As I mentioned in a blog entry last summer, I don’t have much to contribute to the church softball team; with a new baby, I’m worth even less this year. What I can contribute, however, is robust enthusiasm and lighthearted joshing.Since our church plays in Coed D-league, it seems like a basic assumption that we are in it more for fun than with trophy aspirations. There are enough players with experience to keep us following the rules, and to bring innings to a close, eventually, but many players, like I was, are softball novices with more willingness than finesse. We try to take our limitations in stride and feel free to laugh at ourselves and each other.
I guess it’s part of the hazard of coed softball that reproduction caused a major turnover of female players (I’m not the only gestational casualty this year), so there were a few offseason recruits being introduced before the game. One gal and I exchanged names, and she seemed friendly. Trying to offer a little small talk, I clarified with her whether she used any of the shortened forms of her name, and she said she didn’t. I joked that it’s always good to make sure what a person’s name is before I start cheering or jeering them when they are at bat – because I did plan to be a loud fan. She looked at me a little coldly and asserted that hopefully she wouldn’t be so bad that I would need to jeer her. I immediately wanted to eat my words; I truly didn’t mean to suggest, without even having seen her play, that she stunk! I had honestly meant only to include her in the goofy camaraderie that the girls on the team all shared.
Well, before the end of the game, I doubly needed to eat my words. She was really good! The team is really lucky to have her. She was catching flies, turning double plays, and hitting runners in. There were no jeers to make – she rocked it. I’m going to have to find a way to break the ice again, because I completely blew it for round 1.
If you have good sense, it will show when you speak. But if you are stupid, you will be beaten with a stick. Proverbs 10:13