Father’s Day, Fenway, and Why Rich People Don’t Do “the Wave”

Celebrating a late Father’s day gift last night, we walked to Fenway Park and cheered on a Red Sox vs. Miami Marlins victory.

It was magic. (This from a non-sports person!) Anyone who knows me can tell you I know little about U.S sports culture, but in recent years I have enjoyed some sports events, seeing them as small entries into another world, another culture. I have ceased waxing wise about their faults and begun seeing them as places of learning and enjoyment. And Fenway is nothing if it is not going into another world. Fenway is a cultural icon.

From Fenway Franks, those hotdogs that anywhere else would not taste as good, to fans toting beer in small plastic cups, to “the wave”, to Grand Slams, to singing “Sweet Caroline” at the top of our lungs, it is, and was, a cross-cultural experience.

I always imagined that “the wave” was unique to the U.S but found that is not true. While there are arguments about where and how it originated, it is a standard part of sports spectator behavior worldwide. It is usually set into motion by a dozen or so fans and consists of standing, raising your arms to the sky and sitting immediately afterward. The motion carries forward in a clockwise direction and in a large crowd it is an amazing site to see “the wave” move around a stadium in full force.

But last night we observed something curious. “The wave” was going strong around the stadium, starting in bleacher 39 and moving forward with strength – until it reached the box people, the rich people. And there is where it faltered almost ready to die. It was as if “the wave” was beneath them, as though we, the commoners, were the ones low enough to carry the motion.

Why do you think this is? Were they so busy watching the game that they didn’t see “the wave”? I don’t think so. I think it’s about security and image. And if there was doubt before, after last night all doubt is gone – rich people don’t have as much fun as those with less. Box seats, season tickets and a bank account to match and yet there is not enough security to break out of a mold and do “the wave”? It sounds like a type of prison.

With money comes an image, an image that is carefully cultivated and groomed. It is dependent on the stock market, interest rates and who you know. And evidently that image doesn’t include “the wave”. What do you think?





WWWP5k Failure on the Freedom Trail

I wanted to succeed. I really did. When Automattic announced that they would have a Worldwide WordPress 5K (WWWP5K) I was without excuse. While I have never pretended at athletic ability, all year I’ve had a disciplined marathoner colleague sitting at my lunch table eating “Marathon training food” (not even going to tell you what that means) to compete in the Boston Marathon. For the WWWP5K event all I would have to do was run speed walk 5K!  Not only that, I’m not great at building blogging community and this was one way and day I could stretch beyond my comfort zone. Also with people participating world-wide through WordPress it fit with my love for the world….I was so in.

And what better place to do this than the famous Freedom Trail in Boston? The red-brick trail that takes people through history by showing various sites significant to the founding of the United States. In this way I could show readers history and springtime in Boston all while getting exercise by participating in the WWWP5K. I would create a fancy sign that I could hold up at the end and have someone photograph me as a “Finisher”. I had it all planned. I even set the date for Saturday the 28th, the day before the official 5K.


I failed.


I’d like to blame it on hurting my ribs or on my cheap Payless sneakers or on my crazy schedule but I won’t do that. I will admit defeat. Admit that it seemed doable but I couldn’t complete the goal in the time I had. And it’s freeing to admit failure. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. Sometimes you can’t work full-time, parent, blog, spend time with the man behind the blog, and take part in a 5K.

So I failed to complete the speed walk. But I did succeed in capturing some pictures that will introduce those that have never been here to the Freedom Trail. I call it the “Failed 5K on the Freedom Trail Collectors Album” and hope it will convince you to book a trip to Boston this summer.

At what have you failed lately? Go on – tell us! You know you want to.

Emblem of the Freedom Trail
Old South Meeting House

Old City Hall
Better view of the Old City Hall

Brass Donkey Statue - symbol of the Democratic Party
Did you know the history of the Donkey and the Elephant - symbols of the two major political parties in the United States? Well .... now you do!
Granary Burying Ground - Resting place of the likes of John Hancock and Paul Revere
The sign challenges the "Youth of Today when they visit this old house be inspired by the patriotism of Paul Revere"