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Women Need to Back Fox’s Pitch

Women in baseball. Is it far-fetched? Let’s compare swim caps to ball caps: Katie Ledecky to Ginny Baker.

If a jocular pat on the behind after a good inning (episode one) was all women need overcome to play ball, one of us would be kissing necklaces, counting steps, and spitting sunflower seeds by now. But other hurdles antagonize us.

Athletchic is first to commend—celebrate!—the birth of Ginny Baker into the MLB on Fox’s new Thursday night prime-time show Pitch. Sure, she’s tall, dark, and stunningly beautiful (we are still talking TV here) but she brings with her a plethora of real-life problems that might occur if a woman suited up. And that’s a pretty big if.

If a woman can play ball. Can she? We can’t look at all the angles to that question but let’s look at a blaring few.

Physicality

Pardon the pun but do we have the balls to play? Technically no. Figuratively, yes. Our hearts, lungs and muscles may be smaller, but today science constantly raises the bar. Better training, equipment, and nutrition make us bigger, stronger, faster.

Disagree? I challenge your opinion with two words: Katie Ledecky.

I know. Good as she is, her 3:56:46 in the 400 freestyle still lags 16 seconds behind the men’s record. But hear me out. There are 30 MLB teams (I think you know where I’m going) with rosters of 25 (I could debate that number but don’t need to) for a total of 750 male athletes playing professional ball. So let’s take balls out of the scenario (and at the same time leave them in) and convert those players to swimmers. Teams of 25 swimmers on 30 teams swimming the 400 freestyle and guess who shows up as number 311 on the men’s list at http://www.fina.org/content/swimming-world-ranking right between good old Alex and Eric?

You got it. Our man Katie.

In fact, look further. I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the Archie Bunkers of men’s baseball, but that puts her way above Ginny Baker’s fifth-on-the-roster spot. Hell, a few torn rotator cups of team mates and Ledecky is in the starting line-up.

So move on to a second hurdle.

Punctuality

How’s the timing? Is Prime Time the right hour for a story about a profession female ball player?

Baseball is all about timing. Stepping up to the plate, swinging the bat to meet the pitch perfectly, tagging home plate before the ball slips into the catcher’s mitt. Does Fox earn a run?

Athletchic encourages more women and girls to get behind Ginny Baker. We feel she’s arrived on the mound at just the right time. If you don’t think so, we challenge your opinion with one word. Hillary.

With public audiences drooling over Hill versus Donnie reality TV (oh wait, strike reality), what’s a little girl-meets-boy on-the-pitcher-mound saga? Fox couldn’t have timed this show better if they tried. It seems orchestrated from the upper deck. And if you feel the possibility of having a female president in 2016 doesn’t prove perfect timing then let’s mention Mo’ne Davis. (Athletchic isn’t sure she wasn’t the inspiration behind this story.)

Years ago, a little girl didn’t have the opportunity to play ball like the boys. She grew up on the sidelines tangled in ribbons while boys logged precious minutes, hours, days on the field. Don’t think that doesn’t count. How many families taunting boys with major league potential didn’t pack bags for those snowball prodigies and send them south for winter to spend more time with a girl’s best friend? (Don’t even tell me you didn’t get that.) Time spent in the diamond is everything.

Fox’s Pitch is the story of a girl, Ginny, with a talent, pitching. She has the balls to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the boys and play major league baseball. She’s fifth on the roster, and her feminism may have saved her from a trip back to the minor leagues, but sometimes physicality and punctuality has to be brushed aside and an exception made. Because on this television show, out in the stands, little girls sitting in bleachers have tossed out their Cinderella costumes for Ginny Baker costumes. They wave signs that say “Go Ginny” with thoughts of “it could be me” dancing in their heads.

And out in TV land, little girls sit on couches, wearing Nike sneakers, drinking coke, and responding to their brothers when they say, “that could never happen,” with a hard, cold, determined and strong, “don’t be so sure.”

What could be better than that?

Thanks Fox. Girls? Let’s get behind Ginny Baker and support Pitch.

_____________________________________________________________________________ Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer. Follow her on Instagram @athletchicz or Twitter @tweetyz.

 

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Pitch -A Prime Time Series with Pitch-Perfect Timing

Is this concept far-fetched? A woman playing professional baseball?

If you answer yes, then ask yourself what the responses would have been 100 years ago to this question: Is this concept far-fetched? A woman president?

I thank my lucky stars times are changing. I am the mother of three strong children. Two are girls and today those two girls have so much opportunity it would make my grandmother’s head spin.

But I digress, back to baseball.

Pitch is the new “what if?” series on Thursday night. What if a girl made it to the MLB? What if a teammate hit her on the butt after she had a good inning? What if the crowds got behind her just because she was a woman? What if she was named an all-star, not because she was deserving, but because she was the only woman to make it to the major leagues?

Starting to sound familiar? If not, you aren’t a news junkie glued to the presidential election like me.

This prime-time show has been timed perfectly. It isn’t merely about pitching and batting. It’s about women. Struggle. And Life. Its name, two-fold. It pitches the story of female pitcher Ginny Baker and the concept of a woman submerged in a man’s world. Which one of us hasn’t walked that baseline?

As if a girl playing baseball wasn’t a big enough dream, last night producers elected Ginny to the MLB all-star team. Clearly she wasn’t the best candidate—but she was a girl. And girls have dreams. And dreams pay big at the box office. So regardless of how skilled (qualified mind you) she was, the voting crowds of baseball fans checked her name (on the ballot) and Ginny became an all-star.

I’d like to stay out of politics but this is way too tempting. Fiction assimilating reality. Pitch comes at a time when we girls need to dream big.

I listened as Michelle Obama spoke yesterday with the emotion and poise of a woman who knows her place and importance in history. One who doesn’t want our world to take the slightest step backwards for our girls. So she’s encouraging a vote for Hilary. I envisioned she and her girls, later that evening, sitting down to watch all the news reels about the elections and her perfectly executed speech and happening across the silly little drama series of a female pitcher who dared to dream big. I think she’d like it.

I’ll be blunt because I can. I’m not crazy about Hillary. She will never understand my middle-class trials. I hate her hand in Benghazi, cringe about her emails, and worry she’ll open the borders and ask the middle class working souls to pick up the tab. Political analysts will crucify me for this but at 59 years old, I’ll blame this skeptical opinion on my upbringing: The Republican Party protects the rich. The Democratic Party protects the rich and the poor. No matter what promises they make to us, we middle-classers are left standing alone, fending for ourselves.

Case in point: I hear Chelsea Clinton came to my hometown. She flew in and out for a $250 per plate luncheon. Didn’t speak to a soul other than those she was paid to speak to. It saddened me. I’m so proud of Hillary and Chelsea as they trudge down the line, stamping a path to make future travel for women easier. But I can’t help but feel the Clintons think they’re above the rest of us. Too good for us.

Still, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. Why? Well because I am a woman and the mother of two woman, and the alternative? I can’t possibly go there—take that step (or maybe even a giant leap) backwards.

Hillary may not go down in history as the best president, but she won’t be the worst. Likewise, she may not be the best role model (I’ll never condone staying with a man who has cheated on you countless times) but she won’t be the worst. She’ll take her spot in history, well, because it’s time for this story. Just like it’s time for Ginny to play ball.

I love Pitch. It’s so fictitious, it’s almost real.

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Cyndie Zahner is a freelance writer and faithful fan of Pitch. Follow her on Twitter @Tweetyz and Instagram @athletchicz.

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Reality Recap – Real Housewives of Orange County – Season 10, Episode 1 – #RHOC

Under Construction

Real Housewives of Orange County Season 10 started last night and it was filled with drama! Let’s see where we pick up with our favorite OC women:

Heather Dubrow

The Dubrow Family is still building their MASSIVE home. Have you guys ever seen the documentary Queen of Versailles? It is a documentary about a family who is building one of the largest homes in the United States. When the economic crisis hits, the family goes broke and cannot finish the building of their home. (Rest in peace to their daughter, Victoria Siegel, who passed away this week. Sad story!) Well Heather in this episode reminds me of that movie. I don’t know what kind of money Terry is making but it must be a TON because the house is HUGE! Almost too big. At one point we see Heather trying to remember how many bathrooms are in the home. I think she finally counted and it was around 14! Her closet is the size of my entire apartment. (Depressing.) So in this episode we see Heather with the kids and Terry walking around their new home which looks like it is nowhere near being done.

Tamra Judge

When we pick up with Tamra we find out that she is having boob problems. First she got huge boobs when she was 21, then she got them taken out, and now she wants new boobs. So we see her going to get her boobs done. She is sad because she remembers the last time she went under the knife she had her friends around her. This time, it is just Eddie. Tamra lets us know that she has watched last season and is trying to make changes in her life, like thinking before she speaks and not telling other people’s secrets. She admits that it’s not her style and that it has been difficult. I must say, Tamra looks absolutely amazing. She looks better now than she did when she was young. I hope to look like her at that age. Go Tamra!

Aside from the new boobs, Tamra is putting together a baby shower for her son, Ryan and daughter-in-law, Sarah. Tamra and Sarah have come a long way this year. When Ryan first told her that he met a girl on Instagram and they were getting married, Tamra was devastated. Since then, Tamra and Sarah have become extremely close. It is really cute to see them interacting on this episode. Tamra is excited about baby Ava coming. She has wanted a baby for some time and thinks that this is a great solution for her. Tamra turns her fitness studio into a country themed baby shower for the expecting couple. During the shower scene, we see old housewife, Lynne, show up. She and Tamra are still friends and they take a second to catch us up on her life. Lynne is now divorced and we see her here with her grandson, Carter.

Vicki Gunvalson

Vicki is still working her ass off. That is one thing that I really respect about this woman. In this episode we find out that Brooks has moved in with her. She explains that it was tough to come home and have no one there to talk. So Brooks is here now and she is happy. We come to find out that Brooks is battling cancer. This is hard but Vicki seems to be taking good care of him. She is trying to keep his enthusiasm for life up by taking him on a trip to Mexico.

Shannon Beador

Shannon and husband, David, are having some serious turmoil in their relationship. The two are headed to a couples retreat. Once there, the therapist asks Shannon why they are coming to the retreat. Shannon divulges that she gets easily angered over things and she has been trying to fix that in herself. She also explains that David has had an affair. In the confessional, Shannon describes a time in which she caught her husband whispering to someone on the phone and later found dozens of hotel receipts in his brief case. She asked him if he was having an affair. He said yes. The couple is now here trying to mend their relationship.

New Housewife – Meghan King Edmonds

Aside from catching up with our old favorites, there is a new housewife in town. Her name is Meghan King Edmonds. She is the wife of former professional baseball player, Jim Edmonds. This woman is gorgeous. She is super young, super blonde, super tall and super skinny. She and Heather are friends and we actually saw her last season at the party Heather had for the breaking of ground for her new home. Meghan tells us how she became Jim Edmonds third wife. She explains that she had three rules for dating, all of which were broke. First, she would never date anyone who was more than 11 years older than her, Jim is 14 years older. Second, she would never date anyone who had children, Jim has four kids. Third, she would never date a professional athlete, Jim is a former professional baseball players. She is funny and talks about being closer in age to her step-daughter, who is 17, than she is to her husband, who is 44. She seems like she is going to be a great fit for this show as she is a housewife, she is beautiful, she is funny and in some of the scenes for upcoming shows, it looks like she loves drama! (Yay!)

That is all for this episode, just a general round up of what everyone is up to. There is much more in store for this season and I cannot wait to see what goes down!

Until next time…

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Jessie Zahner is the owner of Athletchic.com. You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter at @Athletchic.

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Baltimore City Protestors Want Answers on the Death of 25 Year Old Freddie Gray

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Thousands took to the streets of Baltimore City on Saturday, April 25th to protest the death of 25 year old Baltimorean, Freddie Gray. The protest began peacefully as protestors marched from the West District to Baltimore City Hall in downtown Baltimore. Protests became violent when protestors moved through the city to Oriole Park at Camden Yards where they blocked main roads and tried to stop others from entering the ballgame.

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Protestors demanded answers from the Baltimore City Police Department.

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A young boy joins the protestors holding a sign with a powerful message, “Stop Killing Black People”.

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Protestors hold up signs outside of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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A man holds a black American flag during the protest in downtown Baltimore, MD on Saturday, April 25, 2015.

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Police call in back-up to help with security for the protestors.

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A protestor yells at cops demanding answers for their actions.

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Above, Baltimore Police prepare to move their line forward after dozens of people broke into and trashed police cars that were parked along the street.

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An innocent man lies on the ground pretending to be tied up as a display for the police during Saturday’s protest.

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“Hands up don’t shoot,” protestors yell and display their message in front of the Baltimore Police.

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People gather on the bridge the connects the Baltimore Convention Center to the Hilton Hotel to see the Freddie Gray Protestors.

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A line of police stand in riot gear during the Freddie Gray Protests.

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Violent protestors continued to disrupt the city by breaking windows of nearby businesses and looting. Here is the 7eleven on the corner of Howard Street and Baltimore Street. Looters came in, stole items and the cash registers from the popular downtown convenient store.

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Jessie Zahner is the owner of Athletchic.com. You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter at @Athletchic.

3 Things You Need to Know Today

1. #HORNETSBACK – Charlotte Bobcats are finally the Charlotte Hornets, again!! Yes, it is true. Fred Whitfield, COO of the Hornets stated, “Today (May 20, 2014) we complete a task that has never been accomplished before. Bringing a name back to its original market.” Social media and the internet exploded yesterday with excitement about the name change, from poll questions to throw back pictures of Muggsy, Grandmama and Zo, here are something’s you may have missed.

From this moment on

The Charlotte Bobcats Twitter page @bobcats gets really weird…

New Orleans Hornets

The new Charlotte Hornets Twitter account @hornets gets really awesome…

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We come to find that the 5 ft. 3 in. point guard — Muggsy Bogues — is everyones favorite Hornets player ever!

Favorite Hornets Player

2. #NBADraftLottery – The NBA held their draft lottery last night and the fans are not too excited.  For the second year in a row and the third time in four years, the Cleveland Cavaliers will pick at the #1 spot in the 2014 draft.  This poses the question that ESPN.com Poll Center asked, “Does the NBA need to change its draft system?”  We come to find out that the people of Ohio don’t think so!

NBA Draft Pic

Along with that came this follow up question about wanting your team to tank the season if they have no chance of making playoffs.  Here we find mixed emotions from the worldwide fan base on tanking

Tanking Season

3. #TanakaTime ….not exactly – Star pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, of the New York Yankees walked into Wrigley Field yesterday with a 34-0 record in his last 42 starts. Fortunately for AL East fans everywhere, the 16-27 Chicago Cubs, with Jason Hammel on the mound, served Tanaka his first loss since 2012.

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Jessie Zahner is the owner of Athletchic.com. You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter at @Athletchic.

 

Red Sox, Rings, and Selfies: Another Page in American History

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(Image from Red Sox Twitter Page)

Friday afternoon was a joyous day for Bostonians. It was the third time in ten years that Red Sox fans could celebrate in the stands while players took the field to receive their World Series rings. It was an epic celebration with politicians, helicopters and, of course, the magnificently large World Series 2013 Champions banner that nearly blanketed the entire Green Monster.

Fans live for celebrations like this, but if you’re a true Red Sox fan, then you know it hasn’t always been easy. For 86 years, Red Sox fans only dreamed of a Friday celebration like this as they were doomed by the Curse of the Bambino. It wasn’t until 2004 that they could finally hold their heads up high and wear their red and whites with pride.

2013 was no 2004. It was better.

While 2004 was the year the curse was broken, 2013 was the year the broken were mended. Boston baseball was no longer about nine players and a Green Monster. It was about drive, raw pain, determination, hard work and camaraderie. It was the year that the players went out game after game and pushed themselves because down the street the victims of the Boston Marathon were working harder.

True to form, World Series MVP, David Ortiz (Big Papi) shared his celebration with fans. When police officer Richard Donohue, who had been injured in a shootout with the marathon bombers, came up to him for a selfie, David Ortiz obliged. Just three days before on the south lawn of the White House, Big Papi had asked President Obama for the honor of posing for a selfie with him. So once again with sunglasses on, Big Papi leaned in for a picture, and Donohue clicked the icon. (Only this time, it wasn’t about Samsung, marketing, lawyers or national pride—it was just a selfie between two champions.) Big Papi paid-it-forward and the result: two frames of American History captured in one week’s time.

The History Books will certainly claim the Marathon as part of the Red Sox’ 2013 inspiration, but no page will ever come close to capturing the heart-felt camaraderie of the players and those victims on that Friday afternoon in Boston when champions and victims stood shoulder to shoulder at Fenway Park. They all wore red and white jerseys and, from the distance, you could barely tell them apart.

Resources: http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/35623/photos-scenes-from-fenway-ceremony

_________________________________________________________________________ Cyndie Zahner is a free lance writer. Follow her on Twitter at @tweetyz or on Instagram as athletchicz.

Papi’s Presidential Selfie

Yesterday was the first off-day for the Boston Red Sox Baseball Club. The World Series Champions took to the White House to meet President Obama and tour his home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in Washington, DC.

‘Excited’ is an understated emotion you could use to mildly describe the players feelings about being at the White House. The home of the President and his family had the players completely ecstatic. Prior to the event, left fielder, Jonny Gomes bought the team matching American Flag blazers which the Red Sox leaked on their Twitter page.

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(Image from Red Sox Twitter Page)

Gomes was the only player to wear the blazer to meet the President.

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(Image from Red Sox Twitter Page)

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(Image from Red Sox Twitter Page)

Gomes wasn’t the only excited Bostonian baseballer to get overly enthusiastic about the event. Big Papi, David Ortiz, was so thrilled he decided to take a ‘selfie’ with President Obama which quickly turned into one of the most popular selfies of all time.

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(Image from Red Sox Twitter Page)

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(Image from Red Sox Twitter Page)

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(Image from Red Sox Twitter Page)

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(Image from Red Sox Twitter Page)

The Presidential selfie was so popular that Big Papi was even trending on Twitter.

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(Image from Red Sox Twitter Page)

This selfie may just be the most popular selfie of all time. But for now, the Sox are back in Baltimore ready for game 2 with the Orioles tonight.

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Jessie Zahner is the owner of Athletchic.com. You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter at @Athletchic.

ESPN Voters Say Opening Day is Irrelevant

ESPN Voters Say Opening Day is Irrelevant

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(Image from ESPN.com)

Today, ESPN.com held a poll that asked site visitors: How much baseball did you watch on Opening Day?

Being the baseball loving stats nerd that I am, I answered the question the way that only 9% of the country did. I watched several Opening Day games; I was in the minority. A majority 52% of site visitors claimed they did not watch a single game yesterday, on Opening Day. I find this statistic very hard to believe. While checking my social media pages yesterday, all you could see for hours were people posting pictures of their babies in their favorite baseball onesies, party animals tailgating at 8:00AM, smiling faces at a ballpark and post-after-post of “Happy Opening Day”, “Baseball is back!” and “Finally!”.

So did only 48% of the world really tune in to Opening Day? Aren’t we trying to declare Opening Day as a recognized holiday in the United States? If so, what kind of backing is that!

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Jessie Zahner is the owner of Athletchic.com. You can follow her on Instagram (Athletchic) or on Twitter at @Athletchic.

Opening Day: What to do if your Hubby Has a Bromance—The $838 Payback

 Opening Day: What to do if your Hubby Has a Bromance

The $838 Payback

 

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My husband is a sports nerd.

Really, I can’t take much more. Yesterday was Opening Day for the Orioles and they were playing my husband, Jeff’s, favorite team—the Red Sox.

So naturally Jeff was in Baltimore stalking players. He was with my first-born child, Jessie, of whom he’s brainwashed into being a Red Sox fan and this is bad because Jessie is twitter-savvy. The Red Sox made the mistake of posting a picture; Jessie recognized the Baltimore hotel in the picture; and immediately my email began sputtering out picture after picture of Red Sox sightings.

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(Image from Red Sox Twitter Account.)

Jeff and I have been married for 32 years so you’d think I’d be use to the Opening Day scramble by now, but I’m not. He took a day off work to drive to Baltimore. You have to understand my irritation. This is a man who wouldn’t take a day off work for our honeymoon, to move his children to college or to drop me off at the hospital to have surgery. He’s a typical fan with a whole set of sports-induced priorities.

Despite the hard feelings, I’m still smiling. He’s with my daughter and what a great relationship they have—scurrying around Baltimore in their running attire, laughing and talking about the big game. I, too, was lucky enough to have had a great relationship with my dad as did Jeff with his dad. So I’m happy that family trait lives on.

My son, Zak, gave an eye-opening speech at his Grandpa Zahner’s wake three years ago. It truly was an aha moment for me. He said through the Red Sox his grandfather had created a way to keep his family together. It was an unbreakable bond. I never realized it until then, but he was right. No matter where life takes them, all three of my children call their Dad after a game. It is a wonderful connection.

As for me? Don’t worry, girls. I’m fine. I am happily covering the home front, but it’s costly. Take a good look at that picture of my husband with Red Sox catcher David Ross. (Is that a dunce cap Jeff has on?) That picture cost him a little more than a trip to Baltimore.

Dad and Ross

Jeff, honey, while you were away…

Allburn Florists — $68 (Jeff’s attempt at damage control.)
The Limited — $250 (Ok this was last week when I found out you were going.)
Ann Taylor — $156 (You have to love 50% off.)
Nike — $132 (Stole some running shoes for $45!)
Church of the Cross — $20 (Feeling a little guilty I didn’t spend more here.)
Full tank of gas — $40 (The mall is an hour away.)
Lunch — $12 (Oh that’s for energy.)
Ben & Jerry’s — $13 (This one’s for you honey.)
Dinner — $47 (Famished.)
Broadway Show — $100 (Well deserved night out.)
Total — $838

Thanks Honey! 

_________________________________________________________________________ Cyndie Zahner is a free lance writer. Follow her on Twitter at @tweetyz or on Instagram as athletchicz.