Wednesday, April 13, 2005

2004 Tigers Doubleheader

One Thursday last September I got to work at my usual time (6:00 a.m.) and had an e-mail from Glen to a group of us asking who wanted to go to the Tigers game as it was going to be a rare doubleheader (Wednesday's night game being postponed due to rain). I immediately responded saying I couldn't go because I had to work. Within the hour I had figured out that I could and should go. It was a GORGEOUS day and how often are there doubleheaders these days (um, never) and I knew that there was really no reason I had to stay at work all day just to put my hours in. I had comp time coming to me, so I asked the bossman and he said Go for it. I then e-mailed back and said, "Hell yes, count me in."

Nobody else was able to get out of work at the last minute, so it was just Glen and me at the ol' ballpark. It started out a little chilly, so I had layers which I divested as the sun rose in the sky. Oops, getting ahead of myself. Glen and I get downtown and park the car at the Fox Theatre Parking Garage and are standing at the corner of Woodward and Montcalm waiting to cross the street. Luckily, neither of us felt the need to speak at that point. There was a small group of people waiting with us and when the light changed we all proceeded across politely. Cars were able to turn left onto Montcalm from Woodward or something because a cop was yelling at the cars to stay to the left because the sidewalk was under construction so all of us pedestrian were in the street. I hear someone ahead of me say to the cop, "Their other left, eh?" My head snapped up and I searched for the person belonging to the voice, as I heard that phrase my whole freaking life. I spotted the extremely grey head of my father and grabbed Glen's arm and literally ducked behind the garbage can. Glen thought that I was saving us from a mugging or something, until I hissed, "That's my father." We let him get a little ways in front of us to avoid any sort of run in with him. We even had to cut straight across the parking lot instead of angling like everybody else – you know, as the crow flies. He stopped to glad-hand the parking lot attendant and pretend (like I told Glen) that he likes African-American people – trust me, he doesn't. He would argue the point, I'm certain as "one of my best friends is Black." Yeah, right, whatever (and I don't think he does actually), that's why the "n" word was used quite prolifically when I was growing up. If there is one thing my father is, it's a racist asshole. Oh wait, that's two things…

We kept our eyes on him and managed to avoid running into him and we made sure our tickets were in the upper deck and not in the greatest location. My brother informed me later that my father goes to all the day games, and trust me, he doesn't sit in shitty seats. I told him it would have been nice to know ahead of time! Before I got tickets to the home opener last week I had my brother find out if *he* was going to be there. My YS told me that that's what I get for skipping out of work. Yeah, whatever!

The games themselves were entertaining…although the first one was not entertaining in a good way – if you're a Tigers fan. They lost by a ridiculous amount, 26-5. The 3rd inning lasted a year and a half, and if I remember correctly they gave up 11 runs and went through the batting order damn near three times – just in that inning. It was a complete debacle and Glen and I were just laughing, because pretty much, it was laughable. Sometime late in the game I decided to put on my rally cap. Glen took one look at me and said, "That's the surest way to get on the scoreboard." Oh shit! I immediately put my cap on correctly, as not being spotted by my father was way more important than encouraging the pathetic Tigers to rally. It wasn't going to happen anyway. By the bottom of the 3rd inning, Tramm had taken out all of the top players and were saving them for the second game. The second game it was like a completely different team came out to play. They ended up winning 8-0. It was an insane day. A whole lot of fun combined with a mini-heart attack early on.

There are a myriad of reasons why I don't wish to run into or speak to my father. And no good reason why I should bother. A few years ago he found out where I worked and he just had to let me know by sending me an e-mail. I ignored it as I have all his e-mails since then – all two or three sent on my b-day each year. I know some of you are thinking, "Geez, Kathleen, he's trying to reach out to you." But no, he's not, it was just his way of making sure I knew that he could and did find me, at least work-wise. He treated me and my little brother abominably our whole lives and I figure he made his bed and he has to lie in it. The only one of my siblings that talks to him is my Born-Again brother and he does it because his preacher told him to. He takes particular delight in upsetting my mother by calling her with bad news whenever he can like when our neighbor died a few years ago. I think he regrets the path he took 15 years ago, but tough noogies. You can't burn bridges and expect them to be there when you want them back. Will I regret not speaking to him whenever he leaves this mortal coil? Hard to say, isn't it? I think what I will regret is that I had a father for whom I was never good enough. And I'm comfortable enough in who I am that I know it's not me and was never me. I'm sorry I'm not able to throw a baseball unlike a girl, but guess what, I am a girl and I'm not an athletic girl. I figure if the ball makes it to the other person holding the mitt then it doesn't really matter about my form.

And no, that's not all he did, but it gives you an idea of the piddly things that were important to him. I did everything I could to get his attention growing up, but was completely unsuccessful. When I was in high school, my friends and I had an intramural soccer team and even though my team won a lot, my father never made it to one of my games, until we played the OS's team and then he came with his camera and took pictures of OS and her team. Did he take a pic of my team? Um, no, he didn't. And he never came to another game, although he went to more of my sister's. And now that he wants my attention, I can't be bothered. And why should I? He's going to be the lonely old man whose kids don't want to see him. Am I bitter? Actually, not really, I spent years in therapy dealing with the fact that I wasn't good enough for my father and I'm a better person for those years. And I know that I was worthy of his attention then and am now, but now I don't need his approval.


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