Sometimes it’s the little things, the trivial occurrences, the throwaway comments, that conspire to turn something good into something barely better than terrible.
Tonight, for example. It should have been a good one. All the factors were lined up, as they say, for an enjoyable, if not spectacular, time.
Then those damn little things kick in.
It’s the things you’d never think of, because they just don’t come to mind. The circumstances that, while you didn’t even plan for them because they came up so spontaneously, are no fun to lose either way. The tentative plans go awry through no fault of anyone involved, but because sometimes, things simply go wrong.
I wanted to spend a night watching The Office with a friend, laughing at the funnier side of the presidential election, and not worrying about tomorrow. Well, we all want some things.
Now Hillary is losing, my friend called in sick, and to top it all off, Opening Day isn’t for nearly a goddamn month.
I’ve got a countdown running, on the board outside my door: 25 Days until Opening Day, it currently reads.
Just this morning, as I left for class, I marveled at how quick those 25 days would go by. Now, I’m uncertain about the end of the week.
Well, uncertain may be the wrong word. The week will pass, as weeks have passed since before we knew what to call them. It just won’t be fun.
Imagine it — just this morning, I was excited about my new haircut, a slice of pizza for lunch, and the Michigan primary. Now I’ve got a losing candidate, nothing to do tonight, and class at 9:00 tomorrow to look forward to.
Over one crazy week of the 2015 season, things changed around Citi Field more dramatically than we’d ever seen. In two or three days, we went down, up, down, and up again. We could barely settle in one place long enough to know how we felt about it, and just as soon as we did, we moved a different direction, and how we felt about where we’d been became unimportant.
That ridiculous roller coaster of emotions — it’s something we’ve all experienced time and again as Mets fans. And thank goodness for it, because although the Mets do seem to dominate our waking lives, there are other things, and those other things go up and down as well.
In that sense, Mets fandom is an inoculation: against premature and unmerited celebration, yes, but also against bitter devastation. We’ve seen the lowest of the low: compared to September 2007, anything real life can throw at us is a wave of the hand.
And tonight, in keeping with the 2007 theme, I’m disappointed. But I’m not devastated.
Life goes on, things get better, and when they do, it’s all the more enjoyable for having been through the bad. I learned that this year, having been through 2007-2014 before embarking on the nonstop torpedo journey of awesomeness that was the 2015 season. Baseball, at least in that sense if not in many others besides, is a perfect metaphor for life. My BABIP is low right now, but my line drive rate is high. Things just aren’t working out well. But they will. If there’s one thing we learned as the Mets gave up three huge runs over five games on weak ground balls, it’s that luck, like everything else, regresses to the mean. Bad things now mean good things later. I have to believe that: I’m a Mets fan.
Yes, Hillary is losing and I’ve got no one to watch The Office with and I’ve got papers — albeit, not due for a while — to write, and before Opening Day, I’ve got a veritable mountain of less pleasurable tasks to get through, not to mention the raw time. But I’ll get through it; I’ve been through worse.
Hillary will win eventually, and even if she doesn’t, things will turn out fine. My friend will recover from what I’m sure is nothing but a passing bout of sickness, and we’ll watch The Office tomorrow. I’ll get through everything I’ve got to do, and have a ball come Opening Day.
That’s the Mets fan in me talking. And I know he’s right.
Bad things happen. Good things do to. All things, good and bad, will pass. Mickey Rivers once said something to the effect of whether or not you’ve got control over something, there’s no sense worrying about it.
I know all this, and I know that come tomorrow, I’ll more likely than not see things in a whole new light.
I’m a Mets fan: I can get over the bad, and learn to make the good last. But it’s easier, dozens and dozens of times easier, when it’s May or June, and there’s a ballgame on in the background.
UPDATE 11:49 p.m: Class tomorrow morning was canceled. Things are already looking up. Also, only 25 days until Opening Day!