There are many things I have sacrificed over the years in the
name of marital peace and harmony. I no longer order green olives
on our family pizza. The thermostat is always set about four
degrees below my liking. I endure watching shows like Storage Wars
and Swamp People instead of America's Next Top Model and Glee.
Yet it was when I converted faiths for my husband Joe that I
learned the true meaning of love and sacrifice.
You see, I was actually born and raised a Chicago Cubs fan.
But I now worship at the altar of U.S. Cellular Field.
This shocking admission nearly cost me my relationship with my
own die-hard family. The only way I could sooth their injured
psyches was to bequeath a host of autographed Cubs gear, pictures,
and jerseys that I had collected through the ages.
Joe's refusal to allow the stuff in our house is besides the
My family still views my husband with a certain degree of
suspicion and mistrust, secretly believing that he "ruined" me. My
parents grimace whenever they spot my sons sporting their little
White Sox jerseys while the rest of their grandkids run around in
Cubs paraphernalia. And when the talk transitions to favorite Cubs
legends of olde, I carefully put the memories of Ryne Sandberg and
Mark Grace far behind me much as I would the beaus of
It is sometimes better to not look back.
People ask if I regret my decision to convert. I tell them I do
not regret being married to the best husband in the world, so I
cannot regret the actions that allowed for our union. For my
husband, marrying a Cubs fan was out of the question. Such actions
would have been an affront to all he held sacred. It just meant so
much more to him than me.
I saw the whole thing as simple recreation. Something to be
enjoyed with friends. The ivy was pretty. And Wrigleyville was a
great place to hang out after a game.
The only major sting in changing my allegiance was when I
thought back on all those days sitting at the knee of my maternal
grandfather who dearly loved the Cubs. He never missed a single
So because of Papa, I perhaps did harbor some resentment for a
while. I used to complain tirelessly about the Sox stadium. The
steep climb. The blue seats which seemed antithetical considering
the cross-town rivals. The lack of family atmosphere. Yet
miraculously, as if the Sox organization had bugged my own house,
they revamped the stadium in 2001 to remove the gravity-defying
seating. The blue chairs were yanked. The addition of Fundamentals
(where kids can practice running, pitching, and batting) was
genius. The stadium looked really cool. Intimidating to opponents.
Bad ass even.
And best of all, the organization created a unique experience
that is second to none in all of professional baseball. Flying
Elvises. Amazing firework nights. Toe tapping good music.
When the White Sox wrapped up their World Series season in 2005,
I found myself cheering just as loudly and devoutly as any
life-long fan. I attended games while very pregnant with my second
son. On one particularly hot July day, the game went into extra
innings. I was approached by no less than three staffers who
offered me beverages and sought to verify that I wasn't planning on
delivering right then and there.
I asked if I would get season tickets if I did. And if I could
name my son A.J. or Paulie.
My Jack only had to wait 2 months for his first Sox World Series
win and is now the biggest fan in our house. When he attended a
game this past weekend, he became so giddy over the Robin Ventura
bobblehead giveaway that he quickly found himself the recipient of
a few extra. Perfect strangers, enjoying his obvious delight,
started loading Jack up with theirs.
He has been sleeping with all of his Robins since:
This Sunday's (June 3rd) game is Southpaw night at the Cell. The
first 10,000 children aged 13 and under will receive a Southpaw
Mini Plush Pal. Once again, the Sox organization hit it out of the
ballpark coming up with something the young fans will enjoy.
I will be in attendance, sans kids, celebrating a friend's 50th
birthday and watching Paul Konerko's impressive march towards .400.
With Humber's perfect game this season and Paulie's Babe Ruth-like
stats, it is shaping up to be a helluva year at the Cell.
No, I do not regret my conversion. Although I know that some
will always consider me a traitor.
A traitor with cool bobbleheads, that is.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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