Last night, we went to see the Giants play the Expos at Pac Bell Park.
It was our second time at the Park; last September, during its opening year, we managed to purchase the worst possible seats attainable. They were last-row, left-center field bleacher seats with nothing but a hand-rail separating us from the public walkway.
Yes, I know it's a baseball game and not the opera, but since I have some major issues about people hovering over me and I value a good amount of personal space, a seat where you're beer-dripping close to the main walkway is a nightmare.
Because of the crowds, in general, and then the purchase a horrible $4 lemonade that was nothing more than ice-water with a few lemon wedges, my frustration overcame any desire to participate in such a all-American activity such as attending a baseball game.
And then they announced the National Anthem.
Last September, I could hardly be patriotic about this country. Because Bush was winning popularity poll after poll and much of the country actually considered him presidential material, I had no desire to sing, let alone stand for the Anthem.
Ben and I remained seated.
I can't describe how uncomfortable I felt.
Although I'm one of those people who, when outside of the country, won't admit to being American, I didn't expect to be viewed as flag-burning communist. These, were the looks we received.
In preparation for last night's game, I resolved to not only stand, but to belt out the Anthem in all it's jingoistic glory. Although I can't support our administration and I can't be too proud of our country's actions during most of its history, I still live here and am able to live a good life.
By 7:00, I was starving. The food lines were incredibly long but I needed food to ward off my impending bad mood. Ben went to get us sandwiches and I stood in line for some $5 Garlic fries. After about 20 minutes of standing in line, I heard singing. As I looked to my left, I noticed that although there was indeed singing, hardly anyone was standing.
What's with that? I thought. Is this a new movement against the Anthem and the country? Very interesting.
And then I realized they were singing "Oh Canada."
If I had been at my seat, I, like an American traveler with a maple leaf patch sewn on my backpack, would have probably stood for the Canadian anthem in an effort not to seem anti-American, but pro-Canadian. But, that's another issue.
When the National Anthem began, I assumed that I had lost my chance to redeem myself and prove that, yes indeed, I'm American.
As I stood in line, a box of four Krispy Kremes (for two people) in hand, waiting like a herd of cattle for greasy, saturated-fat rich garlic fries, I understood a greater truth:
It doesn't get more American than this.
* Are you patriotic?