Remember that time I almost ruined a dream vacation to Mexico? No? Well, I sure do … and I was reminded of that colossal fuck up last month, just days before my family and I were due to take our second trip down to Sanibel Island.
As some of you may recall, we traveled to Southwest Florida for the first time a couple of years ago … a vacation that included our first-ever visit to the Red Sox’s spring-training facility, which was all kinds of awesome. So awesome, in fact, that a return visit to spring training was one of the things we’d been most looking forward to since finding out several months ago that Super Generous Mother-in-Law was again hosting us at an ocean-side condo in Sanibel this February. So imagine my dismay when, just days before our departure, we discovered that public access to the Red Sox’s spring-training complex wouldn’t begin until two days after our vacation ended.
Wha-wha-WHAT?!? How could this be? We booked this year’s trip during the same calendar week as our previous visit. Surely there must have been some mistake.
Oh, there was a mistake, alright … and it was mine. Turns out the Sox, who opened public workouts on Feb. 13 in 2013, weren’t opening public workouts until Feb. 21 this year. And I could have found that out in about .6 seconds if I had bothered to look it up in advance … but I had foolishly assumed everything would be the same. And you know what happens when you assume, right? Yes, that’s right: You ruin your family’s vacation. Nice work, dickhead.
“Alright,” I told myself, “I can fix this. There’s gotta be a way. Hmmmm. Hey, I know! I can change our return flight and extend our trip by a couple of days! Because I’m sure that’ll be super affordable! Alright, let’s look up what it will cost us to change the plane tickets …”
I shall now share with you the text exchange in which I notify my wife of the cost to change our return flight and she responds with a spot-on assessment of the situation.
Suffice it to say that we could no more afford to extend our trip than we could to pay Big Papi to come to our house and play Wiffle ball with the kids.
Since I couldn’t solve the problem by throwing money at it, I did what I normally end up doing to solve all of my problems: I turned to the Internet.
First, I emailed the proprietor of SpringTrainingConnection.com, a website that is dedicated to all things spring training
SUBJECT: Red Sox Spring Training
Hello. I am writing out of sheer desperation and would appreciate any input you might have in response to the following:
The Red Sox’s public workouts begin on 2/21 this year … and our upcoming trip to Florida ends 2/19. Yes, we blew it. Is there anything you know of that we can do to get into the park to see whomever is already there working out prior to 2/21?
My 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter (not to mention my wife) are likely to kill me in my sleep if I don’t figure something out. Any suggestions you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
I felt confident that whomever received that email would reply with some special, inside information that would have us kicking it with the Red Sox in no time. Yes, surely I was on the verge of fixing my embarrassing mistake.
Nope, there’s no fix for that. The complex and JetBlue Park opens to the public on February 21 this year. Any date before that and the facilities are considered “closed” as far as the public is concerned.
I wish I had better news for you, but there’s really nothing you can do.
Nothing I can do? NOTHING I CAN DO? Clearly, the author of that email didn’t know he was corresponding with a mentally ill lunatic who has a history of becoming maniacally possessed and singularly focused on accomplishing things with which a sane person wouldn’t bother wasting their precious time. (Anyone remember that whole Howard Stern’s Birthday Bash thing? I rest my case.)
Using my super-Internet-sleuthing skills, I located a webpage that listed all Red Sox employees … including the facilities manager at the Red Sox’s spring-training complex. And so, with the aplomb of a skilled stalker, I took a stab at guessing what that person’s email address most likely was and fired off a missive that I hoped and prayed would strike the recipient as humorously persuasive rather than creepily inappropriate. Either way, I figured I had nothing to lose … other than my spotless record of never having been on the receiving end of a restraining order, that is.
SUBJECT: Desperate plea from a die-hard Red Sox fan
Hello. My name is Jon and I am a super-famous blogger (minus the “super-famous” part), as well as the man behind the once-popular, now mostly defunct Sox Nation website. My wife, 9-year-old daughter, 11-year-old son and I are Boston-area natives and die-hard Red Sox fans.
I am writing to you out of sheer desperation after discovering this week that I committed one of the biggest blunders of my entire life.
[Hi, blog readers. Jon here. This portion of the email originally comprised a couple of paragraphs in which I explained to the recipient how I fucked up the dates for our trip, which you already know about, so this is me saving you the trouble of reading it all over again. You’re welcome.]
If there is any chance at all that you could arrange for us to visit the park one morning between 2/15 & 2/19 to watch a workout, I can’t begin to tell you how truly grateful we would be. And, hey, if you’re not able to facilitate this request, no worries! I’m sure my kids will eventually stop crying … and, with any luck, they may even speak to me again someday. Probably on my deathbed, I’m guessing. So, you know … no pressure!
In a cheap ploy designed to further tug on your heartstrings, I have attached a picture of me and my children, taken on the night that the Sox won the 2013 World Series.
And just in case you’re not the sentimental type: It is worth noting that the Sox won the World Series the year that my family and I first visited during spring training … and then finished in last place the following year, when we did NOT visit during spring training. Coincidence? I think not!
In all seriousness: Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I am hopeful that you will consider my request, as I feel awful about messing up my family’s vacation plans so badly. If you are able to help, or can point me in the direction of someone who can, I would be eternally grateful.
I know what you’re thinking: You’re thinking, “Did it work??” (Actually, you’re thinking, “Oh my god, you are such a pathetic douche for sending someone an email like that.” And since I can’t argue with you on that one, let’s instead pretend that you’re thinking “Did it work??”)
And the answer IS … coming in my next post.
To be continued …