Don’t get me wrong. I like watching the Goose play softball. I like it more when her coach actually lets her play. Unfortunately, in a small town where everyone seems to be related to everyone, the newcomers sit the bench, regardless of how good they are. But, that’s not why I’m angry. Well, that might be part of it. However, I would get angry when we lived in Brandon and she actually got to play.
I usually go to the field happy. The Goose is excited to play, and I am excited for her. I’m typically in a good mood. I’ve got my folding chair so I don’t have to sit on the hard bleachers, and sometimes, I even remember snacks. Life is usually good at the ball field. Then, the talking begins.
Mothers irritate me. That’s just a general statement about life, but it also applies to the ball field. I know, I am one, so it’s a contradiction, but they do. Mothers irritate me. They talk non-stop, and they act like they know what they are talking about. At the ball field, this is especially true, and the mothers are accompanied by the fathers. Ugh. The only thing that irritates me more than mothers is fathers.
There are two ways the talking annoys me. First, there’s the cell phone talker. There’s always one at every game, and it’s always a mother. If a man’s cell phone rings, he may answer it. Then, he says, “Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Okay. Bye.” No harm done. If a woman’s cell phone rings, she answers it. Then, the talking begins. When a mom gets on the phone, you can expect at least an hour of, “Uh-huh! Well, that’s not what she said. She said he was a jerk. HAHAHAHAHAHA! I agree, girl! You’ve got a point there.” (These are direct quotes from the mom who was on the phone at the Goose’s last game.) At some point, the people around her will start looking at her, as if to say, “Your child is up to bat.” Then, the looks turn into sighing, shifting and glaring. By the end of the phone call, it is usually all I can do to control myself from saying, “JUST! SHUT! UP!” I have so much self control….
The other way the talking annoys me is the constant chatter at the players. Fact #1: Most of these parents have never touched a softball (or at least they haven’t touched one since they started being yellow instead of white). Fact #2: If most of the parents (me included) tried to run the bases, we would be winded and sweating by second base. So, for parents to sit there and tell kids how to play drives me absolutely crazy. They don’t tell us how to file our taxes, so we shouldn’t tell them how to play. Just sayin’.
The chatter from the parents takes two forms.
The first form is the ugliest. This is the, “Why can’t you play better?” form. These are the parents (usually fathers) who are screaming at their kids for not stealing the base or for swinging at a ball that was too high or for not catching a ball. This chatter will make the hair on the back of my neck stand up faster than anything else. And, I dare any parent or the coach to direct this form of chatter toward my child. I will go Mama Bear on them so fast they won’t know what hit them. I proved this once when the Beetle’s baseball coach yelled at him for not stealing a base, and my response was a full, out of my chair, “WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT MY KID???” I wrote him an apology email later. I didn’t really mean it. (The apology, that is.)
The other form of chatter that makes me batty is the stupid phrases that are used at softball (or baseball games). Last night during the Goose’s game, I started making a list. There was plenty to choose from. Here are some of my least favorites…
- “Good eye!” (This is what they say when a batter chooses not to swing at a ball. It’s just a dumb phrase. They have two eyes, not one. What if they swing at the wrong pitch? Does that mean they have bad eyes? And, why must we yell, “Good eye!” when a child chooses not to swing at a ball that is 4 feet above her head? Does that really require a good eye – or eyes - to be able to see that she shouldn’t swing?)
- “Kid “ (They call the kids, “Kid.” Why?? Don’t these children have names for a reason? If we know their names, why not call them by their names?)
- “Eat it!” (This is the term they use when the pitcher should hold the ball. It just gets on my nerves. I have no explanation.)
- “Way to go, 1. 2.” (They call them by their number but have to simplify the numbers. I guess anything over 9 is too hard for them, so instead of 12, they say, “1. 2.” Again, don’t these children have names for a reason?)
- “Let her pitch to you.” (This is what they say when telling a player to wait for the ball to come to them. However, isn’t the whole point of the pitcher to pitch to the batter? That’s why the batter is standing there, right?)
-"Hefty Lefty" (On behalf of all lefties in the world, I am offended.)
- “Only swing at the strikes” (Well, duh.)
- “Wait for your pitch.” (Why else is the batter standing at home plate?)
- “Way to get a piece of it.” (They say this when the player tips the ball but does not get a good hit. It just gets on my nerves in large proportions.)
I told you I was angry. I don’t know why these things irritate me so badly. It must be in my genes, because they irritate my mother too. When she is at a game, she and I sit there and roll our eyes together every time someone says, “Good eye!”
Now that I have confessed this, I feel better. Of course, I have to hope no one from the softball league reads my blog. Otherwise, they will know how much they are irritating me.
I must say, though, that I really can’t complain too much. At least these parents (other than the cell phone talker) know what is happening in the game. Mr. Everything keeps score pretty regularly, and many times, he’ll ask me, “Was that a strike or a ball?” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to admit I wasn’t even paying attention. As I sit there watching the game, my brain goes into hibernation. There have even been times I accidentally cheered for the other team. I’m sure the other parents roll their eyes at me just as often as I roll my eyes as them.
By the way, on an unrelated topic, why haven't I made any friends at the ball park? -Al