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Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Art of Lingering

"You cannot hurry to Cooperstown."
Breaking Into Baseball: Women & the National Pastime  
by Jean Hastings Ardell 

It might have been the final fireworks night of the 2011 season. As usual, we were the last ones to leave the stadium . . . and the only reason we left is because security asked us to leave so the workers could lock up and go home.  We caught up with Maven in the parking lot. Like us, he sticks around after games, listening to the music, talking, relaxing. He was the one who brought up the topic of lingering.

"Whatever expectations I struggled with at home . . . fell away at the ballpark." ibid.

We all understand that the workers want to go home and that the county budget doesn't allow for overtime. It is, after all, our tax dollars, and we want to see those dollars used wisely. But Maven brought up a very good point. One goes to the ballpark and enjoys the game and an occasional fireworks night.

When the fireworks are over, there's good music playing, inviting one to linger. It's been a mellow evening. One is relaxed and happy.

The next day, one thinks, "I had a great time at the ballpark last night. I'm going to do that again."  And now there's another baseball fan buying tickets and coming to games. Because of the overall experience, which includes lingering after it's all over, extending the experience as long as possible.

"The place that restores me is the ballpark."  Safe at Home  by Alyssa Milano
Too bad there isn't a way to allow fans to linger until they are naturally inclined to leave.  Life's precious moments shouldn't boil down to money.

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