Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Ultimate Act of Treason

For those of you with kids, particularly little girls, you might be able to relate to this perfidious act of torture that makes water-boarding seem like a day at the beach. I'm talking about the dance recital.

Yesterday, my daughter, who will be six-years-old in a couple of weeks, had her first dance recital, which was subsequently my first dance recital as a parent. My own folks claim they took me to one of my sister's recitals when I was a young lad, but after jeering when she took the stage, Iwas never allowed to attend another one. Until yesterday, that is. Now, while I don't want to seem like a bloodless, heartless curmudgeon who didn't even smirk at the cuteness of these tiny girls in tutus aimlessly drifting around a stage while "I'm a Little Teapot" pipes through the PA system, the recital wasn't exactly what I would call exhilarating entertainment. But, mercifully, it was short. And my daughter, of course, was fantastic. Priceless.

There was, however, one number that I found particularly disturbing. I can't remember the song, or even whether it was tap or ballet, but there was a one duet with a little girl and the only little boy in the recital. And, let me tell you, this poor kid was the picture of forlorn. He dragged his feet onto the stage, head down, and didn't move for the entire dance, other than to tap his foot a couple of times---so maybe it was tap. While this danse macabre was going on, the only thing I could think was, "What sort of parent would put their son up to something like this? Clearly, the kid doesn't want to be here." This kid was miserable. Finally, the song ended and the boy walked off stage like he'd been shot in the leg by a sniper in the balcony. On a side note, if you happen to have a doctorate's in psychology, or plan on getting one in the next ten years, let me know and I'll try to procure this kid's name for you.

Okay, so where am I going with this? You're supposed to be an imaginary sportswriter, and this is supposed to be a baseball blog, you might be saying to yourself, while kicking the dog in frustration. Stick with me.

Last Thursday, I believe it was, I got an IM on Facebook (my sole means of socialization in the universe) from my friend Karl. Karl is a lifelong Cubs fan, and he wrote me, distressed, because his six-year-old son recently told him that he was a Cardinals fan. Immediately, my heart went out to Karl, not only because of this act of treason, but because my heart goes out to all Cubs fans, and if the Sox are ever knocked out of it, the same romantic who, regardless of how many times I've seen the movie, still pulls for Roy Hobbs to jack that fastball into the lights in The Natural, pulls for The Cubs. That's not meant to be condescending. If anyone understands that suffering and that passion for their team, it's old-school Sox fans (not the Pink Hat frauds).

But Karl's situation got me thinking. What if one of my own son, the spawn of my seed, someday comes to me and tells me he's a Yankee fan. Can you disown a kid at the age of six? Or start charging them rent, at least? Then today, it occurred to me what I'd do, and suddenly I had one of those revelations where everything momentarily made sense.

If Owen ever comes to me and proclaims himself a fan of those vile shits in pinstripes, I decided that I will take my son straight down to the dance studio and sign him up. Maybe, being dragged on stage at a dance recital with all of his friends watching (I will personally buy the tickets), he will rethink his decision and return to his rightful and inherited spot, his legacy, as a die-hard Red Sox fan. Maybe that's what I witnessed yesterday: the punishment of a young defector, a treasonous little bastard who thought he'd spite his father.

And if you happen to have a doctorates in psychology, keep your Freudian comments to yourself. And can you believe I wrote this entire post without once uttering the name Johnny Damon?


Daniel said...

But the Cardinals are awesome.

Melissa said...

having heard of the Greek like Tragedy proportions Karl's son has bestowed upon the family nearly broke my heart when I heard of it...his son actually voted to name his t-ball team 'the cardinals', I mean it's heart heart goes out to Karl and I hope that you do not have to go through the same pain Nathan...godspeed.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, how would you feel if he said something like, "Dad, I decided to be a Pirates fan" and then went about actively being a die-heard Pirates fan? The Pirates are a team who's standings and play in MLB have no bearing on the Red Sox. Would this be acceptable, or would you only wish him to be a Red Sox fan? I ask out of sincere curiosity.


Nate Graziano said...

Thank you, Melissa. Greek-tragedy. I like that. I think I'll use it in next week's blog.

Brian, to answer your question, I wouldn't be happy if Owen became a Pirates fan, it would probably result in some ribbing at home, i.e. "It looks like there's no more steak left over for the Pirates fans" or "I went to buy you a Pirates hat today, son, but they didn't have them in girl-sizes." BUT the dance lessons and recital would not be necessary. That's only if he decides to spite me and follow the Spankees.

Jaime said...

You're a sick fuck...and a Red Sox fan to boot...but I still love ya, Nate! I'm sitting here LMAO!

P.S. Shea announced this week that she wants take "ballet"! Talk about a betrayal!!! Pretty sure she was switched at birth!