Now that This World We Live In is completed (except for the copy editing, which I loathe so much I refuse to acknowledge it remains to be dealt with), I am searching for new goals, perhaps even a new career.
The goals are pretty easy. My goal for today was to take care of some mother stuff, write a detailed, tastefully whining, email to my brother about the mother stuff, read 100 pages in the biography of Emily Post, due back at the library on Monday, and write this blog entry. So far so good.
The new career part is naturally more tricky, especially since I've had the old career for 40 years now, and until last night, thought myself limited in the skills needed to do any kind of honest work. Or even dishonest work.
But last night a new career option literally fell into my lap.
I'm going to be the center fielder for the New York Yankees.
Lest you think this is some kind of ridiculous fantasy, allow me to explain. Last night I went to a Hudson Valley Renegades game. They're the minor league A team for the Tampa Bay Rays, and they were playing the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets A team. I've been meaning to go to a Renegades game for a long time now; their stadium is about 35 minutes from where I live and quite an easy drive.
What prompted me was that my friend Cynthia (one of the very few people who knows the entire fabulous ending of TW) is on the board of Jewish Family Services of Orange County, NY, and they were holding a fundraiser at the game. You could sit in the third base picnic area and eat all the kosher franks you want.
Who could resist?
I went to the game, ate all the kosher franks I wanted (one), and sat down behind a low wrought iron fence. I kept an eye on the game (the Renegades lost 9-1), while chatting with various people.
While I was sitting, and after I'd finished my hot dog, one of the Cyclones (I don't know who, but I guarantee you it's a future Hall Of Famer) hit a foul ball. It flew over the third base seating area, bounced somewhere nice and high, bounced again on the wrought iron fence and landed directly in my lap!
I'm hard pressed to name a greater moment in my life. I met Eleanor Roosevelt, but I have no memories of that. I've won three blue ribbons at Orange County Fair (for popovers, frozen desserts, and chocolate cream pie). I've been a New York Times Best Selling Author. I even made Dean's List once in college (although they misspelled my name).
But my wildest least likely dream has always been to catch a ball during a game. I've watched zillions of baseball games on TV, and every time I've seen someone catch a ball, I've whispered, "Oh, how I wish that were I." Okay, I really whispered, "Oh, how I wish that was me," but I've been reading a biography of Emily Post.
And now that dream, the dream of so many short plump just past middle aged freelance children's book writers, has been realized. I get a little teary just thinking about it (and about the black and blue mark on my thigh from where the ball landed).
I jumped up and screamed in ecstasy (there are witnesses). I posed for pictures (granted, I made my friend Cynthia take the pictures with my camera, but I still posed). I gestured to the Renegade's mascot that I had caught the ball (it seemed quite impressed). I held onto that baseball, only allowing one kind of old guy to hold it, because I knew if he tried to steal it (which he assured me he wouldn't) I could tackle him and bring him down. I didn't let any kids near it, not that any of them seemed to care.
It was suggested to me that the Mets are in greater need of my services as a center fielder, and it's true that it was their franchise's coaching staff who most likely noticed my incredible fielding skills and promptly text messaged Omar Minaya about me.
But I was brought up to be a Yankees fan. My kitten is named for one of their greats. So sorry, Mets. My destiny is to be a New York Yankees center fielder.
Mantle. Rivers. Cabrera. Pfeffer.
Mickey, Mickey, Melky and Me.
It's the stuff of legend.