After spending nearly two decades with a man who must be among the biggest baseball fans in all of America if not the world, I think I'm qualified to make this statement: You should marry a baseball fan.
Doesn't matter if the fan is male, female, gay or straight. Ethnicity doesn't matter either. It's the dedication to a sport that can move so slow you'll swear you see the grass growing in center field. A sport that tosses out one of its most enthusiastic players because he violated a sacred rule. A sport that non-baseball fans will never, ever really get.
I hear there's some other kind of world sporting event going on right now. I'm not much into #FIFA. We watch baseball in the summertime at my house. We're part of the #RedSoxNation, but we're also long-time season ticket holders for our AAA team, @indyindians.
Truth be told, I was part of our season ticket club before my husband and I even met. I'm sure there other things about me that he liked, but those days on the bleachers at the Old Bush Stadium are definitely part of our story.
We took our daughter to her first game at Victory Field when she was two weeks old. She claims she goes for the 5th inning ice cream, but she learned to read the scoreboard before she learned short division and she can rattle off a few baseball stats of her own.
She still asks him baseball questions as she perches between us, and she mostly listens to the entire explanation. These are memories they'll both take to their graves. As will I.
Here's some of what you get if your mate is a baseball fan:
1. Time. Unless you're one of those people who can't be alone and need constant validation, a baseball fan is the perfect mate. He/she will spend hours on end watching, reading about, analyzing, listening and thinking about baseball. This leaves you a lot of time to do what you want, make important household decisions, catch up with Real Housewives of various locations and focus on you, you, you. Caveat: you will need separate televisions on different floors of your home to make this work.
2. A hard worker. Sure they may blow off work or obligations you deem unmissable for love of the game, but if you can get them focused on a task, they are on it, man. They'll measure three times and cut once. They'll study all the options before they choose the type of carpet, wood, window, cable company, car, bicycle, baby seat, crib or major appliance. They can't help themselves. It's muscle memory honed to the equivalent of an 8-pack ab.
3. A mate with a deep appreciation for the curve. And I'm not talking only about pitching. Baseball fans appreciate the beauty of a natural curve, whether its falling off the table, carved of ash, or walking just in front of them.
4. Help with math. We can't all be math wizzes. Sabermetrics believers, however, can cite and calculate statistics of things no one else in the world will ever consider. What're the chances that particular hitter will hit to left when the temperature is above 80 and there are more than two runners on? A sabermetric baseball fan can tell you. He/she can also calculate proper tips, what 66 percent off that swimsuit means in terms of real savings, and which block of funds to put your 401K in for the highest or lowest risk. And when your kid starts serious math, you suddently have time for a bubble bath when homework time rolls around.
5. Longevity. I won't go deep into this but if you know the genesis of the #SamKineson phrase "More capital T!" baseball fans will go far beyond that simple alphabet trick when concentrating on, well, let's say intimate, tasks. You won't care how they can maintain; you will, however, appreciate that they can.
6. Attention. Some of us need to wax poetic more than others. While it may be sad, it's also true that the partners of these poets can't always devote their full attention every single time the chatter starts. Partners of baseball fans know that all it takes is a simple question about how Fantasy Baseball actually works to buy you a good afternoon of "uh-huhs" and "you-don't-says."
Truth has no place in the assumption above. Your fantasy baseball player is thrilled to think you care about fantasy baseball. You get to plot your weekly menu, refine your grocery list, do the laundry, bathe the cat and build a small shed in the back yard. He/she will follow your every movement without missing a beat of the nuances -- you'd be shocked how many there are -- of fantasy baseball. It's a win-win.
7. Time in the sun. You don't have to love baseball as much as your mate to enjoy time in the park. They're almost always gorgeous settings and the food and drink will come to you! Work on your tan, bask like a gecko, reflect on your life. Just don't mow down on your nachos when a left-handed batter is in the box and you're low on the third base line.
8. Religion. You can practice any religion you want as long as you take your mate to church. And to them, church is the baseball park. Sure, some of them will also express sincere devotion in other places of worship. I'm pretty sure God is a baseball fan. No matter what name you call him/her.
9. Number 5. Again. And again. And again.