Epic Win for the Cubs and a Reluctant Fan Goes All-In
So, my family has been Cub fans my whole life. I have always, in some ways, attributed my becoming a writer to the Cubs. My brothers watched the Cubs almost every day in the summertime. Because we only had one TV, I had to find alternate entertainment, as I didn't have the patience for those long games, those inevitable losses. My dear brothers ranted at the TV and each other. "That was the worst play in history!" one would say. "No, that play against the Pirates in 73 was way worse!" Ad infinitum. Shoes were thrown at the TV and at each other, and I quietly opened a credenza where all the books my other siblings had accumulated over a decades of literature classes came tumbling on the tile floor. That was where I found old copies of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Ordinary People, Readers Digest Condensed books (which puzzled me because I didn't know what condensed meant). Everything from Victoria Holt romances to Future Shock, and an issue of Catcher in the Rye that actually had an illustration of Holden in his red hunting hat standing outside a Manhattan club. I'd creep up to my room and read my way through another losing Cubs season.
This year, 2016, as the Cubs advanced through the playoffs, I was, at first, thrilled primarily for my brothers, sisters, mother--the family. Yes! Their dreams are coming true. It felt like my devoted family was finally getting a chance, and as much as I'd always run away from the emotional turbulence of being a Cub fan by seeking the solace of books, I suddenly was sucked in. I was chanting "Go Cubs Go!" with sentimental gusto. My daughter crushed on Kris Bryant. My shocked French husband heard me shout phrases like, "He made the sacrifice fly so the man on third could score!" How did I even know this stuff, he wondered. "Osmosis!" By the ninth inning of game 7 I was curled in a semifetal position with butterflies in my stomach. I'd been texting for hours with four of my sisters. When Kris Bryant threw the easy out to Anthony Rizzo to make the third out in the bottom of the 10th, I actually started to sob. Eyewitness reports state that I actually took flight off the couch like a stunned bird who'd hit a pane of glass but was ready to soar again.
Yes, I did very little reading and writing this week!