Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's not Sports, it's their fans I can't stand...

My dad was an athlete all through college and high school, and so, like most dads with only daughters, attempted to instill in me a love of sports.  And it worked for many, many years.  I could still explain the basic mechanics of football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and even soccer (it was more impressive in the 80s before it was "cool").  However, something very important happened at the end of my adolescence that turned me off of sports forever.

I went to college.

And suddenly, I became part of "the team."  I was no longer an individual fan, cheering for whichever team I liked better based on record or players, or hell, even which colors or mascot I liked better.  No, I was now a Bruin, who hated Trojans at all costs.  Ironically, it was mostly Trojans who informed me of this.

While I'm all for a little friendly competition, I never really got the cross-town rivalry thing.  *I* wasn't on the team.  None of the Trojans that razzed me about being a Bruin played on any of the sports teams.  But somehow, we were bitter enemies because our schools shared a Zip Code.

The most bizarre thing is, this kind of mass hypnosis doesn't stop at college.  Tell a Raiders fan that you root for the Cowboys and you're all but persona non grata.  Or try to explain to an Angels Rally Monkey why you like the 49ers so much.  I dare you.

But that might not have deterred me if it wasn't for the chauvinism and condescension I get from the male fans whenever I show the slightest interest in sports.  Either my questions about the legality of a move are met with jeers, or my translation of the mechanics to a fellow female are met with fascination.  It's as though my gender precludes me from comprehending the mechanics of manipulating a ball around a field.

So a few years ago, I gave up.  I have no real love for sports apart from an understanding instilled in me by my father, so I think I will simply leave the cheering to the true fans.  At least until I'm old enough not to care about the other stuff.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Birthday Omphaloskepsis

I think one of the reasons some people detest birthdays is they frequently feel as though it is a knell of more time past, and less time ahead.  For me, it is a marker of progression, a clear point from which I can regard the previous trip around the sun, and determine what I most desire for the next one.

A big focus for me this year is going to be joy.  The previous year of my life has been filled with not a little doubt, pain, and fear.  And while I have had ample reason to feel these things, many people I know and admire would meet these circumstances with considerably more aplomb than I have.  This year, I wish to learn by their example and take life in stride.

Another focus for this year will be frugality.  I pay my bills on time and never want for food or gas, however I have literally no reserves, nothing set aside for the future, or even for rainy days (and Mondays - they always get me down!).  This WILL change.

Finally, I am going to "enhance my calm."  As I face the reality of two children becoming a part of my life, I know that patience and understanding are key to the development of any child.  I wish to be a positive force for love and good in these kids' lives, and so... patience for this padawan will be the name of the game.

I think that's plenty for the next trip around the sun.  Let's see how I've done on the next November the twentieth!

Monday, November 14, 2011

To My Future Stepkids - Installment 1

Hi Aurora and Gabe,

We haven't met in person yet, only over Skype and phone.  But already, I love you.  I ask your father about you constantly, and I rejoice in your victories, and sigh at your mistakes.  Trying to help your father be reunited with you has been a huge part of my world for the last few years, and now that we're so close, I'm a little scared.

I'm so terrified that I'll injure you.  That you'll resent me for not being your mom.  That you'll resent the kids I'd like to have with your father one day.  That I'll mess you up without even meaning to or realizing it.  But I promise you that I will always be doing my best to be fair and nurturing, to love you and cherish you the way you deserve.

I want to be a good stepmom to you.  A friend and advocate, someone you respect as an authority figure, and look up to as a role model.  I want to help your father raise you into functional, beautiful grown-ups, and cry at your weddings and cheer at your graduations, volleyball games, recitals... I want to be a good step-parent.

But I'll need your help.  I know that I'm not your mom, and I may have different rules that you're used to.  We both need to be understanding of each other as we try to get used to living with each other. At some point we will all make mistakes, but I think if we all try to work together to make a family, we'll be stronger and happier for it.

We're still working hard at finding a job for your father, and until then, I'm making myself and our house ready for you.  I just want so badly for us all to be a family, I hope that wanting and wishing and working is enough.

See you soon.