Thing 7: Get on the Jumbotron Go crazy at a ballgame
I blew on the shiny part of the final navy blue brush stroke on the poster board, simultaneously waving my hands over it. This made my FitBit light up, and I saw how late I was running. I’d have to rely on the Houston heat to dry my hair on the way. The baby was stirring on the monitor, but not waking. I’d have to get him up, risking him being grumpy the whole baseball game. I tiptoed in his room hoping to at least wake him gently. But how gentle can you be changing and dressing a baby when you’re supposed to be in the car eight minutes ago? He looked adorable in his Astros shirt, and I was a mess in my tank top and wet hair and paint-smeared jeans. This would have to do.
I’ve been pretty spoiled with my Astros experiences. Through various friends and their connections, we’ve scored some pretty great seats. The fans surrounding us always seem used to the premium seating, clapping politely and eating their hotdogs with forks. Somehow I must have got sucked into that, because I’ve caught myself thinking some pretty terrible things about the people on the big screens:
- Wow. Calm down guys. Act like you’ve been in public before.
- Goodness lady. Have another beer.
- Cool selfie. I’m sure your “friends” will be pleased to see what a real baseball fan you are.
- Double fisting hot dogs, huh? I bet your cholesterol is all sorts of bad.
- My baby is so much better looking than that baby. Why don’t they show my baby instead?
- You’re a bad dancer.
Sigh. I’m sorry, strangers. You don’t deserve that. My mom used to tell me that when people are mean, it’s just because they are jealous. She is right. I AM jealous! I want to be the glamorously carefree girl on the big screen, housing hotdogs and showing off my biceps during the Muscle Cam. I want thousands of people to see my ketchup-faced baby and collectively “Aww!!” at the pure American joy of a small child staring wide-eyed at a baseball game. I want the world to see how in love my husband and I are with a modest, yet love-soaked smooch on the Kiss Cam (Rafe, for the record, would hate this and would probably fake his death to avoid the PDA).
I thought back on every game I’d attended at Minute Maid Park. The elements of getting the camera guy’s attention in a stadium that seats 40,000 people seemed simple enough: precious children, witty and relevant signs, silly people enjoying themselves. So I bought my tickets on the upper deck and made my signs and dressed up my baby and invited two of my beautiful friends along. You guys. We were golden. We would have our three seconds of fame on the Jumbotron.
…except we didn’t. Every area day camp and summer school program in the city also chose this game. We just couldn’t compete with hoards of sugared-up kids in matching T-shirts. But my goodness did I have a fun time trying. I had never done the wave with such fervor or “EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS” so spot on (plus Rafey was clapping too so that was adorable). Whatever singing competition show is cool right now would have loved to have me after my harmonies on Take me out the Ballgame.
We didn’t make it on the Jumbotron or the broadcast (I recorded the game so I could watch for us later that evening), but we had a ton of fun. I now promise to stop being so mean to strangers that are also having a ton of fun on the Jumbotron. You go, strangers. You dance and you eat and you ask the beer guy for another. Don’t worry about stuck up people like me. We are just jealous.