But it was worth it.
One of our vendors had their skybox for the Blackhawks game last night, so the plan was for my staff (S and A) and CB to go. However, CB was sick, and made the decision to stay home, and suggested we invite J from his staff up near the border of Illinois and Wisconsin to go. I called J and he was very excited about going, because it turns out he's a huge hockey fan.
We head down about 5:30, and get there an hour later, and I show off my parking prowess by finding the free parking which is 2 blocks from the stadium; everyone was very impressed. We get inside, and the skybox is in the primo location -- the lowest level skybox possible, about 10 rows up from the ice, which means when the hottie blackhawk goalie is on our side of the ice, my drool can pretty much just reach him. It turns out the boxes on either side of us were United Airlines boxes, so this must have been a good location, since we were at the United Center.
The food was free, the beer and liquor and wine were free, and the tremendously calorific but tasty desert cart was free, too. It was an excellent time, and the hawks won, 2-0: my hottie goalie got himself a shutout, as all the guys around me kept reminding me of, amusing me further.
On the ride home, it was neat, because it was a huge team building moment. A, who is also a big hockey fan, had ended up watching maybe 5 minutes of the game, because every time he'd go back in the box for the free beer, he ended up sitting down and having long conversations with the folks inside the skybox taking refuge from the cold. On the way home, he kept apologizing to us for not watching the game, and we had to keep telling his liquored-up self that we didn't mind, we just found it humorous, and not in a bad way.
S was cute and funny at the game as she and I spent the second quarter using J's binoculars to scope out the bench and find the cute guys. This garnered us eye-rolling and groans from the guys around us, which just amused us even more. The bonus of the evening was during the intermission between the 2nd and 3rd period, when S and I were people watching: we saw this dyed blonde chick in squiggly velvet pants and a sleeveless shirt walk down to seats that were 3 rows up from the ice. We were critiquing the outfit and the boyfriend that was about 25 years older than she was when we watched the ticket lady go ask them for her tickets. We saw, in order, the lady ask for the tickets, the guy try to bribe the ticket lady, the lady turn him down, the guy try again, get rejected, and then finally show the lady his tickets and get booted back up to where they're supposed to be. And then, 5 minutes before the end of the game, S is watching the TV screen above the ice and says "That's HER!" and I look up, and they've got the squiggly pants lady on the TV screen as one of their random pick-the-women-out-of-the-audience shots. We did have good seats.
On the way home, we found out that J is a total renaissance man, as well. Not only does he have a gig to shoot two of the Bulls game for Pro Football Weekly, which owns a basketball magazine, but he is on the pyrotechnics crew for the fireworks just one town over, goes to the Bears games (and he had a ticket free until today and I didn't get it!), and plays hockey. Wow -- we're even getting good seats for the Roselle fireworks this year! and he's very modest about it, when I told him that all this stuff he did was amazing, he just shrugged and said 'I have a lot of hobbies'.
I did note there was no ring on his fingers, but alas, he works for CB, and lives like 1.5 hours away or so.
But it was such a good night, and much fun was had. Plus, I got to take home a big ol' piece of chocolate cake. Yum.