It came as something of a surprise last night when I found myself, after work, stopping at the local Shopko and, after a serpeginous route that took me past the sunscreen, bug repellent and little girls' sundresses (sale! $3.99 a piece--to replace the ones that have shrunk in the wash to Hollywood starlet length) standing in front of the baseball mitts, my real reason for stopping.
Me. Baseball mitts. Me. The one who spent her school years dreading the hours spent in PE, where balls were frequently thrown. Balls combined with poor hand-eye coordination, thick glasses and jeering classmates rarely lead to happy, smiling outcomes, except in trite family-oriented movies. Rest assured, there were no game winning saves in my PE history, only years of scheming how to have the fewest times at-bat or at-serve or at-pummelling as possible:
- For softball, you make sure you are last in line to bat and, as able, discretely trade places with the athletic kids in line behind you who want to move up in line. It goes without saying that you go waaaaaaaaaay out in left field when it's time to switch sides.
- For volleyball, you place yourself at the front of the net in the spot you rotate to AFTER you serve (I think it's front left).
- For basketball, you pass the ball as soon as you touch it and never make eye contact with the person with the ball, so they don't throw it at you.
- For dodge ball (the worst!), you get yourself hit as soon as possible, sometimes even faking it so you can go to the sidelines and, again, swap places with those who want to get back in, making sure you basically stay toward the middle-end (but not conspicuously at the very end) of the line.
I actually liked soccer, but we rarely played it. This was the '70s, people. Soccer (OK, yes. 'Football' for the civilized world.) was not played by middle-class, red-blooded American children.So, back to standing in the middle of the baseball mitt aisle. I then proceeded to spend 20 minutes trying on all the sizes and models, finally deciding on that particular glove, above, being suspiciously examined by Mad-Kitty.
My very own first baseball mitt, at the age of 42. After I got home, we all went outside and played catch, liberally covered in bug spray, until Sara got unbearably cranky and Charles got tired. After years of trying unsuccessfully to ignite a passion for soccer in the small ones, we find that baseball seems to be our family's game. It goes without saying that I now love playing it.
Go figure. I still can't throw to save my life and I am at a 2nd grade level when it comes to catching and batting, but I'm having fun! with a ball! and coordinating the hands and eyes!
Never too late to indulge yourself or continue your childhood. I will draw the line at dodge ball, though. Some scars run too deep.
Labels: In My Spare Time