Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Baseball, my fiancé and I

What you are about to read was inspired by a post from The Common Man of The Platoon Advantage. After reading the post and watching the xtranormal clip, my fiancé said:

Wait, is this about you? He sounds exactly like you.
Often times, I’ll ask my fiancé what her day looks like in the morning before I leave for work. When she’s done telling me, it strikes me that her day sounds more like that of a taxi driver. She goes to what seems like eight different places each day, most of which aren’t exactly a stones throw away. Rather, they are multiple cities away. And here’s the thing: it’s not like she gets to drive there, drop a drunken couple off, and then quickly pick up another. No. Inside those destinations, she’s training, studying, learning, and working – providing therapy for those that need it most. Also, she’s not paid.

What, you say? I’ll tell you. She’s not paid because my fiancé is training to be a doctor of clinical psychology. If you didn’t know or have not heard, becoming a doctor is hard work. It involves taking courses, writing and defending a dissertation, getting too little sleep, and giving up 40-plus hours of your week for little or no monetary compensation. In her case, it also involves playing Play-Doh with children while they talk about their feelings. Adults* too (minus the Play-Doh).

*I wish Jose Canseco would do some therapy. It could help him immensely.

Guess what, though? She loves it. More importantly, the people get better. They get better because she has the time to listen and care. I take great pride in being attached to someone who genuinely wants to make this planet a better place.

That’s her. I on the other hand, love baseball. I want to eat it, sleep it and live it. So I write and write about it.

My fiancé doesn’t particularly love baseball. I wouldn’t even say she likes it. But she loves me, and so we even cut a deal. If I stay mostly uninvolved with the other sports (football, hockey and basketball), I can get as much baseball as I’d like once the season starts. I like basketball, football and even hockey (though to a lesser degree), but I love baseball. This is a great deal for me.

But not only does she let me watch about as much baseball as is possible from April to November, but she reads my posts, too. Her eyes often glaze over during portions heavy on stats, but she reads every word. She even provides me with feedback.

But sometimes our little deal and the rest of our lives collide. This was exactly the case when we were to fly to Seattle, WA last October to look at a lovely wedding venue: Roche Harbor on the San Juan Island.

A story…

We planned a trip to visit Roche Harbor in July of 2010. Little did I know at the time that the Giants would still be in contention on October 1. What’s more, little did I know their bid to the postseason depended on that final weekend against San Diego.

Even having witnessed the Giants’ lead grow to three over the previous few days – the Giants swept Arizona while the Padres dropped three of four against the Cubs – I intended to watch the games that weekend. If not live, at least with the results unbeknownst to me. And so I set the DVR and hoped for the best. I was not going to learn the Giants did or did not win the NL West on my phone or via text.

We packed our bags and flew north – I left behind all of my Giants paraphernalia, including my brand new cap with the orange bill, i.e. their new Sunday cap that I’d grown to love. I intended to ignore my iPhone, all TVs and any human wearing a baseball cap, a baseball t-shirt, or even a guy with a boiler who looked as if he might enjoy a hot dog and brew at the stadium. I had to be careful.

In my endeavor, I was wildly successful. We flew in and hung out with friends at a pub. I avoided the television and learned nothing of Friday’s game. We drove to Anacortes and boarded a ferry to Friday Harbor. Still, I learned nothing. We spent the evening eating and drinking all they could throw at us – the resort comped everything, which included the food, the drinks, our suite and a condo for my fiancés parents – at their wonderful restaurant, McMillan’s. I learned nothing of baseball or the National League West. Finally, we toured the venue on Sunday – whilst I labored through a vicious hangover – before slipping out of the quiet little harbor and heading for the airport.

I had made successfully made it the entire weekend without knowing anything of the Giants’ fate. Then it happened. About 5:00 PM on October 3, I boarded the plane home to San Francisco and the captain greeted us:

Welcome to flight [such and such] on [not important] airlines. Our flight should last about 2 hours. We’ll get you back safely to San Francisco, the home of your newly crowned NL West champion GIANTS as of about an hour ago.

*CHEERS (and one person, me, grumbling)*
I made it all weekend long and avoided it all, only to have the captain ruin it for me. Not only was my fiancé sympathetic, she was even a little annoyed for me. Even still, I wasn’t going to let a thing like that ruin the fact that I would watch the Giants make the postseason for the first time since 2003. So I went home and watched each game.

That included watching Cain give up a big home run early in Friday’s matchup to Adrian Gonzalez. That included watching Barry Zito destroy Saturday by walking in two runs in the games first frame. Luckily, in the weekend’s final installment, it included a triple from Jonathan Sanchez off of the easy-to-dislike Mat Latos, a late home run by Buster Posey, a save by Brian Wilson and a lap around the stadium by all of the 2010 Giants.

I watched all this into the wee hours of Monday morning while my fiancé slept in the other room, happy to lend me to my other love: baseball. Over the next month, she did much of the same as I screamed and hollered and allowed myself to descend into habits far too superstitious. And when I emerged on November 2 (or probably a week or so later, actually), filled with some of the best memories of my life which I can and will always carry with me, she was there… waiting.

She not only allows me to watch far too much baseball and read my posts, but she’s also willing to engage in conversations about it from time to time. She fully supports my insanity. Even better, she believes in me. She thinks my writing is good, that it’s enjoyable to read. However fruitless my writing might be now and in the future, especially considering a successful writer often isn’t also a wealthy one, she encourages me. I owe an awful lot to her.

Spring training is officially around the corner, and soon after the regular season will start. She can’t be totally thrilled about this. So I want to take a moment to thank her for her support. If you find yourself reading this and thinking: “I have someone like that,” tell them. They deserve as much. Because just as soon as they no longer feel as though their support is appreciated, they’ll have every right to suspend it.

Thank you, [you know who you are]


  1. Great post, she deserves the praise, because she is a wonderful lady, and I know how obsessed you get about the Giants. It was soooooo hard to not text or call you when it all happened. As fate would have it, I was travelling for work, and watched the Giants clinch, at the Hard Rock Hotel, a stone's throw from Petco. Sweet memory indeed.

  2. Nice post, Rory. your remarks. You indeed have a great one there, and you should hold on to her for as long as she'll put up with you. And take a night off or two during the regular season. She deserves the attention. Good luck and congratulations on your impending such and such.