Two years ago, when I made my annual pilgrimage to the greatest ballpark in baseball, my nephew and I were pleased to find that we were doubly blessed. Not only would we be sitting in box seats at the greatest ballpark in baseball, but upon entry to said ballpark, we would each receive a very classy and orange and Hawaiian and orange Baltimore Orioles shirt. Did I mention that it was orange? It was bright orange..
Naturally, I immediately shed my other, inferior shirt in favor of the more fashionable and orange threads. When you’re in the greatest ballpark in baseball, you can’t really be too orange.
My problem is this. It’s a four-to-five-hour drive from my house to the greatest ballpark in baseball, and I usually only make one trip a season. My life in Connecticut doesn’t really afford me many opportunities to wear my orange, Hawaiian Orioles shirt that’s orange in public. I think this is why, as I hastily packed for our trip to the Dominican Republic, it occurred to me that the balmy weather, the waving palm trees, and the proximity to a beach might make this another opportunity to don the orange Hawaiian Orioles shirt. I packed it without consulting my wife.
On several occasions during the trip, as we readied to go out to dinner, I inquired if this might be the right occasion or setting for an orange Hawaiian Orioles shirt that’s orange. At first, my wife was gentle about it. “Mmmm. Maybe not tonight. We don’t know what the dress is like at these places.”
The next night it was, “Ooh. I’m wearing this red dress. I’m not sure the orange would be a great match.”
This gentleness, though, was definitely taking a lot out of her. Finally, on the last night, as we dressed for another dinner out, I inquired again. This time, I mentioned that while the women at this establishment appeared to be dressing quite elegantly, the men seemed a good bit more casual. “You’re wearing your black dress. Might this be the night for the complementary orange Hawaiian Orioles shirt that’s orange?” I wondered.
With a sigh of exasperation, my long suffering wife informed me that no, this was not the right moment or place or occasion. “In fact,” she added, “I don’t think that there is ANY right occasion or moment or place for that hideous shirt. Why did you bring that thing in the first place?”
To confirm her stance, she proceeded to her social media platform of choice, informing her myriad facebook friends, “Peter just asked if his “ugly Orioles shirt” was the right choice for the restaurant we are going to tonight. No dear, it is never, ever the right choice.”
Chagrined, I hung my orange Hawaiian Orioles shirt that’s orange back up in the closet and put on a more sensible shirt. Still hanging on to some sliver of hope for the future, I pointed out all of the more outlandish shirts that some of the other male patrons were sporting that night. She, in turn, made the counterpoint that not coincidentally, none of those people was with her. A valid point.
She was wrong, though, when she said that it was never, ever the right choice. This year, when I make my next pilgrimage to the greatest ballpark in baseball, I will definitely be sporting my orange Hawaiian Orioles shirt that is orange. And I will definitely be dressed appropriately.
It is possible, however, that this fashion-challenged Birds fan will be flying solo.