Not just any sport, let's talk baseball. Chicago Cubs baseball.
Today is opening day on Chicago's north side. It is my second favorite day of the year. Over the years I have celebrated this day in a number of ways and today I'll share some of those with you.
First a little history. Since Chicago has two baseball teams people in the city and surrounding suburbs tend to be split with what team they support. Generally the North-siders are Cubs fans and the South-siders are Sox fans. And then there are the people who say things like "I'm not necessarily just a Cubs fan or just a Sox fan, I'm a Chicago fan." Those people tend to get kicked a lot. Not always by me but I'll be honest, a lot of the time it's by me. Just like crying, there is no Switzerland in baseball.
|"I'm a fan of both of you! Punch Punch Punch! NO PUNCHING! Go Chicago!"|
Every year growing up, come Opening Day I would report to school in the morning and present my teacher with a note that informed them I would be leaving halfway through the day for important medical reasons, specifically periodontal things. Bloody gums if you must know. (My dad didn't read the notes I wrote, he just signed them.) Then I'd fidget through whatever multiplication times tables or state capitols I was learning until it was finally time to go home.
My dad would pick me up, I assume having presented work with his own note about periodontal disease and we'd head home and turn on the pre-game. Then we'd make hot dogs for lunch and settle in to watch the game.
My hot dogs was always plain, just bun and dog. Though normally I devour Chicago-style hot dogs with all the fixings, if baseball is involved, it must be plain. This is because when my dad started taking me to games as a small child, I was, as you might guess, a clumsy relish-covered mustardy mess. And thus my dad made up the rule that I was only allowed plain hot dogs. To this day it's the only way they taste right at the ballpark.
|A Chicago Style Hot Dog. I still can't eat one without finding a sport pepper in my shoe later. True story.|
As I got older we continued our tradition. And my dad would tease me about being in love with Kyle Farnsworth, "Ohhhh Kylie," he'd squeak in a high-pitched voice, "strike out the next batter for meeee?" And I'd be like, "You're certainly a fickle lover. Wasn't it just yesterday you were flailing about asking Nick Carter (my sister's crush) to write you a song? It's not a great quality, Dad."
And then Kyle Farnsworth would strike out the next batter and I'd internally sigh contentedly, "Oh Kyle..."
|He didn't strike out a lot of men, but when he did it was almost certainly for me.|
One year I felt especially bad so I made all of my coworkers special Cubs Cakes, which is the exact same thing as a blue cupcake. I dropped them off in the morning and then retreated back to my apartment, patting myself on the back for being so thoughtful. Then I ate the one I had saved at home for myself. It was delicious. A little later I caught my reflection in a mirror and screamed. It seems the blue food coloring in the frosting had died my entire mouth and teeth BRIGHT BLUE.
I screamed and grabbed my phone and called my boss all "DON'T EAT THE CUBS CAKES!" but it was too late. Luckily my group in the office didn't work with any clients.
This all brings us to today when I pretty much have my Opening Day routine down pat. I wake up, eat a breakfast hot dog and watch The Sandlot. Then I don my homemade uniform, which is a white Target sweatsuit with blue pinstripes drawn on it with permanent marker and TIMBERLAKE written on the back and watch the game. Ryan is so terrified that I will wear this to an actual game that he makes me prove to him before we walk out the door that I don't have on white sweat pants under my jeans. And then he checks my purse. I'm working on sewing a secret lining into it. He's so easily embarrassed at baseball games. He abhors when I bring my duck-nut (picture below) and he almost left me in the Wrigley Field bleachers last year when I tried to start a new Wave-Like move called The Spin Clap. And then he did leave me in the Wrigley Field bleachers for a while when I changed the words to Take Me Out To The Ball Game later the same day. He didn't even let me finish the song...
|He is a Peanut Shaped Like A Duck.|
Anway though, I'm off to watch the game which I have been DVR-ing. This it totally totally the Cubs' year.
P.S - The winner of the Stella and Dot Giveaway is Tracy and Noah. So if that is you, shoot an email to LaurenRaeGallagher@gmail.com to learn how to collect your prize! If you didn't win (and I wish you ALL could seriously) remember that you can be entered to win an awesome Stella and Dot prize basket (like a $185 value) with any purchase you make in the Autism Awareness Collection!