I've been trying to articulate why last night's Cubs win felt so important, given that I'm not a sports fan and couldn't name a single ball player. Here's what I've determined - this victory is part of a collective memory. As a country, we have a whole bunch of collective memories, those "everyone remembers where they were" moments, and they're rarely happy. For example, ask anyone a few years my senior about losing JFK, RFK, or MLK Jr. and they'll know every detail about the day, down to what they were wearing. As a member of Generation X, I'll always recall everything about: the attempted assasinations on Reagan and the Pope the Challenger explosion the LA riots the hit on the second Tower and everything that came after These events are cultural touchstones, a pin in time. We remember where we were and what we were doing and who we were with. The last moment I can recall that felt as joyfully significant as the Cubs win was the 1980 U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey team's final game. For those unfamiliar, we were at the height of the Cold War. Our country was in rough shape, between gas prices and the recession and the Iranian hostage crisis. We hadn't had a win, literally or figuratively, in a very long time. And every day, kids like me worried about the threat of nuclear annihilation. Dark days. In these Olympic games, the underdog USA team was playing Russia. Team USA didn't have a chance... but they came from behind and brought home the gold anyway. Thirty-something years later, I still tear up when I hear the words, "DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?" At the time, I cared about the hockey game. But in retrospect, I see that this was more than a game. This was the beginning of the new beginning - of things starting to turn around for our country. I believe this event galvanized us as a nation, gave us a cultural touchstone that, in its own way, nudged us forward. A collective, happy memory. Momentum caused momentum. We saw history made last night in Cleveland. And while I'm so sorry for the Indians fans (and I truly want this for them next year) they'd likely agree that something significant happened on that field. Something that wouldn't happen, couldn't happen. Definitely hadn't happened for an entire century. Something miraculous. Maybe I'm just deliriously hungover from the collective joy in my city, but the Cubs win gives me hope. Last night, Clinton supporters and Trump fans cried in each others' arms in the streets of Wrigleyville. They danced and celebrated and kissed each other full on the lips. For a moment, everyone forgot the ugliness of this political cycle. For a moment, everyone was friends again. For a moment, everyone was a part of a single team with a common goal. And no one - here in Chicago or across the country - will ever forget that moment. So I'm left to wonder... what if the Cubs winning after all this time is prophetic? That it's a sign of better things to come? What if all the jokes about this being a harbinger of the apocalypse are untrue, and, in fact, this victory causes its own positive momentum? What if the Cubs winning the World Series after 108 years, thus making sworn enemies friends again, even briefly, means that our fractured country can find a way to come together again after next Tuesday? I'd like to think it does. Then again, I believe in miracles.
At Target last night, Fletch overheard the cutest thing. He said he was in the men's department and a set of parents came up with their little girl. He couldn't tell the kid's age, but said she was old enough to walk on her own and make declarative statements. When they got the the rack Fletch was looking at, the little girl said, "I like pants!" The mom replied, "That's great, honey. Please remember how much you like wearing pants when you meet the boys in college."