We took the elevator to our seats last night. They checked our tickets and stamped our wrists. Through the doors and to the left, plush purple carpet embraced my dirty sandals. “Welcome”, the door said, “to Club level.”
There was never carpet at the baseball games of my childhood.
We were granted this treat thanks to generous employers who shared their tickets with us!
A kind gentleman held the door for us as we juggled hot dogs and beer to our cushioned seats.
We settled in, three innings late, tending to the suds sloshing over our plastic cups onto cement. I was halfway through my meal when it started.
Two rows up a woman was chanting.
Loudly. Three words. Over and over again.
Let’s Go Mets. Let’s Go Mets.
It got louder.
Let’s Go Mets. Let’s Go Mets. Let’s Go Mets.
Her beat relentless.
Let’s Go Mets. Let’s Go Mets.
Cheering at a stadium? No problem.
Except, we weren’t at the Met’s stadium. That was not our team.
At first some people laughed at how boisterous this woman was.
Rich people glared, turning their necks up to see who was causing such a disturbance.
Ushers were called over by folks who were annoyed by her enthusiasm.
“I believe in YOUUU baby!” she screamed, her Jersey accent carrying the words down to home plate.
Inning after inning, this lady wouldn’t let up.
It pissed people off. Boy did it piss people off.
I was annoyed at first, and then my annoyance turned to something else. Respect maybe?
This lady was screaming her truth. Her passion for baseball, enthusiasm for being in a crowd, using her voice. I mean yes, it was annoying as hell, but also – Wow.
She was into this. She wasn’t hurting anyone. And she did not let the glares of privileged people stop her.
I don’t know how she ended up in our section, or why she traveled from New Jersey to cheer in the Mile High City, but she did.
We wanted to shush her. She refused. The ushers politely explained that unless she becomes belligerent, starts swearing, or threatening others, guests (yes guests) are allowed to cheer as loudly as they want.
“We’re in a stadium for God’s sakes,” she cackled ” If I wanted to be quiet I woulda stayed home.”
What if we all refused to shush?
Some things are worth repeating loudly, over and over. You believe your message matters.
I’m more of a quiet gal myself – you know my tagline – hope on whispers. Quiet, gentle whispers. Eeesh please don’t look at me.
I could never stand there and scream, “But the World has SO MUCH TO OFFER! Why do we have to be so cruel? Why can’t we just look for God’s gifts? The beautiful things? The food in your belly. The slobbery kisses your children leave? The feeling of dirt on your toes from your own soil? A blessing of a pillow at night?
I could never stand and yell – YOU PEOPLE DON’T GET JUST HOW GOOD WE HAVE IT? HOW BEAUTIFUL THIS GORGEOUS, MAGICAL WORLD IS. YOU’RE LOOKING IN THE WRONG PLACES. MAYBE HURTING PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY!
I’m more quiet.
So I write. In all capital letters.
After the 9th inning when our team won, she gathered her belongings and yelled, “Don’t worry, I’ll see you in Miami next week!” right at the field.
Devotion. Loyalty. Voice.
We drove home and bitched about her persistence but as I was laying in bed, ears ringing with her screams, I couldn’t help but think, what am I willing to shout?
In passionate cases, one carrying voice can be a beautiful thing.