[personal profile] sinnamongirl
I have 3 stories about baseball. Scratch that, I just looked up the definition of a story. I have 1 observation, 1 anecdote, and 1 story about baseball. The observation is that, as a small child, I always wanted to do what my older brother did. I was jealous of everything he had, by dint of being older and a boy, and wanted it for myself. He played Little League, and I never got to.

The anecdote is that, on a bright sunny day in my middle childhood, my father broke my heart by tagging me out during a neighborhood pickup baseball game.

The story is this: In middle school, my 8th grade year, I had a horrible PE teacher. I've no idea to this day what I did to annoy him, if anything, besides being not very good at team sports. Oddly, because my family had been very active, and I definitely enjoyed physical activity. I simply did not like physical education class. Or this teacher, so at least that was reciprocal. I also had asthma and bad ankles and a bad back, plus had a religious waiver so didn't have to participate in the dance unit of PE, which was both a relief and embarrassing at the same time. I also, quite frankly, would have preferred to spend all my time in the library.

That said, on yet another bright and sunny day, we began our baseball unit. My class and another PE class trooped out to a back field together, the teachers strolling and chatting, the kids lugging bins of equipment. I stared off into space as per my usual, dreading my turn at bat, the eyes on me, the inevitability of despair - I'd either hit the ball and have to run - run! - in front of everyone, or miss the ball and disappoint my team. Horror.

When I walked up for my turn at bat, my PE teacher - Mr. Griffin - turned to the other PE teacher and rolled his eyes a little. I saw it, but I figured I'd strike out and be done with it. He'd let me go sit in the grass and pick dandelions once he saw how useless I was. I picked up the bat and held it loosely, staring off into the grass and mentally picking out the spot I would sit in, out of the way, not bothering anyone. First pitch whooshed by, too close, and I swung apathetically. I can't even call it a bunt, it was the baseball equivalent of a whimper. I heard a few laughs, imagined more eyes rolling, and ponied up again. I got a better grip on the bat and swung - missed.

At this point, Mr. Griffin yelled something at me - "Tighten up! Fix your stance!" or something like that. Who knows? It didn't matter, he was a windbag and the bane of my existence for 45 minutes every day. But I did tighten up. All those years of wishing I could be in Little League like my brother, the long summer afternoons of joyfully playing with the neighbors and family, my dad's voice in my ear and his hands over mine, showing me how to turn my body, point my toe down, coil up on myself and make the bat an extension of my arms.... I went into a perfect batting stance. Third pitch, third swing, and a -CRACK- as the bat connected with the ball, slicing it out over right field, over my classmates' shocked heads, right into the blackberry bushes that bordered school property.

Everyone - including myself - was shocked. In fact, I was so shocked that I didn't quite know what to do. As I stood there, jaw open, bat dangling, watching the ball arc through the sky, I heard Mr. Griffin turn to the other teacher and say, "Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut."

Maybe he meant to whisper it. Maybe he didn't realize I could hear. Maybe he just didn't care. I turned to him, my awesome-shock turning to anger-shock. We locked eyes. The other teacher said nothing, just looked deeply embarrassed. Mr. Griffin didn't even show embarrassment. I had a choice, right then. I could walk into the principal's office, sit down, wait politely to be seen, and inform them that... what? That a class I didn't care about and a teacher I didn't respect had proven to be the same old things they always were? Or, I could run to first base.

I compromised by walking to first base. I gave (what I hope was) a condescending sneer which communicated my utter lack of regard for Mr. Griffin, dropped the bat, and strolled around the bases while the other team scrambled to extricate the ball from the blackberry bushes. Neither teacher would meet my eye for days afterward. I hadn't stood up for myself, but I also hadn't cried publicly so at the time counted it as not quite a win, but definitely not a loss on a personal level.

Sometime later, during the hot months, I barfed on Mr. Griffin's shoes. I've always felt he deserved it, and I hope somewhere inside, he felt he deserved it too.

Date: 2016-12-16 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] murielle.livejournal.com
Your trio rocks!

Really enjoyed reading your entry.

Date: 2016-12-19 07:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-12-16 05:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theidolhands.livejournal.com
Great fucking story. Your style still pleases me, nice to see another worthwhile entry by you.

Date: 2016-12-19 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Thanks, I really appreciate that :)

Date: 2016-12-16 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adoptedwriter.livejournal.com
I'd say that was a definite win. The barf was bonus points!

Date: 2016-12-19 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
The barf was beautiful. I kept telling him I didn't feel well, just wanted a drink of water, closest water was across a big field.... finally just stopped and barfed on his shoes :D So great!

Date: 2016-12-16 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rayaso.livejournal.com
I thought you handled it so well, the slow-in-your-face stroll, conveying such contempt. The barfing on the shoes was the cherry on the sundae.

Date: 2016-12-19 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Thanks :) I do wish sometimes I'd thrown a fit, but I'm also hoping my complete lack of respect for him showed through.

Date: 2016-12-17 08:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eternal-ot.livejournal.com
Yay! This sure was a victory story :) Cheers! I enjoyed it.

Date: 2016-12-19 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Thank you :)

Date: 2016-12-18 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rswndrlst.livejournal.com
I enjoyed this a lot, I quite liked the re-framing of the observation and the anecdote as well.

Well played all around!

Date: 2016-12-19 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Thank you! :D

Date: 2016-12-18 01:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magazhchi.livejournal.com

I really liked your take on the topic. It flowed with ease and covered all the bases*smiles*

Date: 2016-12-19 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Ha, thank you ;)

Date: 2016-12-19 07:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] penpusher.livejournal.com
Rookie of the Year, as millions cheer!

Date: 2016-12-19 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Whoop-whoop! Thanks for stopping by and reading :)

Date: 2016-12-19 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamas-minion.livejournal.com
Great story and yes he he deserved for you to barf on his shoes.

Date: 2016-12-20 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Thank you :)

Date: 2016-12-20 06:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tonithegreat.livejournal.com
Ah baseball! You made me think of my own PE days of yore. I really enjoyed your story- very identifiable feelings there: well told.

Date: 2016-12-20 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Thank you! I feel like telling that story to such a large group was cathartic in some way. I've never forgotten that day, though I have in the last few years taken up baseball watching so I haven't let him ruin me forever ;)

Date: 2016-12-20 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beeker121.livejournal.com
Team sports in PE were always a horror, luckily I had some okay teachers. I'm impressed you held it together so well the day of the game.

This was fun and well told.

Date: 2016-12-20 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Thank you!

PE was the worst. Just the worst for real.

Date: 2016-12-20 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
Great story! God, what a pig of a teacher-- and a hit like that isn't accidental. A random whiff that kicks off a hard-to-retrieve runner? That might be an accident. But a whopping distance hit? No way.

I've always felt he deserved it, and I hope somewhere inside, he felt he deserved it too.
Hahahaha! I hope he felt that too, because he definitely did. :D

Date: 2016-12-20 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! He did deserve it, and I'll always be pleased about the barfing even if it was sort of embarrassing to do it in front of peers. But whatever ;)

Date: 2016-12-20 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] uselesstinrelic.livejournal.com
Your story perfectly captures that "this is such a shit show" feeling so many kids have about PE. All the little annoyances, all of the condescending expressions, all the wishing you could go wander off and do your own thing. I related hard. And my favorite line was: "it was the baseball equivalent of a whimper."

Nice read!

P.S., thank you for barfing on his shoes.

Date: 2016-12-20 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And you're welcome for barfing on his shoes, I'll never ever regret that even if it did suck to do in front of my classmates.... but even at the time, I was so pleased.

Date: 2016-12-20 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] m-malcontent.livejournal.com
The terrors of PE class are well known. As far as your dad tagging you out, men's competitiveness comes out at weird times....on a second date I once deprived myself of a third date (a possible sex date) by destroying my paramour 8-0 at air hockey.

Date: 2016-12-29 07:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Yeah, it was something like dad indicating he wouldn't tag me out if I stole a base, so I stole a base, he tagged me out. Not sure if it was competitiveness or his occasional harsh "life lesson," but I did cry, and he felt awful :)

That's too bad you destroyed your date, though honestly.... if she didn't go for the 3rd date just because you destroyed her, she's a sore loser and best not dated! In my (really horrible at relationships) opinion ;)

Date: 2016-12-20 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] my-name-is-jenn.livejournal.com
As someone who struggles with standing up for herself, I would count what you did as a win.

Date: 2016-12-29 07:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'd like to stick it in the win side because I don't have a very big win side ;)

Date: 2016-12-20 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bewize.livejournal.com
Too many bullying PE teachers in the world. Good entry!

Date: 2016-12-29 07:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
Thank you, and thank you for reading!

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