Hey everyone, I’m sorry that I’ve been recycling a lot of old content lately but I’ve been very busy with work and outside projects and haven’t had time to create new stuff. One of those outside projects has got me going through some old blog posts and I’ve been finding stuff I posted years ago that most of you have probably never seen. Below is a story that I told back in 2004 (when there were about 8 people reading this blog)but it takes place many years before that and it involves me, my favorite baseball player and cross dressing.
Over the weekend I caught an NFL Films show on ESPN Classic that included some footage of a game I attended as an eleven year old. Unbeknownst to viewers of the program, somewhere in the crowd of 80,000 was a boy living a nightmare. It wasn’t the fatal car accident I witnessed on the way to the game and it wasn’t the fight that my mom’s boyfriend got into in the parking lot that made the day so bad. It wasn’t even the car accident that we got into on the way home or the subsequent DUI that made me wish was invisible. It was what I was wearing.
If clothes make the man, I was a little girl on a bitterly cold December 28th. My attendance was a last minute invitation due to an extra ticket. It was so cold that day that even my mother knew I needed warm clothes and made sure I wore my warmest coat, hat and gloves. I didn’t have anything but jeans on from my waist to my boots, with no time to pick up long thermals my mom made a fateful decision…and gave her son, her firstborn son…. leg warmers…like for dancers. So I’m 11 years old on my way to a football game dressed in girls clothing.
From the house to kickoff was a blur of beer cans, a fatal crash across the way and some lovely insults from the adults directed at the boy in tights. By kickoff I’m feeling as good as you think I would, (I should point out that the leg things were pretty warm). The game itself was a disaster but sitting two rows in front of me is New York Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez. Now if you knew me at 11 years old you’d know how big this was to me, prior to discovering drinks and casual drug use I lived and breathed the New York Mets, watching every pitch and re-enacting games in the basement with myself stepping in to play key spots, frequently turning losses into dramatic wins. While I regularly stepped into the lineup to replace other players, I never took first base, that was off limits as Hernandez was an all star not to mention my favorite player. On the imaginary team I still looked up to Keith despite the fact I had more RBI, was a fan favorite, and frequent victim of kissing bandits. In return he liked my gritty style of play and smooth way with the ladies. But that was all in my basement, here in real life is my favorite player, close enough to touch and I’m dressed like an Arctic ballerina! I’m awestruck and too embarrassed to go say hello. In a rare show of kindness my mother’s boyfriend tries to offer some support.
“Go say Hi, he comes to a lot of games he won’t mind”
-“no that’s ok, I don’t want to”
“Why, because you’re dressed like a girl”
Needless to say I didn’t say hello.
After the Jets got whacked by the Patriots and thus exited the playoffs I am waiting outside of the bathroom for all of the guys so we can go home. I’m sipping hot chocolate and feeling self conscious when my favorite baseball player exits the men’s room and stops for a second, right in front of me! He’s unaware that we are teammates in my imagination and has no idea that I have been sitting behind him too embarrassed to say hello. The sudden appearance surprised me and I forget to be self conscious for a second; so without thinking I say:
“Hey you’re my favorite player”
I start to stick out my hand, stop, take off my glove and shake hands with my hero. If he notices my sissy leg warmers he doesn’t mention it.