Thursday, June 3, 2010

Reflections on a Boston Red Sox game

Alright, I'll state up front that I am neither a die-hard Red Sox fan, nor a fair-weather fan. Born in Boston, I have been enjoying Fenway Park since I was a babe, most usually with my dad, though sometimes with my brothers if the family somehow got its grubby-for-any-Boston-sports-tickets grip on enough of those precious rectangular paper stubs.

My brother took me to a game to celebrate my high school graduation in 2007

When I was young, I was mostly concerned with "the wave," (why did it take so many tries to finally succeed?) "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," (the song which we started learning in preschool as part of our requisite sports culture education) and the soft-serve ice cream in the plastic helmet. A bit older now, I am more aware of sociological implications of mass public spectacles; tonight's game against the Oakland Athletics (which we won!) left me with a few questions:

• Despite the Red Sox having so many black and Hispanic players, why did I have so much difficulty spotting any dark-colored people in the stands? Do they not enjoy baseball as much?, or do they have trouble affording the expensive tickets (once again, Fenway Park is the most expensive ballpark at which to see a game)?

• Why were so many young women purchasing $7.25 draft beers? Do they really enjoy the taste of it?, or do they just buy it because they think that is what's expected of them?

• How do people rationalize spending $50 on parking their cars in nearby lots? (Alright, this question is only vaguely puzzling.)

Regardless of these semi-troubling questions, I did enjoy myself tremendously. My Dad kept singing Beyonce's "Put a Ring on It" in a strange key, and security let me bring my water bottle in so I did not have to buy a bottle for $3.25. Boston's opening pitcher, Dice-K, exceeded expectations, and I nearly got the chills when the wave succeeded on the first attempt, and even made it around the park a second time.

At this point in my life, my "'ridiculous' aspects of life in Western society radar" is quite active. Too many situations are inflicted with excess consumption, waste, group-influenced behavior, and other unhealthy tendencies. I am not, and hope never to be, a Donald Downer, someone who spreads his/her negativity. But I do insist that it's responsible, and even beneficial, to take moments here and there to ponder the effects of our individual actions (and ask, "Should I really spend my hard-earned money on that?) and the flapdoodles of our modern lifestyles.

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