Sunday, September 21, 2008

A night out

As parents of two small children, it isn't too often that the Handsome Australian and I get the chance to have a night out on the town--just the two of us. We love a night out as much as the next person, but it isn't always easy to organise baby sitters, etc. This weekend, however, we were lucky enough to have one of the grandparents volunteer to tame the beasts while we enjoyed a night out on our own.

When you don't get to go out as often as you did in your life before your gorgeous children came along, you really like to make the most of the nights you do get. So that usually means dinner and drinks somewhere followed by some kind of event--the movies, a play, a party--anything really, just take me out.

And out we went on Friday night. There wasn't much conversation around where we should go because on this Friday night in September in Melbourne, there was really only one place to be, well as far as the Handsome Australian is concerned that is, and that place was....wait for it...the MCG.

Yes, the MCG or the Melbourne Cricket Ground or just "The G" as we Melbournians like to call it. (Wait, did I just say, "we melbournians"? I did didn't I? Crickey...the conversion is nearly complete) Why the G? It's not Cricket season yet is it? No, it's not Cricket season, it's actually the end of the footy season (and when I say footy here I'm referring to Aussie Rules Football) and the town is abuzz with Finals Fever. Anyone who is anybody in Melbourne would have been at the game on Friday night to watch the Handsome Australian's beloved Geelong take on the scrappy but formidable Western Bulldogs. (Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating the importance of this game, but I'm merely taking my cues from the Handsome Australian who assured me numerous times that this was indeed "the place" to be on Friday night. If I can't trust him, who can I trust?? I mean he's never led me astray, never tried to tell me stories about drop bears or anything misleading and down right untrue like that. He's my guide to all things Aussie and I have to take his word on it when he explains the cultural relevance of these events.)

The Handsome Australian being Anybody and me being Anyone meant it was our duty to be at the game on Friday night. The tickets were not easy to come by. This game was the equivalent of a semi-final match although it isn't referred to in those terms--the Aussies call it a preliminary final. (Thinking about the terminology now, it's one of the few times I can recall the Aussies using a longer phrase to describe something than we Americans do--we'd probably call it a semifinal and be done with it. Hmm...interesting.) So it was up to the Handsome Australian to use his extensive network of connected people to try and wrangle a couple of tickets for us to go to "one of the most important games of the year" (can you guess who I'm quoting there?? A certain Australian with handsome tendencies perhaps?). So he put the feelers out early in the week to see who might be able to get us some tickets. He didn't have to feel very far because the Handsome Australian is related to three other Handsome Australians--ie his brothers. All of these boys are cut from the same footy loving cloth and they were on top of the ticket hunt already. Brother number four came up with the goods in 10 minutes. That kid's amazing. He knows EVERYONE (and this time I'm not exaggerating).

So once the tickets and babysitter were sorted, we were good to go. We met amazing Brother number four and his girlfriend for dinner at a nice little place in Federation Square in the city. Now for most Melbournians, "Fed Square" as we call it (there I go saying we again) is a love it or hate it kind of place. It's a relatively new addition to the cityscape and was received with mixed reviews. For the record, I'd like it noted here that I love it. Thanks very much.

But I digress, we had a lovely dinner in Federation Square and then took the leisurely walk down the Yarra to the gates of the MCG. If you haven't figured it out yet, the MCG is a giant stadium that sits on the banks of the Yarra river on the city's edge. It seats 100,000 people and is one of Australia's most iconic sporting venues. On Friday night, it was bustling with footy fans decked out in their team colours and ready to bear witness to history in the making--after all, one team would go on to the Grand Final (think Superbowl) and the other team would slink off quietly into the night knowing they had come that close to tasting glory but just couldn't go all the way.

While I'm not really a Geelong fan, I was hoping against hope that they would win the game and go on to the Grand Final--it would certainly make my week a lot easier. A win for Geelong equals a Happy Handsome Australian and a Happy Handsome Australian equals a Happy Me. Luckily, Geelong had game and they came to play. They've won 22 matches this season out of 23 and they are favourites to win the Grand Final. So I didn't need to stress too much about a Geelong win. Being so relaxed, I was able to make a few observations about the crowd that I might not have if I was engaged in a nail biting contest of footy (because I can't go past a nail biting contest of footy. No sir. When it's close, I just have to watch and watch. I can't turn away. Okay, so maybe the exaggeration is running rife through this post...). For what it's worth, here's what I observed:

Uh-oh, cliff hanger time! Stay tuned tomorrow for my keen footy observations!!


Scintilla said...

Who won , who won ???

suzinoz said...

Scintilla--Geelong won of course!! The game was actually close during the first quarter and the Bulldogs were leading at some point. You can imagine, the Handsome Australian was very tense during those moments, but they came home with it in the end. So Grand Final here we come. Hawthorn won against St. Kilda the following night so it will be Geelong vs. Hawthorn for the Grand Final.
Thanks for reading!

Nathalie said...

Sounds like it was a great night out. You've experienced more of the footy culture than I have and I have 30 odd years on you. ;-)

suzinoz said...

Au contraire Nathalie...I've been here for 8 years now. I don't think you've got 30 odd on me--maybe 20 odd =)