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October 09, 2008

The Cubbies vs. The Secret

Carrie One week ago today was the first Cubs' play-off game, and the whole post-season has been over for four days -- the same amount of time it lasted. Today I packed away the baby's Cubs romper and, I must admit, there were tears in my eyes.

I know it sounds stupid to be so surprised when the Cubs dream gets dashed again. It's like we built our stadium on a bluff over the Mississippi River and we can't understand why it keeps getting washed away.

And yet ... I really thought that this was the year. I wanted it so bad for my grandfather, who is 80 years old, and for my whole family -- this is the first year that Nutmeg listened to the games with me. Her dad, a reformed Brewers fan, even got sucked in.

It doesn't help that the weather is dreary, that the economy is unraveling like an old hammock, and that I can't shake the irrational notion that since the Cubs did not win, Obama won't win either. (I know, he's ahead now, but all it will take is for the public mood to shift from anger to fear, and then they'll be turning away from the young upstart toward the protective military father figure.)

This is a girly way to be a sports fan, but the hardest thing for me at the end of another losing season is the sudden disappearance of all these people who seemed a part of my life: The players are scattered to the Dominican Republic and beyond; the radio announcers are back to their sun belt hideaways. For five months I heard from these people nearly every day, and suddenly, they're nowhere.

The one solace I thought I could take from the whole disaster was this: The Cubs not making it to the World Series is incontrovertible proof that The Secret doesn't work. After all, on 162 occasions this summer, I spent HOURS listening to these games, the entire time willing with all my might that the Cubs would win the World Series. Not just willing it, but believing it. That is more than 300 hours of positive thinking. I don't know how many times this year I said, without scarcely a trace of irony, "This is the year."

I shared my theory about The Cubs vs. The Secret with my husband, and he posited that this could be because a greater number of people wanted another team to win the World Series. Ha! This just shows what a rookie Cub fan he is. Everyone knows that the Cubs have more fans than anyone else, and that furthermore, we want it more.

My husband's theory is that someone paid the Cubs to throw the play-offs, but I don't believe that either.

Then I realized the real reason why the Cubs' loss doesn't disprove The Secret: As ardently as I truly believed it would happen this year, most Cubs fans have been so worn down by a century of defeat that they didn't believe it. My parents, for instance. After living through so many decades of despair, they were pretty guarded in getting their play-off hopes soaring.

Finally, a real silver lining: The Cubs' crash is one more thing I can safely blame on my parents. Next up: The financial disaster, which I should be able to peg on them without even trying.

The real challenge will be how to raise my children to be even truer Cub fans, so someday, maybe, we can actually win this thing. I know this may seem contrary to my previous post about not relishing my daughter's belief in fairies and magic. What can I say? The Cubs really could win the World Series in Nutmeg's lifetime.

I'm just starting to wonder if they could actually win it in mine.

Original Chicago Moms Blog post. Carrie Kirby is waiting for next year at her family blog, www.myfunnyfunnyfamily.com, and plotting to buy Cubs merchandise on clearance at her frugal living blog, www.shopliftingwithpermission.com.

Photo originally uploaded by Cathy Stanley-Erickson, used under Creative Commons license.

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