Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mutual understanding

In the ongoing friendly rivalry which plays out between my wife and myself via the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees, things have reached a strange kind of equilibrium. Yesterday we watched parts of the O’s-Tigers game, until things really started to go downhill for my wife’s team, at which point she allowed herself a slightly dejected “It’s over” as she changed the channel. That’s historically been her stock phrase for assessing the O’s season as a whole, but it has evolved over the years that we’ve been together, from dismissing the Orioles’ chances of having a .500 record by the end of the year, to lamenting their mathematically unlikely path to the playoffs, to the point we’re at now where I’m pretty sure last night she was only referring to that particular game, as opposed to the season as a whole, being over. I think she’s got some faith that the O’s can hang in there down the stretch.

Certainly it’s merited at the moment, since her team is in second place in the East, and within striking distance of first (not to mention a game ahead of my boys from the Bronx). Which may or may not have anything to do with the magnanimity she demonstrated in noting with some surprise and even a hint of disappointment that the All-Star break is fast approaching and it doesn’t seem like we’ve watched any Yankees games so far. She’s not wrong, though I attribute that to a combination of factors (primarily our new baby and concurrent lack of desire to stay up for a Sunday night game on ESPN) which, oddly, doesn’t necessarily include not being able to bear the thought of going at each other’s throats if one squad whups on the other. We’re both still rooting for our respective teams, and to a certain extent having them both in the same division makes it a zero-sum game where one can only succeed at the other’s expense, but we’re finding our way toward graciousness about it, I suppose. To the point that when, as if in answer to my wife’s musings, the O’s broadcast mentioned that the next BAL-NYY series would begin a week from this coming Friday, that was welcome news of something to look forward to.

Of course, if one (or more) of those games should end up as a lopsided blowout, no doubt imprecations will be muttered and channels will be changed. Possibly rooms will be dramatically exited. I’m still not sure we’re ready for a live game at Camden Yards when the Yanks are in town, with no escape hatch if things get ugly. We have been talking about catching an Orioles game, next season of course, when the baby’s no longer a baby and is old enough to be left with the grandparents overnight so that we can make a whole grown-up excursion of it. I love baseball enough that I would literally go to a stadium to watch anybody play anybody, and I’ll be perfectly happy to watch the O’s take on, say, the Astros just for the ballpark experience. Plus I have yet to check out the Natty Boh Bar and that is just a gross oversight.

Once we check that off, maybe we’ll turn our attention a little farther north. My wife has been to a Yankees game with me, at the old stadium, but neither of us has been to the new. Again, we’ll just have to make sure it’s a relatively uncontroversial match-up, Yankees-Mariners or something. Then again, the next time we head to New York, it might have to be for the Broadway version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which just the other night my wife informed me would see Neil Patrick Harris stepping into the title role next spring. And that, in a nutshell, is why I love my wife and consider myself an astonishingly lucky guy: to have found and be with someone who shares and/or can indulge me in my passions equally whether that means baseball or rock-n-roll musicals, it really doesn’t get any better than that.

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