Sporting Life

It was a quiet Sunday morning, and I was enjoying a second cup of coffee as I perused online dating profiles.  I almost choked when I noticed many of the gentlemen reaching out referred to me as a “girly girl with a passion for sports.”  Some wrote that though their interest in sports was not as intense as mine, they would like to “chat.”  Others expressed a ready interest in meeting someone who sounded like their “kind of “girl.  I was confused as nowhere in my profile had I ever referred to myself as a “girly girl who had a passion for sports.”  The arts and humanities were more my style, though I enjoyed an occasional live sporting event.  I discovered the “culprit” phrase in the introductory section of my profile, and it stood out like a newspaper headline.  It was one of the clever auto phrases from which to select if assistance was needed to attract attention to one’s profile.  Did someone hack into my account?  How could my profile have been breached?  I checked and double checked but found that all was secure.  It turned out that I may have accidentally hit something and unknowingly chose this phrase.  Was it fate?

I sorted through the various responses to the “sports passion” reference.  Some gentlemen mentioned they weren’t much into sports, but were fascinated by that description and had their curiosity piqued.  Others challenged me by asking questions about current sports events and historical trivia.  One gentleman, in particular, inundated me.  Who had the most hits in MLB?  How many home runs did Babe Ruth hit in his career?  His challenges went on and on.  He was definitely a sports aficionado, and certainly desired to take me through my paces.  My hackles were raised as I began to feel my competitive side come alive.  Though I knew next to nothing about sports trivia, I felt compelled to give this man, who called himself Travis, his due.  With that, I drew my trusty phone. 

After a few lively online exchanges, we decided to continue our challenge on the phone.  Travis fired question after question.  Surprisingly, I was able to keep up as I quickly researched the answers, and blessed my cell phone and Internet to which it was connected.  I continued to allow him to believe I possessed such sports wisdom.  It was hard to believe he was so easily tricked.  I wondered how familiar he was with modern technology.  That he was a member of an online dating site hinted at least a basic level of understanding.  Though I was being deceitful, I almost felt a guilty pleasure in being so as Travis continued to toss more sports trivia questions my way.  His attitude of superiority prompted me to become more determined than ever that I would continue this ruse.

To Tell the Truth…

We agreed to meet at one of my favorite restaurants.  I felt a bit anxious and a little guilty as I knew I would have to admit to misleading Travis.  He was running a little late.  I was seated facing front, anticipating his arrival.  Little did I know what an entrance it would be!  Suddenly I heard a tapping sound behind me that grew louder as it drew closer.  Turning abruptly, I spied a gentleman who looked to be at least 100 (an exaggeration, but one gets the picture) dressed in formal attire leaning on a cane, with some effort, slowly making his way toward me.  He gruffly shouted at busboys to make way, and roughly pushed aside any well meaning person trying to assist him in his unsteady journey.  Drawing closer, he began to focus on me.  A spark of recognition and delight lit up his countenance.  “How are you, young lady?”  He boomed in a friendly voice (though, obviously I am not in the first bloom of youth).  My face grew hot with embarrassment as all eyes were on us, and unfortunately the place was packed with patrons.  I went to assist him into the booth.  Yanking his arm from my hold, he gave me a warning look.  I immediately stepped away to allow him to seat himself.  A great sinking feeling began to form in my gut as I watched Travis struggle to seat himself.  What had I gotten myself into? 

Once he was finally seated, I found myself at a loss for words.  I glanced down at the menu and began to make small talk regarding its various offerings.  “What team has played in four Super Bowls but never held a lead?”  Travis challenged in his booming voice.  My moment of truth had arrived.  I swallowed hard, made a gesture with my pointer finger signifying he should wait a moment.  Drawing my trusty cell phone, I began to search for the answer.  Once I found it, I murmured, “The Minnesota Vikings.”  I was met by prolonged silence.  At that, I slowly raised my gaze, wincing inwardly as I prepared for a surly reply.  He stared at me for what seemed an eternity, then a slow smile formed on his lips.  He roared with laughter, shaking the entire booth with its intensity.  There was no evidence of scorn or dismay.  I watched him in puzzlement, not knowing how to reply to his response.  “Well, young lady, I am impressed by the courage you showed in how you presented your very impressive talent for pulling the wool over my eyes, and then having the nerve to personally show me the truth,” he said with a chuckle, his eyes twinkling.  “I wondered about your “extensive” knowledge of sports trivia…”  Then the server arrived to take our dinner orders.

As we dined, we spoke of many things.  We discussed sports, his stint in the military during World War II, and especially stories of our families and happy childhoods.  I found Travis to be a delightful conversationalist with a dry and wonderful sense of humor.  Fortunately, the other patrons in the restaurant had settled down to their own business.  Travis explained to me that he was 98, and that his grandson, with whom he lived, had driven him to meet me.  I felt both blessed and honored that this man, who was crippled with arthritis, and who rarely left his home, had taken it upon himself to meet me in person.


Finally our time together came to a close.  I walked out holding Travis’s hand as he used his cane with the other, slowly making our way to the exit.  He was old enough to be my father, though I have stated before, I am hardly in the first bloom of youth.  He informed me that he now counted me among his friends, and hoped that we would remain in touch.  I readily agreed that we would.

Upon exiting the restaurant, I did a double-take.  Parked directly in front of the door was a Mercedes limousine complete with chauffeur.  A very good looking twenty-something gentleman exited from the back of the vehicle and came around to meet Travis.  “There you are, Josh!”  Travis cried in welcome. “This is my great grandson, Josh!  He proudly announced.  A warm and engaging smile lit up the young man’s countenance.  He extended his hand and took my hand in a firm handshake.  “I hope my grandfather didn’t overwhelm you with his gruff personality and his rather passionate knowledge of sports trivia.”  Josh teased.  He then bent forward to offer Travis his arm for support as he helped his grandfather into the limousine.  Just before the door was closed, Travis turned and said, “Thank you, young lady, for a very interesting and pleasant evening.  We will talk.”  With a final wave, Josh climbed into the backseat beside his grand sire.  I waved them off with a smile.  Never would I have thought that what had begun as a possible travesty would end in such a warm and positive experience.




2 responses to “Sporting Life”

  1. Roseanna Avatar

    Loved it❤️ Great read❣️

  2. Catherine Armstrong Avatar
    Catherine Armstrong

    What a great story Cindy! I like Travis!

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