By the time the sun goes down on Saturday, August 7, life will look very different for one member of the TPL family. One man will wake up, see the world through one lens and go to bed seeing it through another.
Naturally, I'm talking about myself.
Ever since I bought my house a year ago, I've basically avoided the backyard out of fear. Half the reason I could afford this joint in the first place was because the backyard looked like the factory innards from an Upton Sinclair novel. It's a grizzly scene and one that has not improved for the past 14 months.
This weekend, all that changes. There will be power tools, high-toxicity chemicals, loads of bulk materials transferred in the back of my Chevy from places that sell lumber and rocks...piles of rocks...and when they hand those rocks to you, they don't do it in some plastic bag. They do it with a fucking tractor. By the time this weekend is done, there will be lined flowerbeds, reworked drainage systems and fields formerly held by the great weed rebellion that will look like they'd faced the beating of a lifetime at the hands of a Spartan army who came, vanquished and salted after they'd dispatched the threat.
This is what life looks like at 30. I watch home improvement shows. I go into people's houses and look at things like the paint on the baseboards.
"Olive green. Smart choice."
If I didn't get so much joy out of the whole thing, it would be entirely pathetic. Maybe it still is. At this advanced age, I'm losing perspective. I can't help but think that the time-travelling 25 year old version of myself is going to drop in at any moment...catch me flipping through Dwell or looking at Monsanto products...hand me some illegal substance and tell me to get my shit together.
Of course, anyone who follows TPL happenings on Twitter knows that this is all complete bullshit. Yes, this is a big weekend. ...and yes, my backyard is getting a total makeover, but the real cause for celebration is that Petrella locking it down with the non-Bertuzzi love of his life, Andrea.
There are several things about this wedding that I appreciate.
For one, ever since we started batting terrible hockey analysis back and forth, Petrella has spoken in awe of Andrea. He's marrying his best friend and the woman of his dreams. Everyone says that the Friday before a wedding in the middle of cleaning out the rehearsal dinner open bar, but I really believe it's the truth here. Their story is an awesome one that I'll let him share with those interested...and privileged enough to hear it.
This is a man who has somehow found a woman that lets him watch hours of hockey, escape to LA to hang out with strippers and cover the draft, and devote late nights to game recaps. Any other woman would assume that a man looking at a computer at 2 in the morning was surfing the kind of site that had a "click here if you're over 18" splash page. ...and shit...maybe he is...maybe they're into that. I'm not here to judge when things get weird. ...but I am here to appreciate the analysis that comes out of Petrella's head in the depths of an evening like that, and I...we...have Andrea's tolerance to thank for the privilege.
The ceremony itself is, logistically, a smart move for TPL. For one, he'll be getting hitched in Pennsylvania, a decision that will allow him to keep tabs on some of the filthiest, brain-less fans in the league. Keeping eyes on the enemy is the kind of thing only Petrella...in a grand selfless act...would do during one of the most important days of his life.
Second, Petrella slated the nuptial for a weekend when most of the legitimate hockey talk has died for the offseason...a point validated by the Freep the other day that proclaimed the Wings are coasting into training camp. I refuse to believe it's a coincidence that one week we sign former Michigan native Mike Prodano to firm up the 3's and shortly thereafter Petrella walks the plank.
Can you imagine what the hell would happen if these two decided to tie the knot mid-season and Petrella had to go MIA for a few weeks? It's a scenario I don't even want to consider. We all know what happens when he throws me the keys for the "legitimate hockey analysis" portion of TPL. I jack up everything from the gametime to the roster for BOTH teams. It's a mid-season happening that I can only equate to the signing of Kyle Calder years back. On paper, it's not the worst idea...and maybe the change of pace will spice things up...but it never feels right...eventually something goes Three Mile Island wrong and soon we're back to normal.
In all seriousness, from one half of The Production Line to the other, I wanted to extend a gigantic Mule-sized congratulations to the soon-to-be-hitched couple. Next to the starting of TPL a year ago and the birth of their 19th child years from now, I assume that tomorrow will be the best day of young Michael's life.
Here's to a great weekend and the start of an awesome new chapter for The Petrellas!