I know you and your family are big Boston sports fans. Where were you when the Red Sox finally won the World Series?
Wondering Sports Fan
Dear Wondering Sports Fan,
This is a very interesting story. It’s particularly interesting because it involves me.
Anyway, let me go back a ways to tell this story right. In 2003, when I was still just a very little Baby Girl, my formative years were deeply influenced by my Dad’s Red Sox fanaticism. During the regular season he was kind of calm. He was only prone to occasional outbursts. This lulled me into a false sense of comfort. When the playoffs rolled around I saw the demon side of my Dad.
It got really bad when the Red Sox took on the Yankees. You see, my Dad has a deep hatred for the Yankees. I think it’s pathological, but I’m not entirely sure. So when the Red Sox met the Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series I noted a major increase in tension within our previously happy home. Dad was very, very angry all the time.
But one night it became unbearable. It was Game 7 and the Red Sox took a lead deep into the game. My Dad paced and paced in our little living room. He talked to himself a lot, which was weird since Mom was locked in the bedroom with Racky (they were both very tired of dealing with Dad, which I thought very rude since this was a time of need and Dad needed comfort — thankfully, he had his Baby Girl). But then things turned ugly. Grady Little. Sorry, let me rephrase — God Damn Grady Little as he’s known in our home — didn’t lift Pedro. The Yankees then got hit after hit after hit. My Dad turned off the TV and went into the bathroom so he could listen to the game on the radio. He thought this would change their luck. He was wrong.
And so my Dad became despondent … again. I tried to comfort him by cuddling, but it didn’t make much of a difference. This is how I knew he was in a dark place. Cuddling with the Baby Girl doesn’t work? People! Come on!
So let’s flash forward a year. The Red Sox and Yankees are battling in the 2004 American League Championhip Series and once again Dad is pacing and talking to himself and generally making the house a living hell. But this year Dad and I were prepared. First off, we had a very elaborate system. Dad’s Red Sox hat had to be placed on a certain pillow. I had to sit on a very specific couch cushion. Racky had to sit on another very specific couch cushion. When this set up didn’t work (meaning, the Yankees got a run), we would switch things up. When things got really bad, we’d run to the basement to play Ball Game.
Let me explain Ball Game. Ball Game is the MOST WONDERFUL THING IN THE WORLD. I love it. I really do. Dad wears his baseball glove and throws a tennis ball against the basement wall. I run after the ball. Why do I love this so much? I don’t know. But even the name “Ball Game” makes me nutty. It’s wonderful!
So, armed with hats and cushions and Ball Game, we set out to reverse the curse. And you know what? WE DID IT! We were the key to the comeback. Well, I was the key, but I let Dad think he had something to do with it.
Getting back to your question: Upon helping the Red Sox win the ALCS, I decided that the Sox would need a little more luck in the World Series. So while Dad was jumping around the house following the ALCS victory, I gnawed on the brim of his Red Sox hat.
Let me pause a moment here: I do not, under any circumstances, recommend gnawing on your Dad’s Red Sox hat. I took an enormous risk doing this, but I believed that the Sox needed the power of the Baby Girl to finally win a World Series. I did this for the team. If you do it, I take no responsibility for the horrible things that might happen to you.
Ultimately, my Dad was so excited about the Red Sox beating the Yankees that he didn’t even care that I chewed his hat (I only chewed it a little. I mean, I’m not stupid). In fact, he believed my chew marks gave the Sox extra luck and so he didn’t even wash the hat!
The rest is history. When the Red Sox took on the Cardinals, my Dad put his freshly chewed hat in the Very Specific spot. I sat on my Very Specific cushion. Racky sat on his. And look what happened! Four games later, the Red Sox are World Champions!
I have to admit that the moment it happened I was dozing off a bit. There I was camped on the couch next to my Dad, resting comfortably. And then I was shocked awake by the loudest, most primal noise a Baby Girl could ever hear. My Dad was jumping and waving his arms and yelling and screaming. Had he been on fire, I believe he would have been more reserved than he was at that very moment.
After I collected myself (he scared the bejesus out of me), I snuggled back into the couch and smiled to myself. “That one’s for you, Dad,” I thought as I drifted off to sleep, satisfied with the miracle I had orchestrated.
And so that’s my Red Sox story.
Loretta the Baby Girl/Miracle Worker
Addendum: My Dad still hasn’t washed the hat. He really loves his Red Sox and he really loves his Baby Girl, so why would he ever wash something that represents us both? He wouldn’t! That would be ridiculous!