Sep 19 2014
I am not a sports fan. I might even describe myself as the anti-sports fan. Occasional viewing is fine, and so is mild fandom, but for many years I neither encouraged nor approved of sports-obsessing. (In my mind the only things worth obsessing about are politics, Springsteen tour dates, and the odd celebrity scandal). It all seemed silly, pointlessly aggressive, and boorish (sports, not politics. OK, maybe both).
When I first got married I made my distaste for sports-watching immediately known–and no sport was more disdained by me than football. I must have read a New York Times editorial at some point in which I learned that domestic abuse cases spiked on Super Bowl Sunday. I would stand in between my husband and the game on the TV and announce this fact each time I found him watching. He wasn’t really enough of a fan to overcome the power of my withering glare and incessant preaching. Eventually, football went away.
It went away until my boys found it and brought it into our home with passion and glee. At first, I tried the same tactic that had worked so very well on my husband. I had no luck. A trusted friend advised me: If you can’t beat them, join them. They are going to watch it anyway; if you don’t get involved you’ll be cut out of the equation. I suppose this argument could be made to all sorts of things that I am not about to try watching with my boys (ahem), but for football, it worked. I watched. I followed. I encouraged their insane fandom. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 18 2014
Football is a big deal in my house. Between my husband and three sons, there are seven fantasy football teams to root for. We have two Jets fans, one Giants fan, and one (ever hopeful but disappointed) Raiders fan. As you might imagine, it is not a quiet house. Especially on Sundays.
My 9-year-old son has a huge collection of football jerseys; he wears one to school each day, selecting it with care to coordinate with his fantasy players for the week. Recently, as I was hanging up his laundry, I perused his jerseys. Many belonged to players whose names I didn’t recognize. And then I came across three that I did: Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and Michael Vick.
The jerseys were purchased when these players were football heroes on the field, before we knew of their (alleged) crimes against their wives, children, and animals. My boys looked up to these football stars and were proud to wear their jerseys. Unfortunately, these players instantly transformed from esteemed athletes to abusive criminals when their shocking stories were revealed. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 19 2012
To My Darling Daughter,
I watch your eyes glow when the kids in preschool want to play with you. I see how it matters to you what they say and how they smile.
I watch your bottom lip tremble when someone hurts your feelings.
And I watch you on the playground–your face flushed, and your breath staggered as you chase the child that was mean to you. I know you, and I know you are blaming yourself for their bad behavior.
I know you are trying to get a second chance at friendships not worth having.
You are so much like me that it takes my breath away.
Please. Don’t be this way. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 13 2012
Rihanna performing at the Grammys last night.
Most American popular celebrities–and most of us, if asked–would profess to be pro-women. Last night showed that we are liars.
Facebook is generally a good measuring stick of one’s peer zeitgeist. The other week on Facebook, many of my friends were up in arms about the Komen-Planned Parenthood funding flap. They proclaimed with great ardor that this was a terrible blow to women. They got on soapboxes and decried the move as a calamity. Similarly, I read at least one post a day about the insidious nature of the princess industry, bemoaning how if we dress our American girls in glitter and pink, we are slowly wending our way toward an overly sexualized culture. Read the rest of this entry →