Lisa and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, have teamed up to bring their hilarious and witty perspective on the everyday life as mother and daughter in their weekly essays, which you can find in their latest collection, Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat? With stories that will have you laughing out loud one minute and tearing up the next, Lisa and Francesca connect with readers on a deeply emotional level because of their honesty, warts and all. And by the time you turn the last page, you will feel like you just found two new best girlfriends. Earlier collections include Have a Nice Guilt Trip, Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space, and Best Friends, Occasional Enemies.
I don’t know where to begin.
But here we go.
You may recall that Francesca and I were asked to make an appearance on Ladies’ Night at the Philadelphia Phillies, attend a fun party with Phillies fans before the game, and I was invited to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
So behind the scenes, as soon as I got this news, I felt two things at once.
Excitement and panic.
The excitement is easy to describe. I’ve lived in Philadelphia all of my life and I love the Phillies. I grew up with the Phillies, and the game was always on in our house and every Sunday when we would visit my Uncle Rocky, Uncle Mikey, and Uncle Dominic.
The Flying Scottolines have a long history of watching other people do strenuous things.
My aunts watched, too, but they would have the TV on in the kitchen, while they were making gravy.
Sunday was not a Ladies’ Afternoon.
By the way, as much as we loved the Phillies, The Flying Scottolines never went to the games because that would have required leaving the couch.
Also we would eat Sunday dinner during the game, and ravioli doesn’t travel easy.
In my family, the only thing that trumps the Phillies is carbohydrates.
So to stay on point, the panic of being asked to throw out the first pitch is that I don’t know how to pitch.
I Googled “how to pitch” online and came up with videos that talked about “pitching mechanics,” “thumbs down,” “full windup,” “pronate your throwing hand, and you get the idea, a “nightmare.”
I told my friends that I was going to be throwing out the first pitch, and they sent me videos of people younger and more male than I am throwing terrible pitches, but that only made me worry more. I immediately went into hyperdrive, buying a mitt and a ball, and vowing to practice every day, which did not happen.
Mainly because I have a job and it is not does not involve learning to pitch.
And also I went on book tour where I pitched my book, which is not the same thing.
Luckily I’m working on a book about a baseball player, and I was researching it with the Great Valley High School Baseball team, and Coach Matthew Schultz and the guys were kind enough to give me a pitching lesson. Plus, my best friend and assistant Laura came over with her teenage sons Shane and Liam, who are not only great young men but great baseball players, and they both gave me pitching lessons.
Bottom line, I had a pitching staff of thirty.
For one woman, and one pitch.
Because on Ladies’ Night, there was one thing I wanted not to do, at all costs:
I didn’t want to Throw Like A Girl.
I wanted to overcome all clichés.
I didn’t want to embarrass all womankind.
I wanted to represent those of us with ovaries.
In short, I wanted to reach the plate.
And I wanted the ball to go straight.
Anyway, to make a long story short, Ladies’ Night was amazing, starting with Francesca and me getting real Phillies jerseys with our names on the back, which were long enough to cover my butt.
Then we went to our pre-game event, partied with a huge crew of Phillies fans, and met the great radio host Jim Jackson, and all the time we were kept on schedule by the incredibly adorable and efficient Catherine and Vanessa, who made sure that I got to the field on time for the first pitch.
The Phillies Organization is well-organized.
They should run the country.
And then there I was, on a gorgeous summer night, standing in front of the pitcher’s mound before God-knows-how-many Phillies fans at Citizens Bank Park.
The stadium is way bigger than it looks on TV, especially if you’re standing all alone, at its center.
I felt like an ant in the middle of an empty spaghetti bowl.
A girl ant.
Then the Philly Phanatic, whom I adore, took home plate to be my catcher.
And it was my moment of truth.
I tried to remember everything that my pitching staff had taught me.
And I threw the ball, which amazingly, went all the way to the Phanatic’s oversized glove and didn’t even bounce! And not only that, it went straight and not to either side like Fifty Cent, Michael Jordan, or even Gary Dell’Abate from the Howard Stern show!
Thanks so much to my coaches, and most of all, to the Philadelphia Phillies, who even won that night!
So in the end, I didn’t Throw Like a Girl at all.
I Threw Like a Woman.
By Lisa Scottoline 2016