About three days before my best friend convinced me that it was necessary to do some serious research into my ex’s disappearing act I distracted myself in the best way possible with the only men I still had tolerance for – the Pittsburgh Steelers. I secured the tickets months earlier and at the time intended on my ex attending with me. Panicked for a moment that no one else would want to take a half day off on a Monday and schlep themselves down to San Diego with me to cheer on the visiting team with 70,000 drunk fans, I had an epiphany.
Esmerelda! My most spontaneous and adventurous college friend whom I convinced to fly down from San Francisco the morning after bridesmaid duty to accompany me to the game, even though she could give two shits about football. She wasn’t one to pass up a good time and even agreed to don a wardrobe in full support of my favorite team. When she asked me how my relationship was and picked up on my desperate attempt to fight back tears she immediately abandoned the topic. This weekend wasn’t about focusing on the men who hurt us, it was about the one group of men who provide me with a beacon of hope every Sunday from September to December (January if I’m lucky). The Steelers. Yes, this weekend was about my love for Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, James Harrison, D’Angelo Williams and Martavis Bryant. All other men might as well have been related to Trump or infected with Zika. They were all useless bums as far as I was concerned.
As most good decisions ensue after six beers, we grew determined to crash a tailgate.
As I placed one foot after the other inside the gates of Qualcomm (and downed half a dozen PBR’s) all of the pain and heartache seemed to melt away. I knew it was fleeting but this was my happy place, and I had to make the most of it. As most good decisions ensue after six beers, we grew determined to crash a tailgate.
We spent the next three hours gallivanting around the parking lot mingling with Steelers and Chargers fans alike until we landed with a group of guys who looked like they could be on the Steelers offensive line themselves. We waved our Terrible Towels, took some photos, and drank the last of our PBRs. Before parting ways to take our seats I texted one of the guys our group photo and we went on our merry, buzzed, and giddy way. I was about to attend my first Steelers game in nine years. Nine. Years. I was on top of the world. Earl who? Fuck you Earl, not today. I thought to myself, the only way this day could get any better is if we eek out a win. I had no idea what else San Diego had in store for me.
The game came down to the fourth quarter, Steelers were down by 4 points (get exact score) with (:12 seconds) on the clock. We were surrounded by screaming Steelers fans and my arm was already sore from waving my Terrible Towel so vigorously. I was sweaty and had beer spilled in at least 3 different places on my jersey. We’re driving down the field, in Chargers territory, and make it to 3rd and Goal. Snap to Roethlisberger, handoff to Bell, and wouldn’t you know it he runs it in for the touchdown. 4 seconds left on the clock and the ball game is ours. As any devoted sports fan can relate, there is nothing like that feeling of adrenaline and pure joy when your team pulls off the impossible and you are right there to witness the moment. Esmerelda and I were the last two people in that stadium. I knew reality was waiting for me outside those gates and I wasn’t ready to come down from that high.
Just then my phone rang…
Just then my phone rang; it was the tailgater left tackle from before the game with whom I left my number with inadvertently by texting the group photo. They invited us to a post-game tailgate to celebrate the stunning win and in that moment I looked at Esmerelda and whispered, we’re not going back to LA tonight. We made the trek to section G-2 in the lot and there we found our giant teddy bears and oh wait… who’s this? A new addition to the pack wearing a Terry Bradshaw jersey, sitting quietly off to the side, looking as hot as I felt in that stadium under the scorching SoCal sun. I was immediately curious.
We partied with our new friends/fellow Steeler fans at their Airbnb until 3am. This was very wise considering I had to leave San Diego by 6am in order to make it to work on time the next morning. When I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer I laid down in the nearest place with a blanket I could find… the foot of an air mattress where the Bradshaw jersey-wearing incredibly sexy introverted man was already sleeping. Eventually the others followed suit and crashed in rooms and there we were, alone. I don’t know if it was the 10 hours of steady drinking, the rush from the game, the suppressed anger/sadness, or my raging libido from no contact with Earl in months, but something made me wake this man up and kiss him.
He was far too respectful for what this moment called for, and when he politely asked if it was okay to start removing my clothes I think my exact response was “faster.” I couldn’t remember his name, his occupation, or where he was from but what I did know is that I somehow stumbled upon the most perfect penis I’ve ever felt in my life. This was better than the Christmas when I got a green bike with streamers AND a kitten AND a Skip It. I think my mouth actually dropped when I realized what a gift this was. It was my first time sleeping with someone else since Earl and it couldn’t have been with anyone more perfect for this moment.
As I slipped out with Esmerelda at 6am trying to figure out where the fuck in San Diego we were and how I’d function at work that day if I ever found a way back to my car, she recalled all the facts about my perfect penis mystery man that had somehow escaped my memory. Yes, the cherry on top of this black and gold and horny all over Sunday sundae was finding out what he does for a living. He is a firefighter. Firefighter fantasy, check.
Just as best college friends do, we managed find a way back to my car and back to our homes. Work that day was dreadful and it’s a shame I didn’t have a voice from cheering and laughing so hard because I was eager to tell my female coworkers what a ridiculous day I just had. Three days later I would find that photo of Earl with his ex on Facebook and the way I saw my future and my past would forever change. I’m really glad I had amazing firefighter sex first.