Thursday, June 26, 2008

Winning stragegy

By the way, a few helpings of prunes ended the over-emphasized constipation days ago.

Tonight at softball, we lost. But it felt like we won.

It was one of those hot, humid, wish-it-would-storm-so-that-it-will-cool-off kind of nights... It was pretty sweaty. I played outfield twice this week and I'm having a good time with it; though never really having played it before, i have some trouble judging the balls. Yesterday, JB was with us at the field, tonight Katy took him home to spend some time together.

Katy has been catching this year during the games- she started doing this last year, but now it has become her position. I'm kind of proud at how her game has improved. She is athletic and all that but never really played softball. So there I am on a softball team with my wife and my sister- both of whom are kind of interested in exhibiting perfection at all times, but neither of whom have ever played ball before. It's a little nerve-racking because I want them to do well, and I want to help, but I don't want to get involved in "advising" too much... and also, I am now not only worried about my own safety, but that one of these two might get injured.

I think I mentioned, I got my sister to join the team this year because, we are trying to look for ways to spend time together that don't involve eating (cooler caddy discounted) and also, as I know I have mentioned, my team is dripping with multi-generational awesomeness. Though I live 1/2 hour away from the fields, my sister lives in the same town and it felt like time to bring her into the fold.

I love my teammates for the way they give everyone a chance and the way they open up the welcome wagon of inclusiveness and societal responsibilities. When you are on this team, you bring cooler caddy at least once a season and that includes non-alcoholic libations and some type of snickitty snacks. No one barks or murmurs whether you bring a bag of chips or smoked tuna-steak finger sandwiches. There's no hierarchy, competition or score keeping when it comes to what you share or are able to provide. Any and all snarkiness is above-board and direct, and meant in good fun. If you want to be on the team, you are invited to the parties and to the frequent volunteer opportunities, and to the wakes/funerals/sick beds of loved ones. There is an extensive network of skills and services available via 'mates and spouses. Here's where we got our mortgage refinanced, found life insurance, found bands to sing with and hire, learned to play golf. There's someone connected to furniture, carpentry, motorcycles, lots of teachers, paving, court and field painting, trash collection, real estate, hardware, politics, it goes on and on. Here I've taught teenagers how to drive stick shift and stuck a few in coolers and trash cans when they were misbehaving (all without getting in trouble with my friends- because the governing rule over kids at games seems to be- "on this team you will find your surrogate parents, aunts, and cousins... open up a can of worms with someone and you'll have to work it out with that person... don't expect me to come fix it...")

In the many years I've been on the team, there have been about 1/2 dozen new teammates that didn't make it and that was only because they were unfriendly, overly-competitive, poor sports, (or in that one case) truly creepy:
"I guess you and I will have to sleep together in the single bed..."
umm... no. no we won't...

I digress.

Tonight, my sister played 2nd base. She's a "rules" person. As in, tell me the rules of how to do well, and I'll follow them to the tee... and then I'll do well. She has trouble doing things that don't have rules (like taking an unplanned out walk through an amusement park or big city, for example.) She also does well when there are layered, simultaneous goals: "Get the ball and play your position,:" for example, right alongside "get on base", and "win the game". During softball (I think this was her fourth game ever) she screams a lot more than I am used to. I mean, most SB players don't scream, and frankly, my sister doesn't scream much either... but in 2 or 3 plays tonight, she actually yelped out little screams. Like when a woman sees a spider on TV... The ball was heading to her glove: "ahhhhhhhhhea!" Huh? what was that?

But she got on base 3 times (3 times more than me) and I stopped counting after her 2nd put out of the game. Pretty fan-#$cing-tastic. Highlight quote of the game:

web: "Come on, ladies, we have 1 MF out."

Oh yeah, she's intense... the thing is, when you're surrounded by these people, laughing and sucking wind while running around in the outfield, it's hard to care or pay any mind to the score.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Tracy, I see a book in you future "The Softball Diary's"