"I'm the only one without a Phillies anything," whined my daughter on "Phillies Day" at her elementary school. I thought my five year-old's assessment of her peers' wardrobes was a gross exaggeration...until I picked her up from school. Almost every man, woman, and child who exited the building was wearing a Phillies t-shirt, and 99.99 % of them had never been washed.
I apologized to my daughter for making her a social outcast, but I didn't give in. We like the Phillies, but we definitely don't bleed red, white, and blue. Out of respect to the true Phillies fans--those who have endured dismal seasons and the annoying Philly Phanatic (the team mascot) for the past two decades--I won't pretend like I am Chase Utley's #1 fan. Nor will I let my kids pretend like they are either.
"Just because everyone else is buying Phillies gear," he told them, "It doesn't make it right."
"When you're an adult," my husband added, "You can pick which church to attend and which teams to cheer for, but until then, we decide."
That was my cue to produce the visual aids. Next to a picture of our church's temple, I placed a Duke jersey, Angels t-shirt, and special edition UCLA Bruins 3D soda cup.
Everyone got the point.
The only problem with spelling out our loyalties so clearly is that now when our kids want to get our goat, they threaten us with the unthinkable.
"When I grow up," screamed Cortlen yesterday, "I'm going to cheer for the Phillies!"
Tim shrugged his shoulders.
"And Carolina! Go Tar Heels!"
My husband turned white as a sheet.