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Choices Case

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"This game is extremely boring. One of us should jump down from the stands and streak across the diamond." Todd was definitely the craziest in the group.

Matt responds, "I would pay three hundred dollars to see that happen!"

"I don't know if that would be enough to bail me out."

Todd has a choice to make.

Steve and Chris look at each other and bust out laughing. Laughter is always plentiful when the four of them get together. They appreciate how the topic of conversation isn't serious and is light-hearted, a stark contrast to when their wives are present. They absolutely love their spouses, but something deep down in a man craves camaraderie and adventure. All four of them have responsibilities that will be there to face them in the morning, but tonight is all about guy time. It is a much needed release from the routines of life for most men in their early thirties.

Work is slow for Chris, a thirty-three year old self-employed construction contractor. He fights daily to find enough work to put food on the table for his wife and three kids. Steve is a thirty-four year old displaced auto worker currently going back to school for a different career. Matt is a thirty-three year old financial advisor and the most successful of the group. He also has the biggest family to provide for. Todd is thirty-two and most immature of the four. He is married, but has no kids or job and isn't looking for either one very hard. He still acts like he did in his early twenties without a care in the world. The dilemma for Todd is that isn't in his early twenties anymore; He has a loving wife who wants to know him more. They have a good marriage. They have fun together and enjoy each others company. From the outside it looks like they are a perfect couple. They have even had couples come up to them and say that they want what they have together. The last time the boys all went out, Todd didn't make a good choice. He didn't return home until the next morning. The last words his wife told him when he left for the game were "Todd, make a wise choice tonight."

Todd has a choice to make.

On this night Todd has a point: The game is very dull. It is late September and the Cardinals aren't in the playoff hunt. A 2-2 game in the sixth inning just doesn't have much appeal at this point in the season. The games lack of appeal left Todd's mind to wander. They didn't go to the game to be put to sleep by a boring game. They got together to escape their daily lives, laugh a lot, and drink a few cold ones. The guys are seated three rows behind the right field wall. They have been heckling the opposing team's right fielder all game long.

Steve says, "Hey Todd I have two hundred to put with the previous offer. Are you going to do it?"

Todd has a choice to make.

He contemplated his options (at this given moment). His friends don't know just how close he is to jumping onto the field and making a run for it. They never talk about real life and things that matter. Four hours ago he was trapped in a deep "grown up" discussion with his wife. She had made comments to him like "Is this what you want out of life? Aren't you tired of playing video games and sleeping till noon? Where do you see our marriage five years from now? Do you even want to have children? Just talk to me. Tell me what you are thinking." Todd always struggled with putting his thoughts into words when it came to serious discussions. His wife Ginger was a very understanding person. She wanted nothing more than for them to be a team, a partnership that openly discusses issues and makes choices together. She often said, "I'm not saying you can't have fun Todd, but we have to make time for us too."

All this had hit Todd like a runaway 18-wheeler. That was their second discussion like this in the past month. Todd's lack of employment and lack of desire to change his situation had strained the marriage. He had always prided himself on staying away from such adult discussion. If he engaged his wife in conversation, he would have to look in the mirror and evaluate himself. He knew there is no one else to blame when you look in the mirror. Deep down he knew that Ginger's requests weren't unrealistic. He knew that in order for their marriage to work, he would have to change his behaviors.

Todd has a choice to make.

The guys don't know that she has given him an ultimatum. She doesn't want to stay married to a teenage boy. He either has to honestly evaluate their relationship and agree to make some changes, or he will have to change his address. One way or another change is coming. Todd's way of ignoring conflict and never being serious had finally worn out its welcome. Ginger had tried to be patient. (They had been married for five years). Todd thinks to himself, "If I streak onto the field I might get tasered, and will definitely end up in jail. It might not be so terrible to spend a night in jail; at least I won't have to go home."

Todd has a choice to make.

"Well are you doing it or not?" Steve insisted this time. Chris changed the subject. "Hey lets go get something to drink. It is the seventh inning stretch."

They left their section and began walking around the stadium to stretch their legs. All the sitting had taken its toll and given them stiff backs and legs. In the process of navigating around the stadium, Todd had an idea. He thought to himself, "What if we didn't go back to our seats. What if we left the stadium and walked over to Hooters. Yes, what if we hung out there and watched the rest of the Monday Night Football game." Todd enjoyed the possibilities of his plan. He would get to hang out with guys longer and the trip to Hooters was a bonus.

Meanwhile, they were still walking around the stadium, looking for something to grab their attention. He voiced his plan to the others and they agreed enthusiastically. Chris: That is a great idea; we can get more beer for the money there. Todd asked them collectively, "Did you guys tell your wives to not wait up for you? You know it will be easily be past 11:30 by the time the game ends." Steve and Matt nodded their heads in approval.

They walked the three blocks from Busch Stadium to Hooters. The four of them blended in like regulars, all decked out in their Cardinals gear. Looks can definitely be deceiving. Chris



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