Monday, April 09, 2007

Yankees vs Red Sox

Imagine if you will, that you are a huge, D.ere.k J.ete.r loving, stripe-wearing Yankees fan. And more than that you are a New Yorker. An American. But you are in a country far, far away from New York City. And that you have been there for a very long time. Years and years in fact.
And then one day, you see a restaurant open up just a few miles from you. An American style restaurant, with all the foods and customs and mores that you grew up with. You get happy. You get excited. Until you find out...

It's Red Sox-themed.

The same thing happened to my Mother-in-Law, with the changes in the story that she's not from the United States, she's from somewhere else (legally emigrating more that 5 decades back, thanks for asking). And that it's not, obviously, a Red Sox-themed restaurant. But everything else is the same, and for ease of understanding, I'm going to be referring to "Yankees" and "Red Sox."


So yeah, there's this Red Sox themed restaurant. And at first, we would drive by it, and Mama would spit at the sight of it. Which changed (thank you God) to her telling us the story about how her father would spit every time someone would say the name "Red Sox." And sometimes she would sing the fight song from the rival team's fight song.

Then, one night, we're scrounging for a place to have dinner/get take out from. H is having a craving for food "like his Mother used to make." And I suggest the Red Sox Diner, laughing as I say it. A strange look comes across H's face, and off he is to enemy territory.

H loves it. And Mama loves it, although we don't mention where it came from. I breathe a sigh of relief that we got away with it.

Next month, we're back.

This time, I accompany H. I, who root for neither the Red Sox not the Yankees (let's go Mets!) feel as though, on some level, I am doing something bad. This is how vehemently and eloquently Mama has conveyed her dislike for the Yankees.

Much to my surprise, God does not strike us down when we walk through the door of Red Sox Restaurant. And the people are nice and the place is far more authentic than I thought. And there's a little, little Yankees logo up in the corner. H says, "Mama would love this!" I'm not so sure, but my husband is always right. Mama loves the leftovers and holds her spit when we tell her where it came from.

So a few days ago, we all decide to go there for dinner. (I know -- we eat out far too much for people so broke). And Mama decides to wear her Yankees T-Shirt. To the Red Sox Diner.

At first we were a little concerned -- this is a serious rivalry in Mama's home country. But we decide to go for it. (Of course, being a chicken, *I* put on the Red Sox shirt that H bought only to poke at his mother).

H leaves us outside the restaurant to go find parking. We ask for a table for three and the hostess leads us right to one.

Once at the table, Mama looks at the hostess. "Do you know what I have on?," Mama asks and opens her coat (like a flasher) to show off the Yankee T-Shirt.

The hostess erupts in a stream of Spanish to quick for me to follow. She calls over to another table. Mama flashes them the Yankees shirt and they cheer. Another table boos. One of the bartenders comes over to shake her hand and compliment her on her "fine breeding" and "great taste." Mama (the woman who cannot walk a straight line without a cane or walker) begins to dance around, randomly opening her coat and flashing people the Yankees T-shirt. I chase after her, get the coat off and her in a seat about a minute before H comes in.

"Did anyone notice the shirt?" H asks.


We have a nice, uneventful dinner. I practice my Spanish and all goes well. H pays the check and goes running out to get the car, leaving his mother and I to (slowly) put on our coats and make our way to the door.

As Mama passes a table, one of the men growl "You are in the wrong place!" His manner of delivery makes me a little nervous, but Mama laughs at him and flashes her shirt. An entire table near the front (near the bar) start howling and booing at Mama. She flashes the shirt and blows them kisses.

Once we're (safely) outside, Mama can't stop laughing. And I join her. And we're laughing and laughing and laughing. H pulls up and we're still laughing. And I tell him the story (her entrance, her exit, and everything in between) and H starts laughing. Mama is howling, I am giggling.

And I realize, I can't remember feeling this good in forever.

And I realize, I haven't felt good in so long, it feels WRONG to feel this good.

And I make the decision to keep laughing. Dammit.


hope548 said...

Good for you! It's good to take notice and take advantage of that good feeling! I hope you have lots more!

squarepeg said...

Another fantastic post. I always look forward to them.

I know how rare those feeling good moments are - take them and RUN with them...

Bea said...

Good for you! And nice to hear the "sports rivalry" stayed at a friendly enough level. A little bit of pot-stirring can be fun.