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Posts Tagged ‘hey you kids get off my lawn’

When I was a youth, my best friend, who also happened to be my neighbor, and I were inseperable. We were practically family, to the point where we could just waltz in and out of each other’s houses. I was an invited guest at family picnics, had been to all of her siblings’ homes, and had spent time at her house quite by myself the summer I took care of her dog.

Why the delightful skip down memory lane, Brain?, you may be asking yourself. Because, reader-type person, in my inescapable habit of watching my neighbors and shaking my head in shame, the other day I happened to notice a black station wagon, piloted by a newly-minted Teen Driver, sitting at the curb (directly across from my front window, don’t look at me like that). For five minutes. For ten minutes.

Little Timmy sat in his mom’s borrowed car for thirteen minutes (keep in mind, he was already there when I happened to peek out of Jason the Window Guy’s brand-spanking-new windows, so it’s more like 13+ minutes) before the high school aged McAcrosstheStreet came out and hopped in. Little Timmy straightened and slumped, dangled an arm out of the window to pretend to be cool, flipped his cell phone open and shut to pretend to be busy. But not once did he get out of the car and go to the McAcrosstheStreets’ front door to ring the bell. I should be grateful he didn’t honk at the house, I suppose, but you’ve gotta wonder why he couldn’t ring the doorbell. That’s what they’re for, right?

Or am I just terribly, terribly old?

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Ooh, ooh, this article is a heaping bag o’ fun. While I can (and sometimes do) get behind a ‘hey, we were here first‘ mentality (see also), on the flip side of this, I’m gonna say… hey, lay off my mom.

Yep. My mom’s a dreaded pink-hatter. It’s Pepto Bismol shaded, with a big red pair of socks on the front. The fatherperson got it for her.

But here’s the other thing. The motherperson is no Johnny-Come-Lately, nossir. She’s a New Englander, Sox fan via her father, the one who got my dad to start watching, and half responsible for raising a wee Brain into a Sox fan.

So who to side with? Some valid points are made courtesy of the pro-pink camp. If you love the Sox, you love the Sox. The Big Brain has a beloved Sox cap that was the product of several stores ravaged to find the right one. It’s black with a black Boston B. Definitely not team colors. But does that diminish my love? The days I spent going from store to store in Boston trying to find “the right one” might suggest otherwise. Just because it’s not red doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold significance.

(Fun fact: while shamefully watching VH1’s I Love the New Millennium: 2004 (don’t look at me that way, it was that or Undercover Brother on Comedy Central), they may or may not have shown clips from the Sox’s astoundingly ass-kicking come-from-behind (-and-then-just-forget-to-stop) victory over the Yankees, and then subsequently the Series win, and I may or may not have wept. But only a little eensy bit.)

Of course, on the other hand, doesn’t it irk you when you see the cute girls prancing about in their tiny t-shirts, professing their love for doe-eyed Jacoby Ellsbury? (On a profound intellectual level, I mean. It’s hard not to fundamentally enjoy cute girls in tiny t-shirts.) As beloved (well, by me) sports columnist Bill Simmons once said,

Things you rarely saw before October 2004: Blondes wearing Red Sox jerseys, and cute girls wearing green J-shirts of Boston center fielders. The bottom line is this: You don’t need to drink between 8-12 beers during a game to talk yourself into making out with a female Red Sox fan anymore.

So here’s the issue. Which is better for the “Nation” as a whole? The cute girls in it for the pretty players? The vehement “let me drop some stats on you” lifers who will gleefully discuss Jacoby Ellsbury’s base-stealing prowess with you, but will bitch-slap you into next week if they think you weren’t there prior to ’04? (That’s two mentions; rest assured, it’s just because I really like saying “Jacoby Ellsbury.”) Can we only be Red Sox fans if we suffer? Because, if we’re suffering, it means they’re not playing well. And frankly, I love it when they play well, particularly if they are rubbing it the Yankees’ faces.

But I think that at the end of the day, it all comes down to how you feel as a fan. I love my black hat. I even love my Johnny Damon t-shirt (purchased on Yawkey Way prior to Game Three of the ’04 ACLS, and even though we got our asses handed to us, I still consider it good luck and a good memento). And this is what my mother had to say after I emailed her the link, wise to the last: “As far as I’m concerned, anyone who doesn’t like my pink hat can shove it.”

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I’ve got a headache.  Anyone else?  Not a migraine, exactly, but more of a lingering ache.  A zit under the surface, threatening to pop but refusing to actually do so, just making you itchy and painful to the touch all day.  I’m mixing my metaphors.  (And grossing myself out.)  But I can’t be expected to be coherent when I’m boiling over with rage, can I?  (Again with the boils!)  See, more and more, when I go to the mall, which admittedly is something I do very rarely, I see today’s youths wandering around sporting relics from my childhood.  “Aged” Power Rangers t-shirts, things bearing the face of Red or Wembley Fraggle, and other such things adorn both the walls of the stores and the kids who shop there.  And it’s tearin’ up my heart, *NSYNC-style, because on the one hand, these are things I genuinely love, and I love being able to spend my hard-earned cash on the toys and merch my parents never would’ve let me have as a kid.  On the other hand, these are things I genuinely love, being tossed about by people who are just in it for the retro factor.  I know what this makes me sound like, that obnoxious kid who only listens to underground music and drops the band when they “sell out” by achieving a dream and getting actual radio play.  But, I mean, for a solid decade the Big Brain was receiving the mockery of its lesser-brained peers for its love of spandexed heroes kicking ass and taking names (names like Trakeena and Frax, and if you don’t realize I’m not making this up, then you’re kind of missing the whole point).  And now, that thing which has been much-loved since the Brain was twelve has come to rest on the ungrateful backs of the scorners themselves.  Where is the fairness in that?

I’ve never been in the habit of liking things ironically.  Go whole-hog or don’t bother, I say.  Even if the things in question are shameful.  This is a philosophy I live by, because trying to be cool is time-consuming and often insincere.  At the end of the day, it’s not cool to buy morphers at Toys ‘R’ Us, but it’s fun (especially when they make sounds!).  I think the point I’m trying to make is that I never stopped being twelve years old.

Then again, maybe I’m being terribly unfair.  Maybe that girl wearing Doozers on her chest (there’s a disturbing euphemism for you) is just like me, torn between wanting to be a consumer whore for all the right reasons, and not wanting to appear like a consumer whore for all the wrong reasons.  Maybe they’re twelve at heart, too.

So how does one retaliate against something like this?  It’s not like I can stop buying merch, it goes against my very nature.  (Someday they will finish the set with a Mokey plush, and my life collection will be complete!)  I guess my only course of action is to wait ten years, get a distressed Grey’s Anatomy t-shirt at Hot Topic, and wait for the fallout.

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