"Like a recurring dream, I have this vision of me going up to other well-known bloggers and saying 'Hi I'm Izzy. I read you all the time. I love your blog.' and they respond with nothing but a blank stare and a polite half-smile, as if to say 'Yes, but who the fuck are you?' Shoot me now."
Here's my story from my vacation: My cousin's son Doug is a major league baseball pitcher. My huge extended family is not particularly close and I have only met Doug a couple times before, mostly when he was very small, but we chatted a year or so ago when he was playing in Los Angeles, where he was very nice.
I spent the past four days in Phoenix at baseball spring training. I didn't let Doug's dad know I was coming, but my mom said she did. I didn't know if I would have time to see him and I didn't know if he would be pitching.
But on Monday, he was scheduled to do his team a favor and pitch at a minor league game. Perfect. We went out to the park and were two of only about a dozen spectators (the major league training games attract 5,000-10,000 people but no one goes to the minors).
I was wearing my jersey with Doug's number on it that Mr. Stapler got me for Christmas. I know I looked absolutely dorky, but I figured I had to wear it to A) show family pride and B) let Mr. Stapler know I was appreciating his gift.
Doug was stretching in this little fenced area. Mr. Stapler said "Well, are you going to go say hi to him?"
I walked up and said "Hey, Doug," and he gave me the look that Izzy spoke of in her blog post.
"Uh, I'm your cousin Sue," I stammered.
"Huh?" he said.
"Yeah, my dad is your great uncle Bernie."
"I don't know any Great Uncle Bernie," he said, looking annoyed, as other players stood by, looking at me like I was the weirdest baseball stalker on earth as I stood there with this jersey with Doug's name on it and him having no idea who I was.
Is my feeling of absolute embarrassment and stupidness and being-picked-last-in-fourth-grade-ness leaking through the computer screen yet? Because it is a day later and I am still completely marinating in it.
I went on to blather about the long complex chain of how we were related, not making a bit of sense, I think, and he waited me out.
Then he said, reluctance dripping, 'I'll talk to you later, ok?"
I'm not just embarrassed for me. I'm embarrassed for putting my obviously clueless cousin through this exchange, too - he clearly had no idea who I was, he just got signed to a big contract, and he probably has been warned about maniacs claiming to be relatives that climb out of the woodwork.
He pitched a few innings and I was so mortified sitting there that I couldn't keep myself from blurting out words like "Stupid!" and "Urk!" as I went over the conversation again and again in my head. I wanted nothing more than to flee but Mr. Stapler was really into watching Doug pitch.
After they took him out of the game, I didn't stick around to see if he would actually talk to me later. I left as fast as my short little legs could carry me, wadded up my jersey with Doug's number on it and tossed it in the trunk of the car, trying to forget, but knowing I never would.