March 2008


I love baseball.  I have loved baseball my entire life.  Despite us being in the 2000’s, this still never fails to surprise members of the opposite sex.  R. often exclaims to his friends, “She watches Baseball Tonight!” as if it’s like I’m wearing an athletic cup and calling myself Joe.  These shocked males often try to test me, as if I’m only faking it to be attractive.

Sorry, guys–it’s real.  I was practically born with a whiffle ball bat in my hand as my Dad tossed the ball.  When I was in 3rd grade I loved baseball so much and was so dellusional that I wrote a letter to the Chicago Tribue Kids section about how I planned on being a female professional baseball player (in response to some kid writing girls would never be any good at sports).  I cried when Cal Ripken Jr. retired and no, I will not trade you Joe Mauer, Dan Haren, Jacoby Ellsbury, or Ryan Theriot for Jim Thome.

My love for baseball is as deep and obsessive as my love for trivia, fruity candy, and books.  I take it personally when R. claims baseball players are not athletes.  I believe in baseball’s beauty, its complexity.  I believe in its fun and its grit.  I pine for it every winter, and every year it’s  return seems bright and promising (even when looking at the Cardinal’s lackluster roster and dope of a manager).  With baseball, anything can happen.

So, Happy Opening Day, baseball fans!  It will be a fun season (and the Cubs STILL won’t see the Series).

One of my bridesmaids brought her Wii with her while she was visiting for some of the pre-wedding hoopla.  I had never Wii’d before, so it was a new experience.  And now, after two days of playing Wii, I think my right arm is about to fall off.  In fact, it’s not even just my arm–it’s also my back that is sore.  Apparently, I play a little more intensely than necessary.

Bridesmaid:

Maid of Honor:

Exhibits A & B of my spazziness:

R: Can I tell you something very important?

Me: Yes.

R: My uniforms in the closet are clean and pressed.

Me: Okay?

R: Please do not put them on and wear them while you are drunk. And please, PLEASE, do not post the pictures on Facebook.

Me: …That never happened

R: Promise, or I will take the vodka.

Me: Okay, I promise.

Bachelorette Party Tonight! Vodka + Gilmore Girls = Way Better Than A Stripper.

*I have been wearing bright, short sleeved shirts all week in the hopes that my wardrobe choices would rub off on the weather.

*I will someday be able to be a stay-at-home Mom

*Credit Card debt is a necessity.

* Someday it will all fall into place.

*If I ignore it, it will go away.

*It’s someone else’s fault.

When I turn out the lights for good old beddy bye, my brain rarely agrees with the clock.  My brain begins to jump, run, and flail in exultation.  Night time is here!  Time to be alert.  For whatever reason, my brain just does not acknowledge that I am an adult now and can’t sleep past 6am.

Instead, it runs through a rehearsal of every life event that might possibly come into play.  I silently monologue how I will lecture my students if A and B do not happen.  I practice what I will say at the wedding to different people.  I think of what I might say if R. did something particularly heinous.  I channel outrage and love and concise wit.  My brain is at its best as my body tries to wrest itself to sleep–tossing and turning as the wheels in my brain keep spinning going over conversations that will probably never happen.  In that hour before I fall asleep I argue my way out of tickets, I sing lullabies to my future children, I practice stories for my future grandchildren, and go through my Academy Award speech (for best original screenplay, of course).

What I wouldn’t do for a gloriously blank mind.

But, I am about to be one of those people that posts poems. It’s not in an effort to show you how intellectual I am–it merely is a poem that seems so perfect for this morning. This poem sums up what I am feeling before going back to work more perfectly than my own words could. And isn’t that why people love the quotes section on social website profiles?

Prothalamium
By: Aaron Kramer

Come, all you who are not satisfied

as ruler in a lone, wallpapered room

full of mute birds, and flowers that falsely bloom,

and closets choked with dreams that long ago died!

Come, let us sweep the old streets–like a bride:

sweep out dead leaves with relentless broom;

prepare for Spring, as though he were our groom

for whose light footstep eagerly we bide.

We’ll sweep out shadows, where the rats long fed;

sweep out our shame–and in its place we’ll make

a bower for love, a splendid marriage-bed

fragrant with flowers aquiver for the Spring.

And when he comes, our murdered dreams shall wake;

and when he comes, all the mute birds shall sing.

Today I woke up thinking about my 20th birthday.  I was a sophomore in college, living in the dorms.  I woke up that day nervous because I was the queen of birthday celebrations.  I was the one who decorated doors and bought little treats.  So, if it was MY birthday–who would take this over for me?  Still, I hoped.  I felt butterflies as I climbed down my bunk ladder.  My roommate was dead to the world and I decided to peak out the door expecting some streamers or a balloon or even a sign.

Nothing.

The rest of my friends began to wake up and we started our little stroll over the dining hall.  My heart was in my throat.  They had forgotten.  Or maybe, there was a surprise waiting for me later on that day?  No, they had just forgotten.

At breakfast, they chatted and ate and I choked down some cereal.  I tried to think about anything but the fact that no one seemed to remember it was my birthday.   We started the walk back to our dorms and one of my friends turned around to me and said, “Oh, hey, isn’t it your birthday?”

I nodded.

“Oh, we’re sorry.”  The apology seemed sincere, I couldn’t fault them that.  But, it hurt.  And maybe it shouldn’t have.  It is such a small thing to have people wish you a happy birthday–to want to celebrate, but perhaps that is what hurt so much–they couldn’t even do such a small thing for me.

I hadn’t decorated doors and celebrated birthdays in the past to get the same treatment returned to me.  I did all that because it was fun, because birthdays and holidays in my home had always been a big deal and I wanted to keep that up.   But, I suppose I took for granted the idea that no one one would feel obligated to return the effort to me.

I cried that day when I was alone in the bathroom.  I got a belated sign on my door and e-cards, but it all felt hollow.  I knew I was being melodramatic, but I couldn’t help it.  I had wanted to be remembered, not pitied.

I never told them how upset I was.  Or how upset I was that on my 22nd birthday a similar scene was replayed–only this time no one “forgot” they simply hadn’t “awakened” yet.  I ended up having a fantastic birthday that year, so I always try to talk myself out of the bitterness, but the fact of the matter is, I’m always afraid to be excited about anything that involves me relying on other people.

I was almost afraid to have this wedding in the beginning because I was afraid those I love would fail me in some way.  And, I knew, it would be my own fault because I can’t seem to ask people for the things I most want.  I don’t know how to ask people to show me they care–because then that takes the meaning out of it if I’ve asked for it.  I tell myself I’m being ridiculous, twisted, and hanging on to expectations way outside what I should or even what I deserve.  But, as all this pre-wedding hoopla starts, the knot in my stomach is forming.  I’m afraid to be disappointed, afraid to yet again feel (irrationally) like no one cares.  After everything my parents, R, and R’s family has done for me, I want to wish these feelings away–because they’ve all shown in huge ways that they care.

But, I suppose part of me is still that teenage girl, awkward and silent.  Somewhere deep down I’m still hoping for someone to take notice, to care, to give me some sort of sense of recognition as being important.

In the weeks and months after that 20th birthday, I promised myself I would never let my self-worth be determined by my friends–because I would never be happy with the outcome.  But, right now, I’m failing.

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