When I was working in baseball, when we would discuss our attendance projections before the season, we used to say, “Well, we know we are going to do well on Saturday nights, or fireworks nights, or games against the Mets affiliate, or Opening Day. But how are we going to do on Tuesdays in August?” That was code for “just another game,” when there wasn’t any special promotion, when it’s the middle of the week in the middle of the season, and attendance reflected the core market.
Tuesdays in August became such an ingrained part of my thought process that I ended up using it in other contexts. When I ran my synagogue for example, and we needed to plan how much food to get for the post-services reception, we had the High Attendance spread and the Tuesdays in August spread. When my wife and I would get up—even in the middle of winter—to discuss what was going on during a day that didn’t need unusual pickups or babysitting, we’d say “Eh, it’s a Tuesday in August.”
I thought of this when I got up this morning, obviously, because it is a Tuesday in August, and theoretically should be a grind-it-out, not-much-going-on kind of day. But it’s not. This whole summer hasn’t been, really. I’ve been able to start a new business, sell books of wide variety and great interest (and submit, but not yet sell, a good number more to a good number of publishers), read an enormous number of manuscripts, send two children to camp, and watch my father recover remarkably from serious illness. There is no such thing in my life any more as Tuesdays in August in the metaphorical sense.
And yet, I think I’m the happiest I’ve been in years (as long as I don’t look at things like partisan politics, my dwindling investment portfolio, print runs for non-best-sellers, and the fact that there are nightly riots in the city I’m visiting with my wife and children in two weeks). And today also marks another milestone, another non-Tuesday-in-August event: Today is the first day, as I write this later than usual at my desk in my office, that I look around our area and see the whole of Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency in one place for the first time. The Bar Exam is over for Jess, Carrie is back from her vacation and I still have time before mine, and Maddie is drinking her third cup of coffee while trying vainly to keep me organized and the HSG trains running on time. We just got logos for the company that we’re excited about, and our website is, at last, in the works. I even registered for Bouchercon, one of my favorite weeks of the year.
And tonight, I’m going with my family to see the New York Liberty (I’ll write an evangelistic post about the WNBA another time!), and it’s both breast cancer awareness night (so pink jerseys) and a night where the team is placing their former center Rebecca Lobo in their Ring of Honor. I look forward to sitting with my beer and watching the game, and wondering whether, six months ago when the marketing department was planning their promotions, they looked at the calendar at this game and said “well, we better do something fun for this one—after all, it’s a Tuesday in August…”