Saturday, November 27, 2004

Good and Bad News

Hello all. By "all" I'm speaking euphemistically, or optimistically. I'll start with the good news. My alma mater's football team won their first round playoff game tonight, coming from behind to beat a strong Georgia Southern team. It was their first playoff victory in school history, and probably the first time they've played on national television. It was on The Deuce (ESPN2), so that counts. I was playing the fan-boy role well, throwing my arms up and cheering when things went well; cursing and hitting the arm of the couch when they didn't. It's strange that I was so into it, though, because when I was in college, I couldn't have cared less how the football team did. I usually worked on Saturdays, and the team was just presumed to be bad. Hockey was the big sport to follow, and not just because I was (and still am) a rabid hockey fan. The hockey team was always competitive, and game nights were a fun event. The stands were large-scale collapsible bleachers on either side of the ice. No seating on the ends behind the goals, no upper decks or boxes. The arena itself was nicknamed The Barn, but actually more resembled a large, 1940s airplane hanger. It was called Snively, which sounds like a cartoon villain. It was always cold inside. After the home team scored their first goal, a representative of one of the local fraternities would throw a big dead fish onto the ice. After each goal, they would play Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2" over the PA. And instead of shouting "Hey" when the song shouts "Hey," everyone would shout "Sieve", faster and faster, waving their hands around holding up as many fingers as goals scored by the home team and pointing at the opposing goalie. It was great! The year after I left, they built a new, kick-ass arena like all the other hockey arenas out there. Not only is it a great place to watch a game (so I hear, grrr!), they also built a really cool sports and rec center in the old hangar building with MUCH better exercise and intra-mural facilities than what was there during my tenure! Oh well, progress. The team still hasn't won a national championship, though they've been to the final twice in the last 5 years. Still waiting.

Now the bad news. I mentioned the capitalistic zeal with which my wife and I attacked Crazy Shopping DayTM. At my last stop, I went to buy new running shoes. My old ones are almost exactly one year old. I trained for and ran a marathon in them (thank you, thank you very much). And I was still running in them this week. Any good runner will tell you that you mustn't do that: keep running in old shoes, or you risk serious injury and bad race karma. Unfortunately, the store that sells my shoes cheap only has a "Buy One Pair, Get the Next Pair Half Price" sale once a year. So I went to pick up my shoes, and they were already on sale! 40% off! So I figured I would still buy a second pair of shoes for my wife, because it's practically the same buy one, 2nd pair half price deal. Turns out that they didn't have the shoes my wife wants in her size. So now what? I called my wife and she recommended I buy another pair for myself, to replace my shabby biz-casual pair. Good idea. I picked out a good pair, reasonably priced, and went to pay for my new shoes. Surprise! The second pair were also on sale (despite not being labeled as such)! They're like 40% off, too, or something. Sweet! That's great news, isn't it?

No, because it turns out I'm a woman. It's bad enough that I went into a store and left with TWO pairs of shoes for MYSELF! But to have bought both on sale, and be so excited about it... Just call me Carrie Bradshaw and put me in some Manolos. It's a sad realization to come to. I've long suspected that my masculinity wasn't really on a par with the average American male. Sure I love porn and sports, but so do a lot of gay men/lesbians. This new shoe episode kind of crosses the Is and dots the Ts, so to speak. Maybe dressing as a Playboy Bunny for Halloween a couple years ago, and reveling in how good I looked, should have tipped me off. Sigh!