Because I like to end my blog posts on a positive note (unless it's one of those blog-post-long rants that can't possibly end on a positive note - and I'm sorry for those), I'll go ahead and get the absurdity out of the way first.
Disclaimer: I would be writing about this incident even if it had happened at our own gym. Or Auburn. Or Alabama. Or Utah. Or Michigan. Or any of the other college gymnastics sites around the country. The fact that it happened at FLORIDA just makes my blood boil as opposed to making me say, "Huh. Didn't see THAT one coming."
Almost two years ago I wrote a blog post about not being allowed to take my camera into a college gymnastics meet. I still didn't understand the stupid rule about not being able to have a camera with interchangeable lenses, but I guess theoretically a really smart terrorist (and they frequent college gymnastics meets ALL. THE. TIME.) could conceal a bomb in the inside of the camera. Sure. Let's go with that.
Last night, after I drove 6 hours to get to Sweet Girl's house, she and I drove another hour to attend the Georgia-Florida gymnastics meet. (Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment and can't resist the temptation to go into ENEMY territory to see my team.) We didn't realize Florida also had a baseball game (thankfully not in the same arena, but on the other hand wouldn't that add a whole new element of difficulty to the gymnastics? and the baseball?), and parking was horrendous. We did manage to get into the parking deck before it got full, and we wound around and around and around and around until we were on the very top. (Some folks weren't so lucky and were still searching for parking after the competition had begun.)
It was only about half an hour before the meet began, and anyone who knows me realizes that to me this was almost like missing the first rotation. If I'm not there an hour early, I consider myself late. As Sweet Girl and I approached the entrance, I had my purse open and ready to be searched, as I knew it would be. The guy looked at me (I SWEAR his gaze lingered too long on my Georgia sweatshirt), looked in my purse, and said, "Is that a tablet?"
He was referring to my iPad, which I had tucked into my purse. I was puzzled, but eventually I nodded.
"Tablets aren't allowed inside," he said. I just stared. "Sorry."
I was tempted to argue, but I knew it was fruitless. So I said, as nicely as I could, "Well that sucks" and stomped off. I was going to tuck it into the waistband of my jeans in the back and then go in a different entrance (they haven't stooped to body searches - yet), but I was afraid it would embarrass Sweet Girl. So I marched up the gazillion stairs of the parking deck and returned it to the car, FUMING the whole way.
If you're curious about why I would be so insistent about taking an iPad into a gymnastics meet, it's so that I can keep up with the scores. I can write them down, but on the iPad I have a spreadsheet with formulas built in that know to drop the lowest score from each event. That way I know at any given moment where our scores stand in relation to the other team, what we need to score a certain number, or whether or not we have a chance to win (we didn't).
Seriously? I can't take an iPad into a gymnastics meet? I have no idea what the rule is behind THAT foolishness. I posted it on the gymnastics message board, and so far everyone else has been as puzzled as I.
Enough of the absurdity. It is Florida, after all.
Now for the irony (and this is the happy part)...
When I finally made it into the arena for the gymnastics meet, naturally I was in a fine temper. The lower section was completely full, so I couldn't sit with the other UGA fans. I looked into the upper level and spotted a lady wearing a red UGA shirt, so I decided to go sit near her. Safety in numbers and all that jazz. My very first words to her were, "Never again!" meaning I will NEVER AGAIN go to that particular venue. I fumed and fussed about having to return the iPad to the car, yada yada yada. She asked where we lived in Georgia, and that's when she began to look familiar.
To make a long story not quite as long as it could be, she and I had a class together on the very first day of my very first semester at UGA. It was a pre-calculus class, and that was the last word the instructor ever said that I understood. (Both the honors program and the pre-med program became hazy, distant memories after that summer.) Not only that, but she went on to marry a guy who was in school with me from third grade all the way through to graduation. Smart, smart folks (but they still let me be their friends).
They live in Florida, about an hour south of where the University of Florida is located. Their daughter does gymnastics, so several of the girls and moms from their gym had come to the meet. Unfortunately, they were pulling for Florida and were slightly embarrassed that Cathy and I were cheering for Georgia.
Reconnecting with a friend from almost 34 (!!) years ago took some of the sting out of the whole iPad issue. Now if we can just get her daughter to stop doing that Gator Chomp.
Oh...and she has a blog: Created for Good Works. So you KNOW she's good people.