Sunday, July 5, 2009

2: Hard to Believe

The next day at work, I was bursting at the seams, waiting to tell my co-worker what had transpired the night before. He was late, as usual, and I fidgeted in my seat until he arrived.

“Steve!” I cried when he finally showed up. “You are never going to believe what happened to me yesterday!”

He looked taken aback by the fervor in my voice. “What?”

“I met Crosby.”

He paused. “Sidney Crosby?”


“Number 87?”


“Of the Pittsburgh Penguins?”


He looked dumb stricken. “What? Wait. Please explain this.”

I told him my story in full, beginning with going to dinner, thinking Andy Samberg was in the restaurant, and how he came over and offered us autographs after hearing us talk about him.

“But you didn’t get an autograph?” Steve asked.

“No, I didn’t. He was going to take a picture with me, too, but we got to talking, and then I almost choked to death, so we didn’t get around to it. And then he left to do his interview, and then we left before it was over, so no momentos for the night, except the awesome memories.”

“I don’t believe you,” he answered.

“I didn’t think you would believe me, without proof,” I retorted.

“Because I don’t believe you would meet him without walking away with something, even if that means you would rip the shirt right off his body!”

I snickered, thinking of the day when Steve introduced me to Sidney Crosby—and therefore the world of hockey. The pictures of his shirtless GQ shoot flitted into my mind. He was only eighteen at the time of those pictures, so I felt slightly perverted when I flushed and overheated at the sight of him. Crosby was about two and a half years younger than me, but he was all man, even at that young age.

“Well, he certainly would have looked better without the shirt,” I thought aloud, of my meeting with him the night before.

“Noelle!” he said, feigning surprise at my crude remark.

I shrugged and smiled. “You know it’s true.”

“I know you adore him. Actually, I’m surprised you were able to get out any words in his presence. I figured you would be stunned into stupidity.”

“He’s actually pretty easy to get along with. He’s the one who came over to us and offered his autograph. Very gracious. It was only a little awkward.”

“Define ‘a little awkward.’”

“Um, well, it was just weird at first, because I didn’t recognize him! He kind of rubbed it in, and I felt embarrassed. And then my friend commented that he should be living on his own by now, which is just something you don’t bring up to a guy like that! I was a little sad that we couldn’t stick around, though, because he told me I had some interesting thoughts on the game.”

“He said that to you? Maybe he wanted some advice.”

“He probably just didn’t realize that I don’t really know what I’m talking about, so my thoughts are ‘interesting.’”

“You know more than you think, Noelle,” Steve said. “I’ve taught you well.” I laughed at that, but he continued. “You know more than ‘puck in net is good.’ You know terms and rules, you know players and strategies, and you know players on other teams and a bigger picture of the league than your hometown team. You may only have been following the sport for a season, but you know more than some of the people who have watched the Penguins for years.”

“Aw, thanks Steve!” I said, pretending to tear up.

“Well, it’s like I said, Noelle. I taught you well."

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