Hello, undoubtedly attractive blog readers! My name is John Hamm, and you might remember me from previous posts where I said and did things! This is my second guest-posting appearance, the first of which offers invaluable information on how blogs get written and how I can’t magic them into existence. It’s enthralling! Go read it and all the other posts before this one if you haven’t already! Ok, shameless plugging done. What I’m here to tell you about is about a shocking secret, the kind that prompts one of those quick close-ups in a soap opera of some character with a shocked expression, accompanied by the sound of a martini glass shattering on the marble floor. Oh yes, take a seat and prepare yourself, because Emelie and I… are ACTUALLY SISTERS!!!
Kind of. Clean that glass up off the floor before you hurt yourself, because we’re gonna take a little trip in the way-back machine.
Miss Blogger here and I have been best friends since early in high school, when I came to a get-together at her house and ended up giving her the clumsiest lap dance ever (more on that later). Along with the package of being her bestbian came a couple of overly affectionate Golden Retrievers, a kitty minion, and a totally amazing second family. In case you’re wondering, I do have a first family that I love and adore as well, but this isn’t their blog, so pipe down.
Anyway, of all her family members, Emelie’s dad probably takes the “John Hamm is an adopted daughter” thing the most seriously. Which I love him for, but it can get a little painful. For example, there was a period of a few months where I didn’t come around (because Emelie was out of the country and I was busy with school), and the next time he saw me, he legit punched me in the arm about six times in between hugging me and asking where I’d been. And he’s a big guy, not to be taken lightly when he’s slugging you on the shoulder. He’s also not a man you can't refuse a drink from, and if you’re not having a good time around him, you’re probably not doing it right.
Fast forward to this past Saturday night where Emelie and I are working at the restaurant. Her parents come to sit at the bar, and she is standing talking to them when this conversation occurs:
Emelie: Hey, JH, what are you doing tomorrow?
Me: Uhhh nothing, I have the day off. Why?
Emelie (turning to her father): See? There you go.
Me: What’s going on?
Her Dad: I might have an extra ticket for the Browns game tomorrow, do you want to go?
Me (not really thinking about it too hard because I was working): Yeah, sure, let me know.
Now, I’m pretty sure Emelie has let slip that we’re in Northeast Ohio, and if you follow NFL at all, you know that being a Browns fan is pretty much a recipe for sadness. I figured he would find someone else to take the ticket (we were playing the Steelers, so it was going to be a popular game), and I didn’t think much more of it until the next morning. Here’s a rough timeline of that day and all the reasons why I’m glad my second dad is so awesome:
9:15 AM: Woke up. Picked up my phone to see I’d gotten a text from Emelie’s dad to see if I still wanted to go to the game about ten minutes before. Was still trying to wrap my brain around this about thirty seconds later when Emelie called at her father’s behest and told me to be out there by 10:30 at the latest. Groggily agreed, hung up, and tried to remember what pants were. I’m not a morning person.
10:15 AM: Arrived at Emelie’s parents’ house. Was handed a cup of coffee and then got straight into the car with my second dad. On the way, he explained that we were going to a tailgate party with people he had known ever since he moved to Suburbia and going to the game from there. I nodded, picturing a pick up truck with a grill in the back and a case of beer. In retrospect, I probably should have known better.
11:00 AM: For those who don’t know, tailgating is serious business in Cleveland. Serious, serious business. It’s all part of the event. The one I attended had two grills, two large banquet tables full of food, and a camper with what I can only assume was a full bar inside. And shot girls. Did you know you can hire shot girls for tailgate parties? I didn’t.
11:30 AM: I have been introduced to everyone at this party as “my daughter, the one I don’t bring out that often.” I don’t know how many people are buying it, but Emelie’s dad is just sipping on his drink and chuckling.
12:30 PM: Full of good food and somewhat less than sober, we head to the stadium. I get the brief tour of Brownstown (the inside heated bar with a large projector where you can go and drink in comfort if the game isn’t going your way, which it usually isn’t) and we head outside to our seats. The view from which looked like this:
Awesome. There were touchdowns happening in my face. Also, it was about 34 degrees out. I was barely aware of this.
1:30 PM: Yaaaaay beeeeeeeeeer!!! Everyone is yelling!!!
2:15ish PM: Halftime and we’ve gone inside to warm up. Remember what I said about Emelie’s dad not being someone you can turn a drink down from? That applies to overpriced stadium drinks too. Also, we stood around and talked to a couple people for about ten minutes, and when they walked away he turned to me and said, “I have no clue who those people were.”
2:45ish PM: Back out to the game, and the Steelers are up by one. Started to prepare myself for the inevitable feeling of defeat that permeates Cleveland sports.
4:15ish PM: We… We won? WE WON!!! HOT DOGS AND MORE BEER!!! I’M HUGGING AND HIGH FIVING STRANGERS!!! I’M A GOOD LUCK CHARM, BITCHES!!!
6:30 PM: Sober, but falling asleep in the passenger seat. All tuckered out from a big day!
By the time I made it home that night (Emelie and I made dinner after I got back), I fell into bed and passed out. When I woke up, I was hoarse from screaming and I felt like my legs had been run over by a bus. I also might be running a mild fever. But it was awesome and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. So thanks again to the best second dad ever from his favorite adopted daughter: if you ever need someone to remember where we parked again, you know where to find me.