Spring is in the air. I can tell because my nostrils seemed to have closed up shop for the season, and I am sneezing uncontrollably. It is uncomfortable and it bothers the dog, who is terrified of catching my cooties.
The other sign of spring is the low drone of mlb radio that hums in the background. A. and I are big baseball fans, Red Sox fans to be exact. We try to go to at least one game every season (no small feat since Fenway is small and ticket prices are large) and we, like good old-fashioned Sox fans, have already sighed at the recent stats, figuring it will be a short season.
However, I have a dirty little secret. My love of baseball predates A. or even my move to Boston. You see, I grew up a Mets fan. Oh, you may wave your little fingers at me and call me a fair-weather fan while thinking, “Sure, she loved the Mets in 1986 when they beat the Sox, but when she moved to Boston she switched her allegiance because the Sox started to win.” That’s not quite right actually. I have an uncle that grew up in Brockton and even though he, my aunt, and my cousins live in New York now, the Red Sox was his team. I, being close to my uncle, aunt, and cousins, wanted it to be my team, too, so when my cousins and I would be heading home from the beach and we would beg our parents for a Carvel baseball hat ice cream treat, I would always chose the Sox hat to show that I was a Sox fan.
But if I was in the car with just my dad, I would be all over the Mets hat. My love of the Mets was closely intertwined with parental bonding. My dad took me to one of the 1986 World Series games, and I proudly wore my Mets shirt until it fell apart in the wash (I would switch it up with my Bruce Springsteen “Born in the USA” concert tour t-shirt that my best friend’s parents bought me after the concert. It goes without saying that I was the most awesome kid ever.) Dad even bought me a “signed” (mass produced, but who cares?) Gary Carter (my favorite player…because who doesn’t love a man-perm?) baseball. I would proudly show it to all my friends and wait for the “oohs” and “aahs” that would follow. But as I got older, my allegiance waned, and then I moved to Boston.
In fact, even growing up a Mets/Sox fan, I had convinced everyone back home in NY that I was a Sox fan. So when the Sox were playing the Yankees in the 2004 playoffs, my good friend (the offspring of the Bruce Springsteen-concert-going parents) and I made a bet – if the Evil Empire won, I would send her a quart of Legal Seafood Chowder, and if the Sox won, I would have a Juniors cheesecake sent my way. When the Sox won the championship and went on to win the World Series, I did what all good baseball fans do: I signed my Yankees-loving friend up for a membership to Red Sox Nation. Revenge never tasted so sweet.
My mother now is a die hard Mets fan, even hanging up on me if I make the mistake of calling during a game. I love that she gets excited and talks trades and throws my father out of the room if the Mets are losing (she swears it’s bad karma, I just think it is hilarious.) I, however, firmly pledge Sox, even if their losing streak continues. Besides, I make enough money to buy my own cheesecake.