Thursday, July 05, 2007
I went to Fenway Park on Sunday wearing the shirt pictured above.
Now I know what it feels like to have Double D's.
People were staring at my chest all day.
When I got out of my car behind the B.U. bookstore I completely forgot that I had put that particular shirt on that morning. We made our way through Kenmore Square and over the bridge that spans the Mass Pike. That's when the reactions began. Chuckles, snickers, head shakes and full out laughter. At first I thought I might have spilled coffee on myself or that I had a stray booger hanging in the wind. I checked my nose and then my shirt. Bingo! The "Jesus Hates The Yankees" shirt was drawing the same reaction from the crowds at Fenway that I had when I saw it in a record store in Hyannis just days earlier. Shock, hilarity, fun.
Buying that shirt was out of character for me. I usually dress in boring circa 1981 prep school attire, plain jeans, polo shirt, khaki's, oxford shirts and most definitely plain t-shirts. I may occasionally wear a shirt with a Red Sox logo or the name of a vacation spot, but never something so campy. We had Green Monster(standing room) tickets and by the time we made it to Gate E I had become a minor celebrity. Once I realized that the people pointing at me and laughing were doing so because of my shirt (I think) I started having fun with it. Folks from L.A., New York and Chicago asked to have pictures taken with me and my shirt. It wasn't all fun and games. For every ten gut busting laughs was a look of condemnation and disgust. One dad, who was I assume Catholic because of the eight kids he had in tow, looked me up and down as if I were a "puppy who just shat on the rug" (Sean Penn, Mystic River). An elderly woman told me I was going to hell. I nodded in agreement and assured her that my trip to Hades wasn't going to be for wearing the shirt. She looked around at the crowd around us and said "Well, you're not alone!". Frickin' Codger.
Its amazing to me that wearing that shirt was almost more of a Fenway highlight for me that the fact that I was up on the Green Monster for the first time in my life. I don't know if I'll ever wear that shirt again. It was $18.99 well spent, but contrary to my wife's belief I don't like to be the center of attention. If I happen to be the center of attention while spinning a yarn or throwing around some blarney, fine. But being the center of attention for what I am wearing, the staring, the gawking, makes me feel cheap. I'd rather have people like me for my mind, but occasionally I can see myself slipping into my revealing T, just to see the reactions.