When it’s Ken they really want
People are funny without realizing it – and just a little transparent.
If you were married to a doctor, would you be expected to answer medical questions? If you lived with a singer, would people expect you to break out in song?
I don’t think so.
So why do people expect me to talk baseball? I’m a writer, not a baseball analyst. Sure, I can write about fluffy baseball topics, like spitting or a 101-year-old Yankee fans named Frank, but the stats, strategy and who’s returning to the lineup from the disabled list? That’s Ken’s department.
When he’s on the road and I’m home in Baltimore, say like at the supermarket or church, people see “Suzanne” but I know they’re thinking “Ken” because the baseball ramblin’ begins.
It’s Ken they really want when an Orioles fan approaches me with a comment that they want Ken back as a player. It’s Ken they want when they ask me if I think he will some day broadcast for his “home” team. It’s Ken they want when they ask what he thinks of a current hot baseball topic or if the Yankees will win the pennant (again); and it’s Ken they want when someone e-mails to say she has been thinking about me, yet her next sentence includes the word baseball. (Guess she didn’t want to admit she was thinking about my husband all along.)
Do I look like I’m 6-foot-4 with short black hair and a YES Network microphone in my hand?
It’s Ken they really want when I walk into a friend’s house for a cookout and her husband is looking behind me with the immediate question on his beer-stained lips – “Where’s Ken?” – like I’m hiding him in my handbag or something. (Takes me a minute to get the cities straight on any given day, but eventually I utter the Yankees’ locale.)
Now around the end of summer every baseball season, I get a little cranky. (Jeepers, can you tell?) Don’t get me wrong – I want the Yankees to keep winning and see the inside of their dugout in October, but I also want my husband to come home. I become weary of kissing him bye-bye as he boards a plane or hops a train. I grow tired of checking his schedule every time I need a date for a cookout or to see if he’s available for back-to-school night.
Yet mostly, I’m feeling a tad drained with people talking baseball – to me – when it’s Ken they really want.
Yes, people are funny. They can’t quite get the hang of baseball schedules either. In December someone will ask if Ken is on the road. My cousin has asked if he returns home on weekends. On a summer holiday they seem astonished that he isn’t around. “Oh, Ken didn’t get off for Labor Day?”
My standard answer is “Baseball knows no holiday or weekend.” (Or kids’ birthdays, friend’s wedding or move-in day for our kid’s college.)
Sometimes a kind baseball soul will ask if I’m ready for the season to be over. Thank you and yes I am.
But in general, I don’t wanna talk baseball. Especially in September. It makes me cranky.