Many friends and lovers have accused me of living by the adage out of sight, out of mind.
It's a claim I can't really refute. My memory is spotty at best, and my attention span reaches only about as far as my arms. But on the flip side: If you put something in front of me, I'll probably drink it, touch it, read it, eat it, date it, root for it -- whatever.
And when it's gone, often so is my interest.
This defining attribute has proven interesting since I relocated across the country. Here I am, about 3,000 miles and 365 days removed from the Northeast, and already I've transformed myself into a rather convincing Southern Californian. (I stare drop-jawed at the sky in disbelief when it drizzles, and now believe 60 degrees to be "chilly.")
So it should come as no surprise that after I hopped coasts, my fandom subsequently hopped the fence on several fronts. Now, before you throw stones and call me a turncoat, traitor or worse, I dare you to tell me you've never been swept up by something simply because of where you were standing -- be it a state, stadium, concert, bar, political rally, frat party, cafeteria table or the like.
If you have a heartbeat, you're susceptible to some degree of communal sensation. It's often thought of in disapproving terms like groupthink, or peer pressure, or -- in sports -- pusillanimous bandwagoning, but I will argue that there is something to be said for letting yourself run renegade and get caught up in the moment of your locale.
It's electric. That moment of being there, part of something.
It's the reason why I'll generally try anything twice.
True to form, the boys down the road at Dodger Stadium served as a sexy pick last spring. Subsequently, I was swept off my feet by the thrill of new and scandalous love. Try as I might to root for the Red Sox, there just wasn't enough Ritalin in California to keep me hot for my team of old. So, with hardly any guilt, I rode the Dodgers' seven-game winning streak into the playoffs only to be broken, hopes dashed, at the hands of a team from New York. Go figure. What a way to go. I really should have seen that coming. But I'm the girl who sets a coffee on top of her car (out of sight for only a second) and then forgets it's up there until it's running down her windshield.
So alas, my life went on. Baseball turned to football, and coincidentally I spent nearly every weekend in San Diego. So of course I was unable to resist the lure of the Chargers. Shoot, half the country had a crush on LT, cut me some slack. I fell hard for the shiny and new, only to be humbled Sunday night at the hands of an old flame. I should have known better.
But we (yes, I said we) were leading 21-13 with 8:35 left in the game, so I thought the coast was clear! I know, I know. I should have known that the Pats were completely capable of scoring 11 points in the final four and a half minutes.
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I shouldn't have been surprised by Bill Belichick's masterfully schemed two-point conversion or the jarring defensive stop or the 49-yard pass to Reche Caldwell (a former Bolt, of course) or a patented Patriots postseason field goal to go ahead.
How could I have forgotten?
I should have turned off the TV after Marlon McCree picked off Tom Brady! I should have figured the Golden Boy would come out smelling like a rose. It should have hit me when Troy Brown reversed New England's fate faster than I could say "tuck rule" that football fans in California were going to come out on the wrong end of this one.
How can you be surprised? Tom Brady was 11-1 in the playoffs -- remember? Don't his five postseason comebacks ring a bell? You were there! Ugh. I guess after all this time it just slipped my mind.
"They say goldfish have no memory. I guess their lives are much like mine. The little plastic castle is a surprise every time." -- Ani D.
Tell her and she'll forget, but Mary Buckheit is a Page 2 columnist and can be reached at email@example.com.