If you didn’t already know, or if you haven’t checked out this blog post yet, (shameless plug there), summertime is the season for apple pie, fireworks, nasty mosquitoes, and also, summer means baseball season is in full swing. And along with the possibility of a date at a baseball game (again, see above hyperlinked blog post) potentially, a date at one of your city/town/village’s finest batting cages.
Now, it’s one thing to know about baseball, to know the ins and outs and how the game is played and the rules and such. It’s a whole completely different ballpark (haha get it) if you actually have to play. I’ll admit it, I know my fair share of baseball facts and trivia and the rules and all that jazz, but I’m not willingly lining up to go stand in a cage where a machine blows balls past my face (I feel like there’s a “that’s what he said” line here but I’m just gonna let that one lie). Batting cages aren’t like going mini golfing, it’s like a more extreme form of a sports-related date. Sure, you or your date could lose a handle on the club and hit someone, like something straight out of the Three Stooges, or you could hit someone with an errant bright pink ball (bonus points if it’s your guy and he deserves it. Only counts if it’s you know where though. Ok that was a little mean. But kind of funny right?) but most of the time, going mini-golfing isn’t putting your life at risk. Unless you’re deathly afraid of windmills or if the sight of a creepy clown will cause you to lose your footing and potentially break your ankle or some other major bones of the body. Ok so going to the batting cages isn’t putting your life at risk either but room for error and thus injury is much higher here.
This post is dedicated to those who find themselves going on a date to the great unknown this summer, i.e. the batting cages. and below is a list of tips for getting through it. And not just getting through it, actually having fun along the way.
List of survival tactics for surviving a date at the batting cages (Anyone else feel like you should get a badge afterwards?)
1. Dress for the occasion. Listen, I know you love your heels and that new dress you just bought and you can’t wait to show them off. I promise you, and you’ll be thanking me for this, the batting cages are not the place. If that batting cage you are going to is located on a runway in Paris, than your percentage of getting away with a dress and heels goes up from 0 to maybe 2.4%. Maybe. If you’re a dress kind of girl, you can probably get away with a roomy sundress and some cute sneaks. Remember I said probably there. Also, no maxi dresses…bad idea. Let me put it in perspective really quickly. You know how we ladies love a guy casually dressed in a white-t and jeans? There ya have it, same goes for the gents. Some cut-offs and a t-shirt, you’ll be good to go. Also, make sure you keep the jewelry in check too and if you can bear it, no rings.
2. Look cute. Even if you completely stink and don’t hit a single ball, you’ll still feel cute. And at the end of the day, if you look good you feel good, ‘no what I’m sayin? Your guy will see it too.
3. Keep your eye on the ball (I know I know, an actual baseball tidbit). Now I know you’re not swinging for homers (or maybe you are, more power to ya) and you may want to close your eyes, but trust me when I tell you, keep them open. Not only will you be able to see where you are going if you duck out of the way, but if you’re actually trying to make contact, you aren’t really going to be able to hit something that you can’t see. Just think of how hard pin the tail on the donkey or swinging at a pinata is. When it’s acceptable to close your eyes on the date? When your guy inevitably takes your helmet off and commences to kiss you because he can’t stand your cuteness. Close your eyes at this point. Or be adventurous and keep them open. Whatever one works for you and your guy, I ain’t hear to judge.
4. Wear your hair in some kind of braid or ponytail if it’s long. Or at least have an extra ponytail holder on your wrist for when it’s time to bat. You don’t want to be eating your hair and consequently the ball because you couldn’t see it before you felt it on your face, just in case in won’t stay out of your face. And no scrunchies. If you want to know why, just ask Carrie Bradshaw what she thinks of scrunchies (or YouTube it because Carrie Bradshaw is obviously a fictional character, as fabulous as she is). Bonus points if you wear a baseball hat. But if you do, please at least know what team you’re reppin.’ Got it g? You don’t have to go as far as sweatbands though, just fyi. And if you’re rockin fabulous short hair, bring some bobby pins though just in case to pin back and strays.
5. Don’t try to act like a ditz. We’ve all seen the chick flicks where a couple is on a date at some type of sporting venue and the girl character clearly tries to suck. It’s annoying am I right? Unless that’s your go-to move. At which point I apologize but I mean, come on. It’s one thing if you swing and miss 20 times in a row because you just have no hand-eye coordination at all, like yours truly. It’s another to swing, miss, and do a fake laugh that makes your date’s ears start to bleed. If you want that quintessential “lesson” from your guy where he puts his body on you to help you out, like in every chick flick known to human kind, than be the courageous woman that you are and ask for a few pointers. He probably will jump at the chance to show off his knowledge. But once he helps you out, please I beg you, no high pitched fake-laughing. If you want another date, you’ll thank me for the internet slap in the face.
6. Bring some spare change. Batting cages are run by these nifty little machines that make you give up your change in order to be pelted with baseballs. They may require certain coins which you’ll then have to get at some sort of office or stand and if that’s the case case, you’re going to be left jingling with the change you brought in your pocket for the rest of the afternoon. (Maybe make up a little dance) But if they do in fact take quarters, wham bam look at you, you saved the day. I’m sure your guy is going to be equally impressed. Super impressed if the change machine is out that today too so he can’t exchange his bills for quarters and has to rely on your awesome preparedness. (I don’t know if you can call ahead and arrange it to be broken but hey, somethin’ to think about and look in to)
7. Don’t work out your arms the day before. You can maybe do some practice swings at your place to get a feel for the movement, maybe even do some stretches before you get to the cages the day of the big date. But whatever you do, don’t do anything too strenuous. Why? Bottom line, your arms are going to hurt after spending an afternoon at the batting cages, ain’t no doubt about it. Now, it’s one thing to complain about your arms being tired after swinging a bat for an hour. It’s a whole ‘nother ballgame (get it get it) when you complain before you even get there. No one likes a whiner, so really, just say no.
8. Don’t complain about the helmet. Yes, this piece of equipment protecting your brain from catastrophic injury will smell. Think of the helmet like the bowling shoes of the batting cages. Just like the shoes you get, they clean the helmets sure, but that doesn’t get rid of the certain musk that comes along with it. You won’t get lice or any other kind of weird hair thing so don’t worry about that. And if you do, I’m sure your guy would be more than happy to help you fumigate your place. If you were super pissed because they just ruined your latest blowout and it took you weeks to get that appointment at DryBar (I don’t think it takes weeks to get an appointment, just an exaggeration) you could also sue the batting cage establishment. I wouldn’t recommend that but ya know, to each its own.
9. Bring some snacks, extra points for you if they are baseball related. Something along the lines on sunflower seeds, gum, peanuts. I also love Cracker Jacks. My baseball-coaching boyfriend also says that beef jerky is a big baseball thing to eat. I’m not so sure about that but whateves, (It’s comments like that that make me not so sure about him.) (Totally 100% joking there. Promise.) Anyways, you and your guy will probably get a bit hungry if you’re out at the cages for a while. Unless that’s just me who I swear has to eat every 2 hours. If you prepare and bring some snacks, your date won’t be interrupted by going to have to buy something and also, your guy will get another glimpse of how thoughtful you are. (You are welcome)
10. Lastly, just have fun. Your guy is already going to think you’re one awesome gal because said yes to a date where you could literally have your head ripped off (ok a bit much but still, go you). So even if you suck and don’t hit anything, put a smile on your face. Essentially, grin and bear it. And don’t be afraid to show emotion or get excited. If you get into it and want to let out some kind of grunt/squeal/noise that you don’t know how you made when you swing or better yet make contact with the ball, go for it. I’m sure your guy will love that you are having a great time and aren’t afraid to let loose.
I hope you all enjoy this list of survival tactics. The batting cages can be and are fun, don’t let all of my exaggeration fool you. They can however be a bit intimidating for a first-timer. Heck, I’ve been multiple times and I still get nervous. The most important thing is to have fun and don’t be afraid to be your completely awesome self.
Any of you fearless readers have any sports-related date stories they want to share?
Have a wonderful holiday weekend! Happy 4th of July!