Written by Cassidy Dover
Ghost Writer for The Life of the Baseball Wife
I went on social media today and saw a photo. It was of Ray and a female fan. She’s all put together. She’s cute. She’s smiling and has that look of “Wow!” and excitement and adulation in her eyes. Ray has his arm around her. Maybe it’s at the field (those are a little easier to handle). Maybe it’s at a bar or restaurant or the lobby of a hotel where she saw my husband and had the courage to stop and ask for a “quick photo” and she posted it and tagged him. He’s smiling and has that fun easy going look about him that everyone who knows him loves.
I’m at home. I’m sitting in my family room of this rented apartment either alone with the dogs (who clearly need to be walked - again) or with Sheridan being pouty or difficult or maybe just spending time with her some other way. I’m in sweatpants, my hair up in a messy bun. I probably have no make up on and I may or may not have showered. I’ve been running around all day doing the mommy thing (which I LOVE and feel so fortunate to be able to do full time). I’m not cute. I’m not happy. And I know, being honest, that when Ray gets home (from the game, road trip, whatever) I have a honey-do list he’s not very excited about. But see, that’s reality. We have to take out the garbage, clean the litter box, do laundry, put it away. I need to know what he wants for breakfast/lunch and ways to work his schedule and our schedule together so he and Sheridan can have Daddy/daughter time and he gets that interaction with her he craves and misses so much with this life.
I miss him more than you can know. I miss the times when I would dress for a game, go and sit in the stands, wait for him after and we’d laugh and go to dinner late and sleep later in the morning. I crave those times when this career was amazing and fun and exciting. I miss him looking at me with that easy going way and laughter in his eyes instead of walking through the door to his safe place and looking tired and spent and worried.
I loved when the money was great and we were on the way up and saving and buying were easy to do. I even miss the times when money was tighter but the future was bright and he loved each day going to the field and doing what he loved. Now that he’s retired from playing I know he enjoys her new position in baseball but there’s also something missing. I get that part of him.
While what we share is real and raw and should be something I love and feel secure in - it can also be scary and leave me feeling unsure and worried. Especially when I look on social media and see these photos. That Ray there, I want him for me. The reality of marriage and life don’t let me have that guy all the time. If I’m being honest - you girl in that photo I’m jealous of you.
See just like you have created this false reality of what it’s like to be a ball player (or his friend/girlfriend/wife) I’ve created one for you, too. You’re so carefree and loving life. I don't see that you've saved for months to be able to bring your dad to his first ever MLB game. Maybe your family is on a super tight budget and this is your only night out all month and while you're enjoying yourself you're also mentally adding everything you order to make sure you aren't over budget. Maybe you are out with your girlfriends celebrating a clean bill of health from the doctor but quietly worrying how long the good news will last. No, to me, you're having a day at the ballpark taking in a game and afternoon of fun and relaxation. You’re a fun girl who can go out to a restaurant or a bar. You can tell new and funny stories. Your life hasn’t been intertwined with his for the past 24 years so your stories and tales are interesting and make Ray laugh in a way my stories can’t because we have, in this life, such enmeshment that my stories are his stories and he’s either heard them or lived them with me. Your time with my husband, to me, isn’t an instant in that photo it’s all the possibilities of what fun and carefree interaction could have taken place with my husband. And so yes, I guess truth be told, that photo, that snapshot in time, is like a punch in the gut to me as I sit at home on my couch in my sweats looking less than stellar.
I hear all the time, “What did you expect when you married a ballplayer/a person in the public eye?”. As if I should be perfectly content sharing my husband with everyone else out there in a way that is somewhat personal - to me. Maybe I should be stronger, less jealous, have less longing to share moments of time with my husband.
I’m trying to be honest. Sometimes it’s just hard. The photos are a punch in the gut of all that I want and that I can’t have because I have the most precious part of Ray that is easy to forget - I have a life with him in all it’s good, bad and ugly. The specialness of your moment in that photo with him is what I crave and what, after 24 years of life on the road and life away from us, is hard to recreate. It’s sort of that notion of never having a first kiss again after you realize you have found your soulmate. You’re ok with it because you have this amazing person at your side but sometimes you just want that excitement and those butterflies all over again.
So to the fan in the photo on social media - please know you, in that moment, truly are, in my eyes, the luckiest person in the world for having that time with my husband.
Thanks for reading.