That's Just The Way I Roll

 First off, I know it's been a bit since I've posted. I ended up getting slightly sucked into baseball season and April also started a writing competition that I fell rather flat on my face with. But, even though I didn't make my 25,000 word goal, I have kept writing. That's a victory in itself, right? :)

 I'm a Pintrest addict. I spend more hours on there than I should, creating board for my novels that may or may not ever be finished. I have a board full of writing prompts, writing advice, and a board that a mix of my Boston Red Sox and my Green Bay Packers. And one of my boards that the pin collection keeps growing on is my Sports Men board. Yes, I have a board who's whole function is to have eye candy of yummy sports players.

 Back in 2011, my parents took me to my first Red Sox game for my birthday. We had good seats by right field, I got a foul ball, and I spied one of my first baseball boy crushes. I had laid eyes on Josh Reddick for the first time.

 My grandma passed that September or October. One of the highlights of the time spent with my family was getting to watch baseball with the aunt and uncle who got me addicted to Red Sox baseball. I also enjoyed telling them about this rather hunky (yummy, sexy, handsome, pick an descriptor, I've got plenty!) right fielder for my team that had not made the postseason that year. My aunt and uncle, who had moved from Red Sox loving New Hampshire to Rangers loving Texas (and had adopted the Rangers as another favorite team), pointed out to me this outfielder for Texas that they felt I'd like. And within moments of seeing this outfielder in a game, I had gotten a little bit of a crush on Craig Gentry.

 These soon weren't the only sports men crushes I had- Aaron Rodgers and Tim Tebow were among them around that same time. But, Craig Gentry had won me over with his sweet personality and the fact that he had Switchfoot for a walk-up song. Add to it the fact he was a Christian, and I felt like it was a match made in heaven! I was determined that one of these days, as a Rangers game, I'd end up sweeping Mr. Gentry off his feet and we'd fall in love and it would be happily ever after (and it might have happened if my friend hadn't of lead me off in search of Josh Hamilton at the first Rangers game I had a chance at.... To this day, I still slightly blame Hambone for the failed romance.)

 Anyone who knows me knows that my sports crushes bounce around with the season, and whatever team has taken center stage at that point. Football season came and Rodgers and Tebow took over, though the love of Gentry and Reddick were still there. In 2012, when San Francisco made it to the World Series, and there was no force on this Earth that would get me to cheer on Detroit, Buster Posey became the hot guy to watch (probably because my earlier mentioned friend had gained a crush on Tim Lincecum at that point and why not have friends think battery mates are cute, right?). In 2013, David Freese became another crush, joining Gentry and Reddick as the single men crushes.

 But then, in August, a few weeks (and after countless story ideas that were in various stages of completed) before my now back to crushing on Derek Holland friend, my mom and I were going to another Rangers game and both my friend and I had planned to sweep our Ranger Hotties off their feet, I stumbled across something on the internet. Yes, my Ranger Hottie was off the market.... Craig Gentry was engaged.

 It felt like my world was crashing down. My brain, all this time, had kept reminding me that the likelihood that I was ACTUALLY going to marry Craig Gentry  and decided to ram that fact home after finding the engagement photos. I began dreading the baseball game. I didn't want to look at any of the stories I had started or finished. My aunt had sent me Gentry articles ever since she and my uncle had pointed out him to me, and I didn't know what I wanted to do with them. I was stuck in this wierd spot- not wanting to believe it, but having to remind myself that I had been living in this dream world...

 That dream world is one I find myself in time and time again when it comes to romance. I always aim high, thinking that love can conquer everything. I've been that way since I was a child. And as I've gotten older, I watched my parents show that times may not be easy, but if you're in love, it'll be okay. And don't even get me started on my love of cheesy romantic comedies and silly romance novels. I love the happily ever after. I love the swell of the violins as a couple realizes that everything will be okay, that they're in love, and that they're ready to ride off into the sunset.

 One movie that I love is 'The Mirror Has Two Faces'. If you love cheesy romantic movies, watch it. The whole premise of the movie is that these two professors decide to get married but take sex out of the marriage. The man named Gregory, played by Jeff Bridges, feels that sex has messed up relationships. So, he picks normal, everyday Rose, played by Barbara Streisand. You'll have to watch the movie to see how it all plays out, but given the fact it's a romantic comedy, you probably have an idea.

 I watched that movie once, a few years ago, and was struck with this realization. I am Barbara Streisand. I watched 'The Way We Were' and it struck me again. Streisand always plays these normal, everyday, plain jane women that no one would give a second thought to most of the time. And, she's always playing these characters against men like Robert Redford or Jeff Bridges, who women would look twice or even three times at if they passed on the street. It was always a shock to her when these handsome men decided to look her way.

 So, maybe my love of Barbara Streisand movies effected my dream world a little bit. If Robert Redford could fall for dear old Babs, there's a chance that I could sweep Tim Tebow or David Freese off his feet. I just needed that one moment, that one thing that would set me apart from all the rest of the ballpark bunnies at the field, set me apart from the cheerleaders and celebrities.

 In a way, living in this dream world has helped me think twice about relationships around me. I debated them more than I would have before, even if possibly I was turning them down for the ultra-slim chance with someone I had never met. I knew what I wanted in a man and knew I wasn't settling for less than it. I had been in a settling mood before, but not now....

 Baseball season has started back up. I've been watching my Red Sox, along with the Oakland A's, because Josh Reddick is still there, and still hot. Over the off season, Texas made a trade with Oakland, getting rid of a pitcher and an outfielder. Yes, Craig Gentry is now sporting the green and gold.

 He's still hot. He still makes me melt when he smiles. I still cheer him on. When I saw him a month after finding out he was engaged, and after a month of telling my friend that I REALLY didn't want to go to the game and see him (oh yes, I sounded like there had been a relationship and I was running into an ex after a bad break-up), I realized that seeing him in person just jumpstarted that crush again. Seeing him in the Oakland dugout made that crush keep going.

 Now, remember what I said about being a Pintrest addict? While watching an Oakland game against the Texas Rangers (I've become spoiled with Tivo and very rarely watch the games on the actual day, let alone the actual time they play at) and watching Gentry get a stand-up triple in his first at bat, I decided to search Pintrest for dear old Gentry. I wasn't surprised that there wasn't much since the trade to Oakland and most of the pins were of his time in Texas. But then, I stumbled across something again. I stumbled across the engagement photos.

 I clicked again, I looked again, and then "stumbled" across the wedding photos. And after looking over Gentry's country wedding (with a bearded Chris Davis as one of the groomsmen, but no sign of Mitch Moreland... color me surprised!), my heart started to return back to it's little hole that it had slightly climbed out of since seeing him in person last season. Forget the fact that Reddick is still out on the field in the game I have playing in the background while I type this. Forget that Josh Donaldson is there. My brain was focused on the left fielder.

 I've always had my "out of my reach" crushes. Everyone did growing up. I swore as a teen that I was going to marry Brian Littrell or Justin Timberlake.  Even the guys I liked in high school that I saw everyday were out of my league. I wasn't popular, never kidded myself into thinking I was popular. But, somehow, I thought that love would make them see past the fact that they were popular and I wasn't. Spoiler alert- It didn't.

 Somehow, even with the crush and crushing of the crush on Craig Gentry, I still seem to find myself holding out for the unreachable. I keep holding onto the idea that if Freese saw the happy birthday tweet and tweeted back, we could strike up a conversation. When we go to a baseball game and show up with two little girls who are just learning to love the sport of baseball, that'll be what sweeps them off their feet. There's always that idea that not being the girl who shows up at a sports game in a cute dress with beautifully manicured nails, make-up caked on and hair perfectly primmed, that being that everyday Babs kind of girl will be what catches their eye and wins them over. I can talk sports with them. I can be silly and goofy to keep their mind off a loss. I'm perfect! 

 But then, I look at where I am in life now. Many of the people I went to high school with are settling down or have settled down and are starting families. They're on Facebook showing off kids, wedding planning, and how their lives are amazing. Here I am, still holding onto that same dream world that got me in trouble in high school- holding out for a hero that doesn't even know me to save me.

 Maybe it's because I love romantic movies. Maybe it's because I was told as a kid I could do anything I wanted to. Maybe it's because I drink too much soda. I don't know what, I don't know why, I just know that even as I realize I need to give up this dream world, I still can't get myself motivated to leave it. I keep reminding myself that the liklihood that I'll sweep Aaron Rodgers off his feet is slim to none, I still find myself holding onto the hope that maybe Tim Tebow is easier to make fall. Call me stupidly optimistic. Trust me, I already have.

 Maybe that's what makes me a writer. Maybe that's why I find myself continuing this writing dream. There's no short supply of hot men on our television shows, our movies, our sports fields. There's plenty of guys to base romantic heroes off., plenty of guys that would work perfectly as a hero to sweep a girl off her feet. 

 And maybe that's why I don't fully want to leave this dream world. If I leave this slightly optimistic romance world, what's to stop me from leaving the world where I think I can be a published author? Okay, I get that it's not totally the same thing- love for someone famous and dream of being a writer. But, giving up on one dream may lead to giving up on another, right? 

 I'm going to a Los Angeles Angels game this year, and I have a David Freese shirt ready to wear. I'm going to a Texas Rangers game, even though my outfielder is gone (I'm still gonna support my redneck best friend though. Mitch Moreland needs some support from somewhere!). I'm going to a Boston Red Sox game, and will cheer on my Hobbit Buddy (A.K.A Dustin Pedroia... I make up some interesting nicknames sometimes for these guys). I even debated going to an Oakland A's game, just for another game to wear my Reddick shirt at, and another chance to see Gentry. If anyone wants to take me to a Cardinals game, let me know in enough time to get a Pete Kozma shirt or decide if I'll wear Michael Wacha.

 Yeah, I have some VERY high standards for men. I may not be willing to settle, but I have a feeling that some things can be debated in the end. Whoever I finally decide to give my heart to may not be on a professional team, but it'll be worth holding onto my dream world, even if it becomes just for a writing dream instead of a romantic one.....

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