Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Heart Public Humiliation.

Hello-I hope everyone is swell today. I appreciate the comments on whether I should purchase a treadmill...I think for now that I will hold off. I still have my membership and I’m too broke right now. Plus, with the gym, I can use their weights, elliptical and pool.

Yesterday I mentioned playing softball for work. Instead of describing it to you or talking about it, I decided to post a very short story I wrote for graduate school last year. Some of the things aren’t true...I still do play sometimes and some of the things were exaggerated...that’s what writers do though...they lie. I also changed the names to protect the innocent and if these people ever do see this and figure out who is who then all of it is so untrue and I didn’t mean any of it. ;) I don’t guess I titled this project at school so I will just call it “Softball.” If you aren’t interested or have already read it, I apologize but I think you’ll like it and it will give you an idea of how I feel about softball and why I call myself a masochist. At least I will be getting extra exercise...even if it is just a little.

Softball

In general, I’m not a, “Joiner,” but I played softball as a child and was new to the company, so I decided to give it a shot.

I knew I was in trouble when the company shirts were distributed. The trim was blue and a large flaming baseball leapt from the cotton with my number, 84, on the front and back.

“Attention! Attention Please!” screeched Mona (Nish, this is NOT you.), the over-achieving, team building Human Resources Director, “All of the games are going to be held at Bowers park and they start in a couple of weeks so I think that 5 or 6 practices before then should be enough and please make sure to wear navy shorts.”

“Bowers Park? There will be a hundred people there! And…shorts? We have to wear shorts? And practice?!” I said all of this in pure disbelief. I couldn’t imagine my unsightly spider veins and to be frank, my very bright, white legs on display like a giant block of fresh mozzarella at the deli.

“Yes”, said Mona “and Donald said you will switch between extra person and catcher.”

First, Donald is the CEO of the company, the kind of privileged, rich, white man you would expect to be the CEO and I had no idea he even knew my name let alone had the knowledge to place me in a position so quickly. Perhaps he had seen me at the meeting. I would say this is most likely the case because, having seen my fair share of slow pitch games for church leagues, I know exactly where they stick the more “healthy” or “rotund” girls on the field if you can understand what I mean-as if making us do squats for two hours was our penance for stopping by Wendy’s an hour before the game.

Now, skipping the two weeks in which I “forgot” about practice and banked my salvation from humiliation on remaining the “extra” person, I will go right into the night of the event. Had I known that exactly 10 of the 32 people that signed up for this team would show up on the first game, I would have probably reconsidered.

From bottom to top, I looked rough: Very old, worn tennis shoes that gained wear from my “running” phase, ankle socks (or in my case cankle socks), navy shorts, my company shirt, and a very high pony tail with several clips to keep my stringy bangs from my eyes.

“You’re late and you’re wearing glasses. You can’t play softball in glasses Heather,” says Donald. So, he does know my name.

“I can’t see without them, besides I am the EP,” embracing an attempted abbreviation of my bench-warming status.

“Well, practically no one showed up so, without you, we will have to forfeit,” he said as if he really needed me to pull this out for the company, “so, catcher it is, let’s go, game is about to start.”

Oh my God, Oh my God. This was my repeated phrase while I moseyed behind the plate with people screaming hustle in the stands.

Donald had already warmed up with someone else so I got one warm up pitch. One. He pitched it to me and I caught it, well I threw my body in front of it but I think that counts. I figured I could make that my strategy, flailing my body in front of the ball, potentially letting it hit me time and time again seemed an easier solution than chasing the ball around each pitch. I had not however, figured out how I was to get the ball from the plate to the pitcher’s mound without seriously injuring myself, so I thought, here goes and I heaved the ball as a shot put thrower heaves with all of their might and watched it bounce about 4 or 5 feet in front of Donald (of course he would be the pitcher). Damn.

“Okay Darlin’, throw as hard as hard as you can sweetie.” said Donald with a weird combination of disgust and pity on his face. I figured I would probably lose my new job, especially when I shouted, “Scoot up if you want me to get it to you!” after I had heard enough sweeties and honeys for one night.

I decided squatting was not for me so I sort of bent over a little with my glove held out as far as I could reach because I was standing a good 6 feet behind the plate. I never let one get by me. I think I still have a mark from an unfortunate foul ball but at least I didn’t have to look into the patronizing face of the umpire one single time.

I made it through the game somehow mostly unscathed. I winced every time the ball was hit, wiped flecks of red mud from my face and legs and was fairly certain I would have to do the same from my behind when I got home.

The final score. 24-4. We lost and though I quickly told Mona I couldn’t come to any more games because I was really bogged down with starting my second semester at Spalding, I still have my shirt and I use it from time to time to wash my car.

The End

Everyone have a great Thursday night...it’s trivia night!

I thought of my friend David when I posted these lyrics...he hates this song...lol.

“Oh, put me in coach I'm ready to play today;
Put me in coach I'm ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be center field.

Got a beat-up glove, a homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes;
You know I think it's time to give this game a ride.
Just to hit the ball and touch 'em all - a moment in the sun;
(pop) It's gone and you can tell that one goodbye!
Oh, put me in coach I'm ready to play today;
Put me in coach I'm ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be center field.” Put Me In Coach-John Fogerty

3 comments:

  1. I've read the story before, but I was happy to read it again. I really like it and think it's very well-written! Good luck with softball this year!

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  2. I'm glad that I'm not Mona.

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  3. HA HA HA HA- Took me back to intramural college softball, where I played catcher :) So true, all you can do is silently say to yourself "OMG, OMG, OMG" and try to stay calm when the ball comes your way. -HAG

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