By Sheenah Hankin

I used to look at them as a weird species, mumbling under my breath, "Those weird Yankee fans."

I am referring to the large numbers of passengers who fly out of New York airports in the late summer, bedecked in Yankee gear. Now of course I secretly admire their solution to the difficult postmodern question: How to look chic on planes without wearing pajamas? I lost my white gloves and pill box hat at the same time the British Airways stewardesses did. Along with my yearning to join the Mile High Club.

The truth is that I — an ex-Brit, now an American citizen — have slowly slipped over a decade or so into Yankee Mania, heavily influenced by my American husband, who got tired of my complaining about his lack of attention to me during baseball season, which of course is more than half the year.

So now I have raised sports-addicted kids. Despite my great efforts and notable success in teaching them to talk, when the Giants won the Super Bowl, son #2, who lives in L.A., called son #4 in New York, and their entire conversation was a wordless, prolonged, collective scream.

But who can I blame for the sports obsession? My grandson will be on base in his first Little League baseball practice, and guess who is going to see the game? Off I go. Still, there are priorities. Fearing that my grandson might become a weird L.A. Dodgers fan, I decided to go to Mo's and buy Yankee gear for the entire family. My long-term love affair with Joe Torre is clearly over, proving I have a commitment problem. I am a flirt and was never serious about him, and am now getting involved with Joe Girardi.

Rifling through the racks at Mo's, I revisited former lovers Derek, so gorgeous in the flesh, the Balanchine of baseball; A-Rod, so brooding and sexy, with the best tight-end in baseball — I know it's a football term, but it fits him so well. My new interests are in younger men: Cano and Cabrera — couldn't they use a little of my inner Mrs. Robinson? Whose name will grace the back of my shirt?

I bought Mariano Rivera, the perfect boyfriend. Reliable, consistent, trustworthy and successful — a man who always comes through.

So, geared up, we arrived at the airport and I suddenly realized in a New York nanosecond that I am one of them — a weird Yankee fan in pinstripes. I have finally and fully assimilated. I am proud to be an American. My mother would turn in her grave; may she rest in peace.

For more wisdom and wit from Sheenah Hankin, or to buy her books, click here.

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