2012-04-26 / Viewpoint

Taking one for the team

The VIEW from here


Gary Gould — Managing Editor Gary Gould — Managing Editor There’s this misconception girls are harder to go shopping with than boys. I feel that I am pretty simple to shop with — I go in, find what I came to the store to get and then get back out. Simple.

I’ve discovered, however, my son, Sam, isn’t as easy to go shopping with. It’s not that he likes to browse or try on clothes, it’s that he likes to be outfitted for every contingency there might be.

Last weekend was his ninth birthday and he asked if one of his presents could be a new batting helmet for baseball. I agreed and I also said yes, I would take him to the store and let him try the helmets on so he could find one that fit.

We ventured into a local sporting goods store. Upon our arrival at the store he made it very clear he was in his ‘zone’ and quickly began calling the shots.

Sam stopped the first employee inside the door and said, “Excuse me, can you tell me where the batting helmets are? I need a lime green one.”

The young woman directed us to the back corner of the store, but added as we began the trip to the back that she didn’t think there were any lime green helmets.

“Lime green?” I asked him, puzzled at his selection. “Why lime green?” With an incensed look, he nearly rolled his eyes at me and said, “Because it matches my bat.”

How stupid of me. Every baseball player needs a batting helmet that matches his or her bat, right? The look he was giving me was a: “get with the program dad” look.

We found the batting helmets and to my relief there was no lime green headgear present. I didn’t want my boy going to baseball looking like the new spokesman for Sprite.

Having found the baseball helmets and resigning himself to a more neutral color like a blue, red or black, Sam left me to look over a potential purchase while he explored the baseball gear and came up with more ideas for his birthday gift.

“How about these?” he asked, bringing me a pack of black anti-glare strips to put under his eyes while on the field. “I need these.”

“We’re here for a helmet, that’s all,” I stated. He shrugged, “Fine.” Sam then returned the strips to the counter. I managed to get him to try a couple of helmets, none of which would stay on right without falling down into his eyes.

Sam disappeared for a second and was back with a batting glove, “I need one of these too!”

“Not today!” he wasn’t getting it that the helmet was all we were buying. Finally I found one that fit and that he liked and we went to the checkout line. As I paid for the helmet, Sam tossed a pack of chewing gum on the counter.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“Gum,” he stated. “It’s the kind the team chews when we play.”

“You HAVE to chew gum when you play baseball?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said, very matter-of-factly.

Needless to say the gum went back, we got the helmet and were on our way. I always figured it was my daughter who would be most trying when it came to shopping, but who would have known it was actually my son.

But I hope he enjoys the new helmet and even though it does not match his bat, I’m looking forward to seeing him hit some home runs this spring.

ggould@mihomepaper.com

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