My guess, although right now I'm not able to say why, is that 2016 is my last year living in Washington, DC.
That feels so weird to even write out. Anyway, back to bitter ranting. But maybe that's why this stings so badly.
I've been to more Nats games than I can count, both at RFK and Nats Park. I've freely shared my dedication to the team, and hell, I specifically WEAR Nats gear in almost every one of my races. It's a trademark. I was looking forward to following the Nats from my new locale, when/if I move.
Today, however, I'm just gut punched.
I have a long history in life of being picked last for things, or just being outright excluded from events, so I'm particularly sensitive to "cliqueyness" in groups. I quit applying to be the CUCB Social Runner after getting turned down enough, although to my shock they later asked me to be an ambassador. But, one group that is noticeably insular and clique-minded is #NatsTwitter.
#NatsTwitter is a hashtag, unsurprisingly, designed to find like-minded Nationals fans on the Tweeter and chat up games in real-time, or share Nats news. I use it sometimes, and it is, by far, the LEAST effective hashtag I could put out there (of the hashtags I use to be serious). While I've interacted with a few (just a few, like . . . 3?) NatsTwitter folks who've let me in their fold, they are --by far-- the online exception and not the rule. There's definitely a "Cool Kids Club" vibe to the rest, and it's pretty distasteful. They're generally insular, circular, and exclusive.
I noticed last year, when the Nationals put on their "Nats Clubhouse Social," that some of the "coolest" of the cool kids got invites. The Nats made no bones about it being a subjective choice, and those who got in reveled in that. I can't say I blame them at all for being so happy, but it wasn't anything but the Nats reaching out and picking people who got their attention enough over the prior year. The blogs/reports I read from people who went amounted to, "Whore it up more next year, and maybe you'll get their attention."
This year, the Nats went a step farther into the sunlight, and invited fans to nominate themselves.
I jumped at the chance:
@Nationals Because the guy with #Beakertude still runs his races showing off #Natitude! https://t.co/IzduksbDgQ#NatsClubhouseSocial— Tai Fung (@tai_fung) February 29, 2016
Then, I just . . . waited. I didn't spam entries like others did. I didn't cross-promote like I saw the in-crowd doing, where they highlighted each other's entries to the team. I just linked to the Nats page with Beakertude, which lays out my fandom for the Nats, my trademark of wearing their gear when I race, and even when I train. I kept waiting. Then, just this afternoon, I saw #NatsClubhouseSocial popping up from Nats fans who made the cut. They were going. Tonight.
Me realizing I got passed over by @Nationals for the #natsclubhousesocial. Again. #NeverInTheCoolKidsClub pic.twitter.com/xI5cs7eltg— Tai Fung (@tai_fung) March 17, 2016
Two things struck me:
1. Damn, not good enough again, and
2. HOLY SHIT SOME OF THE SAME PEOPLE GOT RE-INVITED.
Not cool. Not. Cool.
It's one thing to put something out there and let us peons seek to get into the Cool Kids Club. It's way the hell another to offer, in multiple years, the same folks to come back to this event. That means the "entries" weren't that, so much as just a circular means of an in-crowd taking care of their own.
Whatever. I'll keep supporting the team, even if I'm living in (REDACTED) in 2016 and beyond.
But this sucks, and yes, I'm bitter. The in-crowd will keep having their circle jerk, congratulating themselves on how amazing they are, and I'll be outside, training. Because unlike #NatsTwitter, I find runners far more egalitarian.
Have I mentioned I'm bitter?
Fuck it, clicking publish on this blog before I reconsider posting this.
No, really! An update!
Ok, writing this on Tuesday night, 5 April, after having run the Cherry Blossom 10-miler. If you recall, I also volunteered again at the race expo the Friday before the race.
So. Funny story. Well, not funny to ME.
|This is more like it.|
What follows is (roughly) our exchange:
Me: (blah blah blah, I am doing this CUCB thing)
Her: Wow, that's great, how did you get to do that?
Me: Well, I'm pretty active on social media, and have a history with the race, so they asked.
Her: Hmm, my friend who's running this is really active on twitter, I wonder if she should do this next year?
Me: Does she have a lot of interaction with CUCB, or talking about the race?
Her: No, but she's on Twitter a lot.
Her: Yeah, she really is. SHE EVEN GOT INVITED TO THIS COOL THING AT NATS PARK.
Me: Wait, what?
Her: Yeah, she and her friends all nominated each other for this thing, and they got in.
Me: (starting to feel woozy) Wait . . . what?
Her: It was really cool! They got all this free Nats stuff at a preview.
Me: Was it the "Nats Clubhouse Social?"
Her: Yes! That was it! Her friends got together and even nominated her dogs, and so THEY got a separate invite too!
Me: (Has some trouble hearing, because CCRuns, who is watching this exchange is --literally-- doubled over laughing at me, because she knew how crushed I was)
Me: HER FUCKING DOGS GOT A GODDAMN INVITE??
Her: (not smiling as much) . . . um, yeah. I didn't want to make you angry.
Me: You're not. Look at her (pointing to CC, who is STILL laughing). All good.
Her: It was just a thing I guess her friends did for her.
Me: Yeah, I get it.
Her: (She now refers to her friend's first name, which I won't say) and her friends all wrote the Nationals about her and her dogs, and they got the invite.
Me: (Stews more, while CC dries her eyes from laughing)
It turns out that --literally-- just before I walked a block or two from work to the Expo, I had been (surprise!) on Twitter. This person whose DOGS got invited came up in the algorithm as a "who to follow" suggestion. I hadn't followed, but her handle was easy to remember. I normally hate when people say, "Oh, you're from New York? Do you know X?" because it's so random. But I couldn't help it. The names matched, and it was coincidental.
Me: Is your friend's twitter handle (X)?
Her: Yes! That's her! OMG she must be twitter famous!
Me: SHE IS NOT FUCKING TWITTER FAMOUS GODDAMN IT SHE CAME UP ON MY FUCKING SCREEN 30 MINUTES AGO.
Her: I'm sorry, I didn't want to make you mad.
Me: I'M FUCKING WELL NOT MAD THIS IS FUNNY LOOK AT MY FRIEND LAUGHING (again) AT ME. ANYWAY HER FUCKING DOGS GOT A FUCKING INVITE THAT'S ADORABLE. REALLY.
|I AM PERFECTLY FINE|
|WELCOME TO THE CUCB EXPO MAY I HELP YOU PLEASE?|
Cliquey. So. Fucking. Cliquey.
I know, I know. I'll let it drop. But I had to update with this info. Why should CC be the only one to laugh at me??
|See? I've already covered what most people are thinking.|