Every spring I watch A League of their Own. It gets me all warm, fuzzy, and excited for longer days and nicer weather.
I watched the VHS, on repeat, back when I was obsessed with Madonna and thought Rosie O'Donnell was funny. I would sing "This Used to be my Playground" in my bedroom not realizing it's a thoroughly depressing song and that no, I did not sound exactly like Madonna - rather more like Kanye sans autotune. Or with Autotune. Both. I sounded horrid.
I also loved the movie because back in those days I loved, loved softball.
As a southpaw I had a lot of promise. I went to pitching camps in the summer and my mom drove me every Sunday to a pitching coach off-Cape who looked like Santa. Though I didn't have the typical hips of a female pitcher (some of those broads were built like trucks), I could hit my spots with surprising accuracy.
Unfortunately, our megaphone-toting, winning-obsessed field hockey coach decided to give coaching softball a whirl during my tenure and ruined it all. She'd bellow at me from the dugout, "Underarm pitchers don't get tired, it's a fact! Now throw some smoke!" She also didn't believe in relievers for softball. My limp arm routinely felt like it was dangling from its socket after pitching four days in a row. Now, whenever I lift my arm it cracks like a snapped twig.
I may have tired of the sport, but I will never tire of that movie. Kit? You whiny loser, I can't believe she let you win. Dottie? Why'd you abandon the team you bitch! Betty Spaghetti? Oh, George, Georrrgeee!
It also evokes the smell of bubble gum, freshly cut grass, and weed. Yup, Little Mustard Stains and her cronies would smoke blunts - not always, but sometimes - before practice in her Dodge Caravan. That sweet ride had lawn chairs in place of a middle seat. We all looked real chill in our gender-bending uniform vests while doing it, too.