We talk about Mrs. Professor all the time, so it seems only fair that she occasionally talk to you in her own words. Besides, she is the one that is actually a trained writer. We can only hope that you won’t start expecting the same level of prose from us.
I will never forget wearing my first bridesmaid dress and watching a childhood friend open a wedding gift from her husband-to-be. It was a hunting knife and a rifle. Not only was she not appalled, she seemed OK with it, maybe even excited. I had never seen her shoot or stab anything in the 15 years I had been friends with her. I had no idea what to say. Taking an interest in your future-husband’s hobbies is one thing, happily accepting a wedding gift that could kill and gut all your family’s pets? Not OK.
I vowed that I would never be that girl. I promised myself when I fall in love with someone, I will maintain my own personality and he will know how to give a proper gift.
Six years later, on my own wedding day, I said a little prayer of thanks that there was no way in hell my future-husband would give me a rifle before I walked down the aisle, or in his case, Major League Baseball 2K9 or a Rays jersey.
My husband is a big baseball fan. While I am a big fan of the food and drinks at baseball games, baseball itself meant very little to me. I played t-ball when I was in kindergarten and, at the time, had no idea that there was any way to win or lose. And my knowledge of the sport had advanced only slightly since that time. At the risk of breaking my promise to myself, I made a conscious effort to maintain my previous level of interest. However, I soon realized he was no ordinary fan. And that it was impossible to be around him and not learn the names of all the Rays players and the difference between a forced and unforced out. And as a native Texan who dutifully went to high school football games all her grade school life and never once bothered to learn what a first down was, I have an incredibly capacity for willful ignorance. So this was no small feat.
Initially, I was deeply offended that any sport could have such a long season. Even if I can appreciate something, I can usually only appreciate it for so long. The Grand Canyon, for example, was beautiful. But it didn’t take me more than 30 minutes to realize it was beautiful and quickly suggest a good restaurant with a great view and air conditioning if anybody was interested. Baseball games are long. They happen almost every day. They never seemed to end. One can only eat so many hot dogs and drink so many huge beers. I wasn’t at all sure what I had gotten myself into. My best guess was: a lot of free time while my husband was watching baseball, reading about baseball and writing about baseball.
Although I would still be offended by a Rays/baseball equivalent of a shotgun as a romantic gesture, I would be excited about the prospect of becoming season ticket holders. I don’t dread the spring and actually got a little sad this past October. I like to believe that I’ve kept the promise I made to myself in my navy blue bridesmaid dress. I’m still the same girl I was before I met my husband. I’ve just learned how to enjoy a baseball game, even without the hot dogs and huge beers.