New York State of Mind

My first Giants tailgate with Dad

I work a double Sunday and it’s a big day – NFC Divisional Championship Game: Giants vs. Packers. After that, the Golden Globes. I haven’t been paying as much attention this year to my G-Men. It’s just that I always work Sundays so it’s hard to dedicate myself 100% to watching. I know my family is all home, together, watching (except Stephen, he hates the Giants; and family). Growing up, there was always noise in my house. On the weekends my parents would blare music (usually some form of classic rock, as if to brainwash us), and on Sundays all I heard was the sound of football and Dad yelling.

It wasn’t until high school – junior year, actually – that I started to like the Giants. They went to the playoffs that year, and the games were just so exciting. I got a lot of crap for being a Giants fan in South Jersey. Not that I really cared; I loved being different. I was in college when I went to my first game in Giants’ stadium. Schultz’ husband, Nick (boyfriend at the time), has season tickets and couldn’t go, so he gave them to me and Dad. It was surreal to be in a parking lot full of G-Men fans. I was so used to being the minority. People randomly invited us to their tailgates – which are very high class, by the way; people have lobster and filet and ridiculous food. I kept saying, this is so cool. So many Giants’ fans! And I’m not fearing for my life!

The brunch shift is nothing crazy, but we get a crowd. I thankfully can park myself behind the bar and put the sound up on the game. No one really sits at the bar during brunch. A family is here and the father is chasing around his daughter the whole time. She’s 1 and she’s non-stop. Carmen, I find out is her name, has on this adorable zebra print fluffy skirt with pink trim. She’s a real cutie.

I strike up a conversation with Dad, obviously my thoughts are directed to the game. Are you a football fan? “I was until I had my daughter.” Wow. True words. He used to play fantasy football and now it just seems ridiculous to him. I get it, but having a kid really seems to change your life. So not ready for that. I can barely take care of myself.

Usually during my break I go somewhere for lunch, but today I can’t take my eyes off the screen. I park myself down in front of the TV and watch the second half. The Giants win. Yesssssssssss! Magali has been watching the game with me. She worked the brunch shift and now she just needs to do some paperwork before she goes home. We chat it up for a while. She constantly tells me how much she loves me. “If it doesn’t work out here for you, I hope we can still be friends.” (Obviously I vent my frustrations to her, but I don’t plan on leaving.) She’s funny. She’s drinking some wine when Corinne walks in for the night shift at 5pm. Magali asks her to pour her some more. Corinne says no – she’s so motherly. She warns Magali that she’s going to become an alcoholic. “I AM an alcoholic. I’m 21, I’m allowed to be.”

After I set up, I scroll through the channels to see what station the Golden Globes will be on. It’s on right now, I’m missing it! Oh, curse you, time difference! I miss hilarious Ricky Gervais in the opening, but it’s still close to the beginning. A couple guys walk in and ask me to turn up the volume. Only in LA. You bet! We all watch and talk passionately about different shows and movies we like; who should win and who shouldn’t. Of course I also love seeing what everyone looks like. A few more stragglers come in and everyone wants to watch. It’s great.

When George Clooney wins I text Tara, yay! She doesn’t respond. God, why do I always forget she doesn’t get phone service up on a mountain? When the show ends, I turn the volume down. It starts to replay, and I see Ricky Gervais’ face. OK, I’ll just turn it up for the intro. A couple walks in and sits down at the bar. They want to watch. So I leave it on and watch the whole show again.

*Billy Joel

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