I went to another Tiger’s baseball game a few nights ago with my sister-in-law. It was a cool, beautiful evening. Perfect baseball weather. We would have been by Brennan Boesch, but he was playing left field instead of his usual right field position. Maybe that was a forewarning.
In the third inning, the people sitting in front of us arrived–six teenage girls. A few of them had been drinking. I don’t think any of them ever once looked at the game. I know this because they were busy taking pictures–of themselves. And asking everyone in the vicinity to take pictures for them. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say they took at least fifty photos–of themselves.
Once that image of six giggling, tipsy girls, unaware of any ballgame and having photos taken–of themselves, is firmly planted in your mind, imagine that one of these girls (the one who had imbibed the most alcohol) wanted to be the center of attention of the entire universe. OK, I admit I’m exaggerating. I think she just wanted the attention of everyone in the stadium. Well actually, only the males in the stadium.
This girl was being very suggestive in a voice that carried throughout our entire section. To her credit, she had more than one salivating male buy a beer for her. At one point, she decided that the Jay’s player, #19, fielding near our seats was the guy for her. And she was determined to let him know just how “sexy” she thought he was, and some of the things she would like to do with him. She would screech, “Hey baby, number 19…” I don’t think she ever learned his name (Jose Bautista).
It was slightly bizarre, because some of the guys who’d bought beer for her were obviously jealous and they tried to warn her of #19’s various shortcomings. When that didn’t work, they resorted to yelling comments, in Spanish, (not their first language) about the player’s mother.
It was very annoying. As I listened to her remarks becoming more lewd and suggestive, I found myself actually feeling sorry for her. I remember all too well those years that my self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence were inextricably, inexplicably tangled up somehow with boys. Most of my friends were the same.
In our world, attention from boys equaled worth. I didn’t get much attention in that area. I was always the best friend that guys vented to about their girlfriends (usually my friends). On the scale of self-worth and confidence, I was in the negative numbers.
I had friends who were very popular with guys, for the same reason the girl at the Tiger’s game was popular. These friends had more boyfriends than I, but no more self-esteem or confidence.
It would be easy to blame guys for this predicament, but it’s not that simple. We were the ones who decided that we would settle for attention based on our looks and bodies. Didn’t we realize how empty that was? Or, were we so desperate, we didn’t care?
I wasted so much of “me” in those days and I’m so thankful I outgrew that mentality. Part of me wanted to put my arms around the girl at the game, and tell her that she was worth so much more than she was giving herself credit for.
But I don’t think she would have believed me.
The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us.
~Robert Louis Stevenson