Didn't really watch much in the way of baseball, but it was a Target field experience.
My parents are both Minnesota natives, my mom from Duluth and my dad from Hinckley. They met as teachers in the surging metropolis of Renville, MN, and married after a year of what was undoubtedly courtship in the most old-fashioned sense of the word. By all logic it really shouldn’t have worked. Mom was 10 years older, worldly, a musician with urban tastes and a penchant for Rum and Cokes. Dad was the essential farm kid, the big strong jock/quiet loner type with no desire to ever live where he could see a neighbor. Mom was parties, music, late nights, hugs and laughter, long letters and longer talks on the phone. Dad was the quiet solitude of the back forty, the soft glow just before sunrise, let’s stay home and watch the game on TV, why the heck would I answer the phone it’s never for me, never wanted to be the center of attention, simple man personified. I secretly suspect that the sole reason they ever met and dated was that they were quite possibly the only two single college educated individuals in town. Regardless, life is what you never expect, and by the next August they were getting married.
For my mom and dad, life was a study in compromise. Mom learned to live on a farm, raise and can a remarkable amount of our food, appreciate quiet sunsets at home, and adapted to the subtle masochism that is cheering for Minnesota sports teams, especially the Twins and Vikings. Dad learned to appreciate the frequent forays to the "big city" (aka Duluth), become a big part of the social network of the community, sing in the choir, play the guitar, maybe even enjoy a party or two. There were three kids spread across four smallish towns in three different states, lots of concerts, even more games, graduations, marriages and grandkids. And through it all, even though there are still times when you see the shake of the head combined with "that’s your father/mother", their marriage not only survived, it thrived.
By now if you’re still reading you’re probably wondering how this relates to Target field. Well, my parents married in August of 1966, making this year their 50th anniversary. Naturally the children wished to recognize the momentous occasion with a party! Predictably, dad said "heck no" (he swears less than Joe Mauer). Mom said, "well, you know your father". The children, being the rotten sort of offspring who don’t listen well, were left to conspire to trick the parents into some sort of surprise gathering. Hence Target field. The children convinced the parents they had to do "something", and got them to concede that maybe the immediate family could just go to a Twins game. Then the children booked a skybox, invited 30+ family and friends to show up and surprise the happy couple, sent a limo to pick them up (they’d never been in a limo before), and shocked the bejeezus out of them.
It was a crap game. The Twins lost (I know, shocker) to the Tigers, three to eight. Kyle Gibson was bad, the bullpen was bad, and the offense was offensive outside of a Brian Dozier homer. It rained. But oh the experience. I saw my parents, once again, even after all these years, synergize in a way that most couples could only envy. They compensate for each other’s weaknesses and bring out the best in each other in a way that is nothing short of enviable. My mom flits from group to group, keeping everyone involved and happy, periodically pulling dad along for the ride and acting as his shield so he doesn’t grow weary of the adulation. My dad quietly retreats to corners, watching carefully to keep mom from overexerting (her heart, you know), making sure she stops talking long enough to eat and drink, basking in her reflected happiness. They tell the same stories, helping each other over the details, laughing at all the same spots. As for the nine innings of crappy weather and baseball, well nobody much cared, because it was a Metrodome baggie’s worth of love, family and togetherness.
Well except for my 91 year old uncle. He’d never been to a professional ball game in his life, and he lived and died with every pitch. He thought the Twins pitchers should be better. I couldn’t really argue.
Tldr: So yeah, I went to a Twins game this year.