Last week I enjoyed a week off from work. I spent the beginning of it watching the first season of Roseanne with a friend who came to visit from Madison, WI. It was real bonding time; we spent the brief moments between streaming episodes discussing the significant representations of gender, class and the lack of religion in such a great American sit-com. Thank you, college.
But when my muscles began to feel sore from so much sitting and slouching, I did other stuff, too. And now that it’s over I can say that it was great not only because I spent so much time in front of the TV, but because I was also productive! The trick to taking time off in America is using your time well and not wasting it all. So over the course of the rest of the week I updated my resume and had a small epiphany or two while in the shower.
What I did not expect was that the best day was to be the last of my break: Easter Sunday!
I am not religious, which is partly by choice, partly by upbringing—as per usual. My mom was raised Catholic and my father, Mormon, but they had both given it up by the time I came along. I cannot say that I mind particularly. I guess I would not know what I am missing and everything is going fine so far.
Anyway, my boyfriend’s parents were in town over the weekend and asked if I would like to join them for Easter Mass. I worried about what I would wear. I rely on the ability to wear the same pair of jeans all weekend and alternate between two pairs of work pants during the week. I am seriously lacking in the sundress department.
But I got myself put together after a while and headed downtown to the Holy Name Cathedral with my boyfriend, Kevin. It was sunny and warm and as I remarked that it felt great to be up and walking around so early, he reminded me, “It’s 10:30.”
By the time we got to the Cathedral we realized we were 5 minutes late for Mass and the line was still around the block to get in. Whoops.
His parents called us and said it was too crowded and they were coming out to meet us. So we would not be going to church after all and Kevin saw his opportunity, “We could go to the Cubs game…” His parents agreed and we were all off to change out of our Sunday best.
Lacking in Cubs gear, I donned a stars and stripes bandana—to match the team’s colors of course. We marched from out in the warm and sunny day into Wrigley Field. The first inning was excellent. The Cubs were playing against the Los Angeles Dodgers and both teams scored multiple points (how many exactly does not matter) right away. But then the temperature dropped and each team made only one more run during the rest of the game. And yet we stuck it out with our windbreakers zippered up over our noses and our hands stuffed in our sleeves through all nine innings to watch the Cubs lose by the same interval established at the very beginning of the game. Despite (or maybe because of) the weather and the loss, I was not disappointed by my first Cubs game and I felt quite satisfied patriotically, if not spiritually as well.
That night on my way home I called my parents who said they had been watching the game from their cozy living room in Wyoming trying to spot me behind home plate. My mother said, “I’m sorry to tell you that your father is a Dodger’s fan. It’s a mixed marriage.” When my father got on the phone later he told me that he couldn’t help it. He grew up in LA and said he remembered so well when, “in 1957, the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, so I must have been…let’s see…about 9.” He became an immediate fan and used to fall asleep listening to the Dodgers’ game on the radio.