In a former life, I would either be currently attached to a TV or in Kentucky, with a ridiculous hat and a mint julep.
Because, hello, today is the Kentucky Derby.
The first of the coveted Triple Crown, I've dreamed of watching this legendary race in person for years. And back when I would have made the weight cut, I even considered training to get an exercise jockey license. Because, you know, that would bring me one eensy, tiny step closer to the Kentucky Derby.
Instead, today, I'm off to the polo courts in Allston and Somerville, with a few prizes in my bag and full of expectations of good hugs from good friends. Finishing up hats for ESPI last night, I suddenly realized that I had promised to make these the first day I showed up to polo. In October. It was just starting to get chilly; I had just watched my life as I planned it go down the shitter, and the only thing I seemed good at collecting were rejection letters from firms. In retaliation, I painted my nails bright, bright red.
And started spending Sunday afternoons with a mallet in one hand [or, at least a beer], and forming those bonds that make bad days, weeks, or months just unravel. I remember biking down Western Ave, then that paved sidewalk to the court itself on sharp, verging-on-winter fall days my mind an emotional mess of "I didn't get that job I was dying for, my note's a mess, my future is falling apart, blah blah blah, wah wah wah wah..." And trying to keep myself from bursting into frantic tears, I'd look up and see a raised mallet or hand waving, Jamie stopping by the wall to say hello [cigarette in one hand, mallet in the other], and Nick making some smartass comment as he coasted by [laughter, in any case, inevitably ensuing].
In any life sans polo, I'd find a way to watch the Derby. But even with three more finals staring me down, I'm going to make a little time to deliver on promises, and watch my polo peeps own. I may not be able to offer any kind of tangible support on the court [unless you count my trademark "get in everyone's way" move], but that doesn't mean I can't cheer or heckle.
And even if Boston doesn't take every single prize offered [including a Volume cutter frame thanks to Kip and Bud at Cambridge], at least the winning team will be forced to rep Boston whenever they might turn these brims up. And with the Derby favorite this year named "I Want Revenge," well, I think that's all too appropriate.
[And if you're reading this, with nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon, pedal your ass over to one of the courts. Right now. GO.]