Whoa! What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?
So I have to admit I thought I better look up what surreal actually means…I mean it’s a word that people use quite often…but that doesn’t mean that people use it correctly.
So turns out it means having the qualities of surrealism; bizarre.
Right…so the most surreal experience I’ve had. Well as stupid as it might sound it has to involve rugby…well I do have a thing for sport, in case that hasn’t been made obvious so far…or in case you’re one of the 35 new followers that have come along this year.
I’ve always liked rugby, for many years that only went as far as liking the Wallabies and going to games when I could…plus I grew up in Melbourne, in AFL heartland where I got to know a number of the Hawthorn boys quite well back in the day, when I was in uni and dear lord it seems such a long time ago. I mean I would chat to them, they would chat to me, they knew me by name, even when I moved to a cattle station and came back to Melbourne six months later my favourite player still knew me by name and stopped for a chat, it was all kind of sweet as he was the whole of 18 and 19 at the time and I was 22 and 23 when all this was happening…like I said it was such a long time ago, hell I’m 39 in not even 3 months.
Anyhow, I decided to pick the rugby team that I would follow based on which one had the most interesting players on Twitter…well it was 2010 and I was well into Twitter then and there were some rather sweet players on there. Anyhow I decided to support the Queensland Reds. I still think most of those players are rather sweet. I got a membership and kept following them on Twitter.
In 2012 I made it to my first game and had photos taken with a few players, including my favourite player, even though it meant racing from one end of the stadium to the other after the game…it is about priorities boys and girls and I was a woman on a mission…and by mission I mean I drove 900km then flew a few hours just to get to the game. It’s what you do when you live in Country Town and you want to go to a sporting event.
I put the photo on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and the bugger liked it and when I put it as a profile pic he said he liked it…bloody hell, that was a tad unexpected.
So 2012 comes and I make it to another game…mind you it was a bigger trek this time as I went to Fiji for my 35th birthday and then went back to Country Town via Perth…a lot further in distance, but no difference in cost and of course the Reds were playing in Perth that weekend, which was the reason for going via Perth for a few days. I was a woman with a mission again…trying to meet Fave 1 and Fave 2…especially Fave 2 as I had never met him. So I had no luck at the game, which peeved me no end.
But the next morning I woke up early and made the decision that I might as well head to the airport early…well that was definitely a good decision. I checked in, went through security and not long later I notice some of the Reds players, not a bad sight at 6am on a Sunday. But no sign of Fave 1 or Fave 2…that was okay, I had time to kill.
Their flight gets called and then I spy Fave 1, I go towards him and he says “Hey Shirl how are you?” and I will admit I was kind of shocked, I got him to sign the photo and he asks if there’s any more of the boys I want to meet so I say Fave 2 and he sings out to him and he stops and I get a photo, which another player takes right before he boards the plane, I’m talking 10m or so from the boarding gate.
Then in 2013 the Reds auction off their Indigenous round jerseys and I make the decision to put a bid on Fave 1’s jersey, a last minute decision and I mention it on Twitter and he asks if I got it, thankfully I did.
A couple of weeks later the Reds auction off their jerseys from the game against the British and Irish Lions so I decide to buy Fave 2’s…another last minute decision which pays off…I should stop buying jerseys and guernseys…I did for a while, then January hit and I had a week of madness there.
Anyway back to the story. Scarily enough a couple of days before it arrives Fave 2 starts following me on Twitter…let’s just say there were some elements of complete shock going on in my lounge room when that happened…I was just a tad excited…it honestly doesn’t take much.
Now onto 2014. Fave 2 has changed teams and I feel obliged to get a membership for the new team, as well as keep my Reds membership, I mean the guy sees all the dribble I put on twitter and there has been a lot over the time. Plus I move to Country Town 2.0, a mere 900km from Sydney and 900km from Brisbane, so I make it to both games where his team plays the Reds. The first game I met one player…who just happens to live in the same house as Fave 2…the things people know, god love social media.
The second game however, well that involved the surreal moment with Fave 2. He ends up starting, which he wasn’t meant to, then scores a try, then gets hurt…all that aside after the game I get to where I’m able to get photos and signatures and get a few photos, but not Fave 1…I’m desperate for a photo with Fave 2 though. I see him strolling across the ground so I sing out and he says he’ll be over in a minute. He comes over and says “Hey Shirl, how are you?” hugs me and kisses me on the cheek…yes that was a completely surreal moment…I was in complete and utter shock. I ask him to sign the photo and ask for another photo and he says we definitely need a new photo as the other one is a shocker…well it’s not that bad, but it’s not the best. So we get another photo and chat a bit and I was in complete shock still.
Onto January, 2015. I head off to Brisbane to go to Queensland Reds training because of another jersey I bought. Anyway Fave 1 is training and after training I get my new Reds jersey signed by a fair few players (on a side note you have to hate when you go to buy a permanent marker and because all the back to school supplies are everywhere the only sort you can easily find are super fine ones…which means that whilst you can see the signatures well on the actual jersey they’re a bit hard to see in the photo of it). So Fave 1 comes up and says “hello, hello what’s this another new jersey?”…well I do own two that he’s worn and a team training shirt that’s been signed by a lot of the team and now this one…and that’s just the ones he’s signed and we chat for a bit before he goes inside.
Just a few surreal moments…sorry for the long post.