Thursday, August 19, 2004
Cheering the other team
Removing the tarp at Camden Yards. After the rains ... and before the Oakland A's beat the Orioles 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Under darkening skies threatening rain, I traveled with a handful of colleagues on Wednesday evening to Camden Yards for the Baltimore Orioles-Oakland A's game. Forty-five minutes before the game's start time, a late-summer thunderstorm drenched the more than 40,000 people there, including us. But we had umbrellas and some of us had rain ponchos, so no big deal. Or so we thought.
One of our crew got seriously bent out of shape because of the rain and wanted to go home. She complained about her wet hair, her soaked jeans, and even how the hot dog she bought from a street vendor - just moments before the first fat raindrops fell - got water-logged. Good Lord. Then she went to the bathroom. She returned, clutching her purse in desperation and looking almost ready to cry. Her nose hurt because the toilet paper dispenser in the bathroom stall fell and smacked her on the nose and forehead, dislodging her glasses.
It was hard not to laugh. Giggles bubbled up inside of me, but I quelled them. She looked sincerely distressed. I wanted to tell her that she had to take life less seriously, to laugh at herself and to make the best of things. Otherwise, she'll have ulcers by the time she hits 26. I tried to, gently. But she was so upset and defensive that I steered the conversation to other, safer subjects.
By the way: I'm an A's fan. I root for any California team now that I'm on the east coast. I grew up Dodger blue, after all. I got a lot of hard stares every time I cheered for the A's. It just made me cheer louder. And anyway, we won (take that, Baltimore).