Love, Baseball, and History
Let me begin with a greeting to the 30pov writers and readers. I hope to add yet another unique voice to the lineup here and get people talking (or angry, which has always been a skill of mine).
With that said, on to the topic at hand. “Of Historical Significance.”
I think the thing I find most interesting about “history” is how certain happenings in your life can become inextricably tied to certain events Let me use a personal example: The 2004 Boston Red Sox.
Anyone who has known me for more than five minutes knows that I’m a massive Boston sports fan. My mood can be determined at any given time in relation to the fortunes of the Sox, Celtics or Patriots. (There’s not much else to do in the ass end of Connecticut, unless you like to gamble). And the whole experience was defined by one constant: When it counts, the Sox lose. I always expected to be one of those fans who would live to be ninety without ever seeing my baseball team reach the top of the mountain, sitting in a nursing home going on and on about the Curse of the Bambino.
So, with that said, it stands to reason that the Sox playoff run in October ‘04 should have been the greatest moment in my life as a fan. And it was, to a point. But, at the same time I had just entered into a relationship. Ah, young love. Boy meets girl. Nothing beats it.
I feel like a little context is necessary here. I’m not what anyone would call a “serial dater.” I’ve been in three relationships in thirty-two years, always hoping that each one will be “it” and I’ll be done looking.
Anyway, we started dating on the night of Game Four of the ALCS against the Yankees. Hell, I agreed to go on the date because I figured the Sox had no chance to win, being down three games to none against their nemesis, and I had no desire to watch their last game. I only missed the start of the greatest comeback in all of sports. Still kicking myself about that one.
So then January of ’05 rolls around. This girl dumps me, deciding after three months with me, she preferred women. I suppose if I had more dating experience at the time, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. I could have laughed it off, said something like, “Hey, it’s college. These things happen.” Instead, my self-esteem was destroyed. On top of the usual recriminations that come with sudden breakups like this, I was asking myself what was so wrong with me that she didn’t want to be with men anymore?
It became difficult for me to think of the euphoria of watching that bullshit “curse” disappear without thinking of the hurt I had suffered shortly afterward. All because she happened to be in the room when I watched the clinching game of the World Series…timing’s a bitch, eh?
For most of the last six years, I’ve had the specter of that bad breakup hanging over my memories of those games. When the Red Sox won again in 2007, my first thought was “Yes, a championship without baggage!”
Recently, I’ve fallen in love with someone else, and we’re very happy. Since then, I’ve been able to look back on my memories of ’04 more positively, because the hurt from the previous relationship doesn’t really matter anymore. I remember reading a lot of interviews with members of the ’04 Sox. A lot of them said they wanted to be treated like any other baseball team, not one that’s somehow fated to lose. That’s what those memories are for me now, just another set of games.
If I had let my negative experiences with other women jade me entirely, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I guess my point is that history itself is mutable, not the hard and fast thing most people believe it is. Embrace your present and future for what they are, not for what your past tells you they have to be.