When Do You Become A St. Louisan?
I am one of the few, the proud, I am an expatriate! I am one of those people who came to St. Louis from another place. I can’t answer the standard conversation opener “What high school did you go to?” Since I can’t answer it in the St. Louis way, it has been hard to fit in here.
I came to St. Louis more years ago than I care to admit, even to myself. I constantly think “Ah, it wasn’t that long ago,” but recently I had to actually figure out how long ago it was and….it was 16 years ago! Wow!
So when you move to a new city, when do you officially feel like you have become part of that city? When do you stand up proudly and own that it is your home? When does that city become as much a part of you as you are of it? For me, it was July 21st, 2012, the day I really felt like St. Louis was my town.
I was gifted an opportunity by my boss and the owner of my company. The gift? Cardinals tickets! But my friends, not just any Cardinals tickets, but tickets to the Cubs vs. Cards series. Now folks, I grew up in Illinois. I lived in Chicago for a while within drunken stumbling distance of Wrigley Field, and grew up…a Cubs fan. AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! I know, its sacrilege!
Not only were we gifted great tickets, but we were given the opportunity to spend a couple of innings in the broadcast booth with Mike Shannon and crew. My date that night, a young man of the ripe old age of 9, was more interested in the free grapes and crackers than in the broadcast booth. But when we went back down to our seats and the Cardinals started a hitting spree like I have never seen before, scoring 12 runs in one inning, I think the shift occurred. Forty-three thousand fans together cheering for each score, each hit. Each small victory was cathartic. The change was finalized when my son Ryan turned to me and said, “Mom, either we are really good or the Cubs really suck! And really Mom, I think they suck.” Yes, honey, they do!
Thanks Mike and Bruce for the conversion opportunity.
Go Cards! Let’s see you do it again to the Brewers this weekend!
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