Kansas City, let’s go steady

I’m from Texas. Part of my heart will always belong to the Lone Star State. But I have a confession.

I’ve been having an affair with Kansas City, and it might be getting serious.

I’ve written before of my love/hate relationship with the place I’ve called home for going on four years. There’s plenty to do, but the weather aggravates me. The Kansas Prairie has given me a best friend whom I love like a sister, but I’ve also met some really craptastic people. The BBQ is amazing, but there’s no Wienerschnitzel.

There’ve been many, many moments over the years that I’ve wanted to throw my hands up in the air, burn down the house and move back to Texas. I pine for my family sometimes. There are occasions where I’d like to climb to the top of the Liberty Memorial and shoot the whole city the finger.

But there are also times like these.

Times where I see how beautiful the city can be when it struggles to experience a rebirth. Times where I drive down one of our scenic highways and breathe deeply of the clean air. Times where it seems like the city unites into a family against a common enemy. (Yeah, I’m talking to you, Robinson Cano.)

This weekend, I expected to be bummed and depressed. I expected to be missing my family now that they had gone back to Texas and to be worried sick about their recovery after the accident.

And on Friday night, I was. I wallowed a bit.

But then my husband came home with two tickets for the All Star Game Fan Fest, and…I wallowed ever harder.

“Man, eff baseball,” I thought. “I don’t even like it that much. And the Royals are terrible.”

But I went, mostly because of the shining joy in my husband’s eyes when he talked about who and what would be there. And I had a surprisingly great time.

We took lots of silly pictures, got to see a few of the women who played ball during WWII – I totally teared up during this, those women are amazing – and hubs got to test drive a Chevy Volt.

We ended up with bags of swag (that word makes me laugh) and my husband got a new hat and had fancy ASG logos put on it right then and there. He was on cloud nine, and I was thrilled to see him so happy.

The Monkey had a pretty great time too.

Then today while hubs was at work Monkey and I met some friends at the zoo who we hadn’t seen in over a month. The weather had finally cooled off and the clouds gave welcome relief from the sun. As I walked the miles between the cages and enclosures, I felt like I belonged.

No, not at the zoo, smartass.

I felt like I was at my zoo. In my city. That I wasn’t just a tourist. I wasn’t just passing through.

I felt a feeling of permanence, and it didn’t make me go running for the closest exit.

Later that day, I got the good news that a Freebirds was finally open in our area. It was just a “preview” opening, but for a $5 donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, you could get an entrée and drink.

We had to wait in line, of course, but the whole experience was a freakin’ blast. It was breezy, everyone was in a great mood, and the atmosphere inside the restaurant was as one would expect at a Freebirds – funky and fun.

When we got home to eat our burritos, we sat down to watch the Home Run Derby on TV. There was quite a bit of controversy concerning Cano and his remarks about choosing Billy Butler to hit for the AL, then not choosing him after all. Then he made a comment about loving to come to KC because there were always more Yankees fans in the stadium than KC fans.

And that pissed me right off.

I wasn’t the only one either. A sea of powder and royal blue booed Cano as he stepped up to the plate and hit ZERO home runs during the derby. They cheered every time a hit fell short.

And yeah, it was rude of them to do that. But they were rallying around something important – not just a sporting event.

People here are proud of their city. Sure, they bitch about it from time to time. They fight and make up with it, just like family – and nobody talks shit about your family.

I was proud of KC tonight. I was proud that they didn’t just sit there and twiddle their thumbs and put up with yet another insult. I was proud that they had a little fire in ‘em, a little attitude.

I’m proud to be one of them. I’m proud to be a Kansas Citian.

More KC love here.

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