Yesterday’s post was short and sweet, well that may not be the right word, let’s call it upsetting. Apparently, some people were concerned about the spousal abuse I am inflicting on my husband. Let me clarify, I do not throw objects at Mark very often, ever really, except apparently the occasional salty miniature cracker; which by the way, he is perfectly capable of defending himself against. (He’s trained for such instances.)
The actual argument was over a little thing I like to call, my new rug. Don’t take that the wrong way, this is not about a Brazilian wax job. Anyone who knows me is aware of my mentally unstable cutting phase. Yes, I used to cut. I cut my beautiful shag carpet from its original 16×24 down to a 2×3 welcome mat. My last dog and one of my true loves, Buddy, got very old and equally incontinent. Look, as someone who pees a little each time I laugh, thanks to childbirth, a fallen cervix, and episiotomies, I have sympathy for the “incontinent,” but not so much when they pee on my rug. Buddy peed many too many times on that rug and so I got me a razor knife and went to town cutting out each pee. The odd angles made it look like a jigsaw puzzle and my family and friends, fearing for my sanity, and held an intervention. So, I threw away the welcome mat sized rug and retired my razor.
We then had this cold hard ceramic tile floor in our family room. My kids played on it, bumped their heads on it, rode their bikes on it, skinned their knees on it, and at night we all cuddled on it to watch American Idol. Then we peeled our sweaty legs off it to get in bed.
I finally gave in and bought a beautiful, currently discontinued, area rug with a link pattern from William Sonoma. The rug I describe is the very one that was being eaten by my new puppy on my husband’s first day alone with him. A day in which I reminded him repetitively, to his dismay, “to be with the puppy at all times or have him in the crate.” A day in which I forgot my pocketbook and returned a mere 20 minutes later to find my husband asleep in the bedroom and my puppy having a pricey wool link pattern sandwich. A day in which even after the incident he swore it was, “no big deal” and that I would’ve “probably done the same thing.” I can’t get mad at the dog, he’s just a puppy and puppies chew. Does the same rule apply to Mark because he’s just a husband and husbands are frustrating asses? Nah, I still have faith in men.
So, please don’t worry about Mark. I say he got off easy under the circumstances… next time I find something harder than puffed crackers, like Swedish fish or something sharper like pita chips!
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Saturday was Jake’s Little League Kids vs. Dads game. I arrived late, kind of excited to see Mark at bat. There is something sexy about seeing your husband hit a bomb. Of course the other side of the coin is seeing him strike out or bumble some ball on the ground, which would drastically undermine his appeal.
On my way to the game, however, in no way did I think he would end up assessing my appeal. One of the kids was with his mom, and she was reluctantly talked into playing to represent her family. My son was in the middle of striking her out when I thought, that looks fun. Not the striking out part, but to be a kid for a few minutes, to hold a bat, to cross home plate. How often do us moms get that chance?
“I want next up.” Did I say that out loud? I did.
“Come on we need more players,” one of the dads screamed, probably imagining how amusing it would be to watch me try to hit Jake‘s wild pitches.
I rolled up my dark wash, bell-bottom Hudsons, and kicked off my heels. Yes, I wore heels to the field. Strappy thong wedges, considered perfectly acceptable “baseball mom” attire by the Weston Area Little League official handbook.
“In all my years of coaching I’ve never had a player show up in bellbottoms,” the coach said as I approached the plate.
For the dads, this was just a friendly game. The dads are the ones lobbing the ball around at all the practices, hitting to the different positions, throwing pop-ups and grounders, while me and the moms are relegated to the bleachers to tend to our other children, like pioneer wives. No one wants the moms on the field, but G-d do I always want to be out there.
It felt so nostalgic to walk to the plate. I got into my stance, which I remembered without hesitation. No expectations from any of the dads, just how I like it. First my practice swing. Can I still do it?
“Wow, nice swing,” the dad who invited me to play said in shock. “Guys, you better back it up.“
That’s right. My intimidating swing made a bunch of 7 and 8 year olds move back. Yes, I can still swing, but can I hit? I wanted so badly not to make an ass of myself. Not just not to make an ass of myself, but to be impressive. To let my son see that all his athleticism was not genetically encoded directly from his dad’s DNA, and to show a bunch of middle aged dads that the sarcastic girl who comes to the game in heels can get down and dirty.
Ah, thank G-d I made contact. A solid respectable line drive, Wahoo!. It was clearly unexpected. I got claps, and a “Wow” and when I went to back to the stands my father in law added, “I see where Jake gets his swing, but why didn’t you slide into second? Afraid to get your jeans dirty?”
Okay, I should quit now before I become a one hit wonder.But, it’s fun being a dad. I need more of this feeling.
On my second at bat, I was hoping to improve on my first – and I did. I whaled it. My teammates just started to laugh and the coach yelled, “She’s a ringer.” I took my spot next to Jake who was now playing first. I got a little hug, which was huge –he rarely hugs the other runners as they step onto his base, but he was proud. I played it off like “Yeah your mom’s the bomb,” but really I wasn’t so smug.
What happened next is almost too embarrassing to write about, but that’s what I do right? I was playing second, the atmosphere was light, but in my mind I was still auditioning for a walk on position with the Yankees. A hard grounder was about to whiz by. It was clearly out of reach, but maybe, just maybe… The truth is that ball could have been hit 2 bases away and I still would have run for it. Obviously, I have some competitive issues, which I will be sure to revisit in therapy.
As shocked as each Dad was today, they hadn‘t seen anything yet. I have to stop that ball, it’s coming hard, and if I don’t it will fly past me into the outfield and some 8 year old will get on base. I threw myself face first into the dirt, with my arm stretched long. My hip thudded against the hard ground, and there was a second where all eyes were frozen on my display. I stood up slowly, as I had injured my hip, and grabbed the ball out of my glove. Some dirt and pebbles may have trickled out of my mouth and hair, but I had the ball.
The stunned coach on first base let out a “Whoa. I didn‘t see that coming.” You didn’t see the intense barefoot mom diving to catch a ball in a friendly game against elementary school kids? Well, I am nothing if not highly unpredictable.
I brushed myself off, as I had let my pants get dirty. I thought this would be an amusing time to stop for a lip gloss reapplication.
I looked over at Mark who, though he knows about my unrelenting spirit, was in as much shock as the other guys at my last maneuver.
Jake may be more inherently athletic, but let me tell you something, he could learn a thing or two from his mom’s unrelenting, unyielding determination. He might also take note to of her misplaced intensity and yearning to relive childhood moments. These guys must have thought I was insane, but I took comfort in the knowledge that they would pick me if we ever happened to be in gym class together.
“And the parents win! Game ball has to go Jake’s mom.”
Mark walked over pulled me close and gave me a manly pat on the rear. “Nice job babe. I knew you would hit it, but I had no idea you would start throwing yourself all over the field.”
Thanks guys. I’ll be seein’ ya… from the bleachers.
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Example 1) This morning’s alternating AOL headlines went something like this: Car Dealers are desperate, month’s best deals. ‘Dancing’ reveals star replacement, see who it is. Part-time job market picking up, there may be hope. Obama to reverse stem cell policy. Are you kidding me? There is a replacement on dancing with the stars? All of these crazy things are going on in politics the economy and world events and I’m pissed cause I have to wait for them to rotate around so I can find out who it is.
Example 2) Last week I got in a blow out fight with Mark. The kind that is so frustrating you want to throw a remote at your husbands head. I was holding a bag of oyster crackers at the time, my favorite salty low blood pressure fix, so I threw those instead. The bag whacked him in the chest and they exploded out like fireworks.
“I have to go get Jake,” I yelled as I turned back to see him angrily picking them up off the floor.
I jumped in my car, having left the conversation unfinished. I was seething. All I could think was, ‘I bet he is mixing the oyster crackers tainted by our overly puppy peed on carpet with the good ones that are still in the bag. He sucks. This is why I can’t stand him, he would never take the extra second to throw the contaminated ones in the trash, with consideration for the joy that those little salty devils give me in my time of sodium deprivation. No, why would he show such thoughtfulness?
When I got back he had picked up my daughter from our neighbors and helped her draw a picture for me. He called me in to see it. I went, but only after checking the pantry to find an almost full bag of ruined oyster crackers. “Fucker.”
Well, you be the judge. Is it just me or all we all pathetic?