Note: This column appears in the 8/11 issue of The Glendale Star and the 8/12 issue of the Peoria Times
We have a Yankee room in our house. This is pretty much what it sounds like, unless you are a million years old and still associate Yankees with northern folk. It is a room filled with New York Yankee-related pictures and memorabilia. The room was not, amazingly, my wife’s idea, although she has never been opposed to it. One time, she even bought me, as a gift, a Yankee lamp. It was the greatest day of my life.
Having a Yankee room was a concept of the mind of a young, passionate Yankee fan with an extra room, no children, and a lot of Yankees stuff. Initially the room was a place to put all the team-related things I had acquired throughout my life, but it slowly morphed into a reason to acquire more stuff. That said, I had embraced a minimalistic approach—less is more, and I wanted to feature only the classier signed photos and nostalgic items, such as my box of Derek Jeter corn flakes. But once I made the conscious decision to stop acquiring, I found myself continuing to acquire items, as my extended family has embraced the room as a foundation for gift-giving. (My mom and mother-in-law share the very thoughtful characteristic of discovering what someone likes, and then getting them that thing forever. If you casually mention around them that you like, say, walnuts, my mother-in-law will put them in everything each time she cooks for you, and my mom will buy you a year's supply of cashews and say, "I know you like walnuts, but they didn't have any, so I got you cashews," while she laughs and my dad nods his head. Suffice it to say, they have been a steady source of merchandise.) Now I have more Yankee stuff than I know what to do with, and the room is more cluttered than classy. So, note to family: from now on, send money.
Another concept behind the room was to have it be a place to hang out with friends and drink beer and watch actual Yankee games or sports in general, as my wife and the wives of my friends hung out downstairs and watched HGTV and drank wine and talked about how frustrated they are with us. But this idea was flawed, mainly in that most of the few close friends I do have here don’t like the Yankees because, I guess, we live in Arizona, and, more importantly, because they have as much time and opportunity to do such things as I do, which is none. Not helping matters is the fact that the TV in the room, which came with us from New Jersey, is not HD and weighs three tons and, ummm, doesn’t get Yankees games.
Unable to utilize the room for its intended fantasy, we were forced to make it practical. It is now a Yankee-guest-workout-storage room which, quite frankly every home should have. The room, however, was recently threatened thanks to a separate concept—a playroom for our daughter.
Obviously, it was more important that my Bucky Dent-signed photo remain on the wall than my daughter be able to experience daily, real-life joy in a safe, contained environment amidst a bevy of toys. Eventually, it was decided an upstairs playroom for a girl her age was as impractical as the Yankee room has come to be. Instead we will attempt to morph a downstairs room into a play room/office, where stuffed animals and a shredder will coexist.
So the Yankee room remains, but it has been put on notice. To increase its chances of survival and ensure the light on that lamp is never turned off, I am in the market for an affordable HDTV. And time. Plus more friends. Apply within. Must love Yankees.