Ten - Letter from James to Those Concerned that the World Series and
the teams involved would cause problems between he and the wife.
I wanted to drop a note of thanks to all of you who weighed in
with your concerns regarding whether Amy and my relationship was
going to be strong enough to survive a Red Sox/Cardinals World
Series. As you know, we each grew up in or near the respective cities and
have appreciated those who took the time to send thoughts on the
issue if only to speculate which of us would end up on the couch, in
the spare bedroom, down the road, or worse. I can't speak for Amy
but I personally enjoyed all the advice I received beforehand from
you guys out there once
the match up was set and, while I didnít heed any of it
necessarily and chose to view it instead as a sad commentary on the
rest of your relationships, the fact that you were thinking about us
and having fun imagining the tension that would likely engulf our
household during the Series was appreciated.
As far as the Series went and the
viewing of such in our humble abode, Iíd be lying if I didnít admit to a few trying moments.
Things got particularly uncomfortable during game three when Amy,
after sitting through two straight Cardinal losses at Fenway that were
sloppily played by the victors, had expressed great disdain for some
of the errors, both mental and physical, made by the Bostonians and
maligned their defense overall and Man Ram in particular. Therefore,
when she had to
later watch the ball sail out of Busch on Mannyís first trip to the
plate in her beloved home town, bitterness ensued. Things didn't improve much after his
unlikely throwing out of Larry Walker at that same plate later in
the inning either nor as we watched with mouths agape the boneheaded
base running displayed by the usually fundamentally solid Cardinals.
Such gaffs on the bases sure didnít
sit well with one of us, I can tell you that, and Iím sure the
hooting and hollering from the other couch didnít help matters but
what do you expect after 35 years of watching other teams excel
during this time of year?
I believe also that it was around that point in the evening where it
seemed necessary to again explain
that even though I had been relegated to the smaller couch on this
night and in this relationship, I should not have to apologize for
any celebratory actions regarding my team as I had listened to at least 600 Red Sox
games on the radio and attended ten or fifteen others at Fenway
before the current occupant of the larger couch was even born much
less made it to Busch Stadium for a game. And while some of this and
the continued hooting as the Red Sox went on to a third straight
victory may have indeed led indirectly to the spare bedroom
prediction coming to pass, it was only for a few hours and hardly
with cataclysmic effect.
What is true however was that in the hours after the Sox had locked up the 3-0 lead,
passive aggressive nocturnal behavior began rearing itís ugly
head. Sox fan, not wanting to celebrate anything prematurely,
decided to hit the hay early in order to help tomorrow arrive sooner
and to be fresh for a crack of dawn tee time. It was then that
Cardinal fan commenced the following tactics: The turning on and off
of bright lights, bouncing on the bed unnecessarily, having long,
mostly one way conversations in a regular voice after midnight with
two dogs that were also trying to sleep, inviting both dogs (all 327
lbs of them) up onto the bed in question, and then crunching cereal
well past two in the a.m. Come to think of it we're not sure if this
qualifies as passive aggressive behavior or just plain aggressive.
At that point this sleepy ex-New Englander saw the writing on the
wall and adjourned to a quieter part of the house where it turns out
that when your team has a chance to clinch the world series after 86
years, 3 or 4 hours of sleep is enough even if you get it on a
slanted futon in the guestroom.
And then as game four, the
clincher, neared itís conclusion on a day, which will now help one
of us better remember our wedding anniversary since it occurred four
years exactly after the original nuptials, there was some slamming
of bedroom doors and turning up of music to drown out the crowing
and aftermath coming from the living room where an impromptu
gathering was held to celebrate a day that one of us thought might
never come. Corks were popped, old footage was watched, anecdotes
told, and tears shed for a parent who grew up in
New England and was never able to witness this day. Joy
for the rest of the family which are all back in Beantown near the
festivities was felt. And although it is true that the Red Sox half
of the family did sleep on the couch that night, it was more a case
of thatís where that particular fan was when they finally fell
asleep then any mandate handed down or unwelcome situation in other
rooms of the house. And while said groggy fan didnít get much in
the way of condolence the next morning for their aching neck and
pounding head from sleeping sitting up with ESPN blaring and a Red
Hook spilled in their lap, all seemed back to normal as the Cardinal
half of the tandem, (sans Puljos jersey) chucked the Red Sox half on the
shoulder and went off to work with a smile.
In any event, itís over now, the Sox have done it, and the
coast is clear for smooth sailing at least until Christmas when we
venture back to St Louis for the holidays. It's been advised that
leaving the authentic 1975 Red Sox hat that's been worn every day
since game three of the Yankees series on the shelf back at home
would be a good idea.
So thanks for writing even though there really wasnít that much
at stake since a group of good guys were going to win this series
either way. And believe me, not a day goes by during baseball season
or any other time when Iím not thankful to be married to a
Cardinal fan and wonderful girl whoís idea of the perfect date has
always been to simply be taken to the nearest baseball game.
Have a good off season.