“A baseball game. A date that isn’t too involved, one you can carry through comfortably” What To Do On a Date (1951)
I know literally three things about baseball: 1) It’s played with a ball, 2) There are bases involved and 3) That if you lose, you get ice cream and if you win, you get Pizza Hut. This vast knowledge was culled from three years of pee-wee softball where my coach, Doreen, would sit down on a splitering, lead-painted bench, fire up an unfiltered Kool, gather us girls around and, in between inhales which she kindly directed right into our eight-year-old faces, tell us to get out there and play without ever actually, you know, teaching us how to play. Needless to say, Becker’s softball team never saw the inside of a Pizza Hut.
But apparently, a ball game is a fun date, and Mike has been anxious to see the Oneonta Outlaws play, so we did. Mike is and always has been one of my favorite boy friends because he, having known me for nearly a decade, has figured out (more or less) how to treat me, like complimenting my skull earrings and paying for things. I remembered too late that he liked the blue eyeliner I was wearing on our last date to the drive-in, or else I would have worn it for him.
Currently NY is experience temperatures not unlike the inside of a slow cooker. It’s hot, it’s damp and it’s sunny, but the sunscreen merely lays on top of your skin like an extra layer, only unlike your cotton sundress or tee-shirt, you can’t sweat through it. Miserable conditions for a ballgame, but we’d been trying to schedule this for three weeks now and we weren’t going to let nuclear sunlight drive us away from our date.
Mike knows tons and tons and tons about baseball. He’s a Yankees fan, and the only non-jerk male Yankees fan I know, so throughout the game, he would explain stats and tell me about awesome plays he saw on YouTube. We sat in the shaded deck and then, later, in one of the empty box seats to watch the Outlaws completely blow a game against the not-much-better Syracuse Salt Cats in the first game of their double-header in what was mostly an ongoing display of Beckers-esq incompetence. (They won the second game, but I’m not sure what that does for the ice cream/pizza roster).
What was nice about the game was the relaxed atmosphere. We could have drinks and chit-chat and keep an eye on the game and cheer when one of our players did something good, but it lacked the intensity of professional sports, where you’re crowded in with superfans screaming in your ears. Plus, I also got to follow Arlene Dahl’s advice about drawing out his ideas, which I think Mike enjoyed. And making sure your partner enjoys the date is, according to the short, one of the fundamentals of dating!
So maybe next time we’ll go to a weenie roast . . . or fix up a scavenger sale!