Monthly Archives: September 2009

Flower Power

I’m not sure how it happened, or when they first appeared or any other such detail that can explain this calamity away.

Surely, we must have had some argument, my wife and I; one of seismic proportions. There is no way that I would have accepted this without a fight.

The trouble is I just can’t remember any of it.

As a child, there were images of race cars and aircraft on my bedding, then C3PO and R2D2. In college my linens boasted a very straight-forward plaid pattern.

Now, with all the subtlety of a shotgun blast, there are flower patterns on my bed sheets.

I don’t have an issue with flowers, per se. Fact is, I think that they are actually quite tolerable. Flowers add beauty to the natural world. They are highly functional, too. That photosynthesis thing is pretty compelling stuff.

There is, however, a limit to all this floral glorification.

A tuxedo lapel. A Polynesian vacation. A dozen roses to say you’re sorry. These are the extenuating circumstances that necessitate a man to mingle with flowers.

They do not belong on a man’s bed sheets.

How did I let this happen?

Was I at fault? Did I unwittingly agree to this arrangement during bites of a double-double at In-N-Out (in which case I have positioned myself for an insanity plea)? Did I agree to these sheets as a resolution to a long-forgotten battle?

Or worse yet, did I forfeit my right to challenge this decision, electing instead to occupy my Saturday afternoon watching all the relevant college football games that carried Top 25 implications while she roamed the sales floor of the linens section unchecked? (Sheet selection without representation is tyranny)!

I will not accept these conditions; these deplorable expectations that require me to lay my head on a pillow covered with wild poppies.

I will devise a plan; one with remarkable cunning, like a slider in the dirt on a 3-2 count or calling a reverse on an aggressive, over-pursuing defense and twelve other sports-related analogies.

It will require the stealth of a jungle cat, the courage of a D-Day paratrooper and the conviction Churchill.

Mountain out of mole hills, you say? A big stink out of nothing? Ha!

I write this post from a very sensitive position. You see, my personal habitat has systematically vanished over the past few years. Such is the virtue of marriage.

This post is a line in the sand, the Mason-Dixon line of inter-gender affairs, the 39th parallel between chicks and dudes.

An encroachment penalty in the NFL will cost you five yards while a similar infraction by your wife at home will go unchallenged. The consequence that I have endured has been a diminshed sense of self. My dignity sits like a cigarette butt on the side of the highway. My testicles are suspended in a jar of formaldehyde on my wife’s nightstand.

I love my wife to pieces, but this subtle and quiet emasculation must come to an end.

And it starts with taking back my bed sheets.

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Filed under Life, Relationships

Pick a team, any team

There really isn’t a clear criterion for selecting a favorite sports team; the motives are varied and cover a vast range of conditions.

Maybe you spent your summers in Detroit where the Red Wings captured your allegiance. Perhaps your worship of Cal Ripken, Jr. was the catalyst for your love for the Orioles. Or maybe you simply fancy the color purple, in which case the Minnesota Vikings would be your natural NFL choice.

However random the reason, there is one thing that should remain constant: You pick a team and you stick with them.

I’ve followed the Los Angeles Lakers ever since a rookie named Magic Johnson once played all five positions on the floor against Philadelphia in the 1980 Finals. So after the 2009 edition of the Lakers won the 14th championship in franchise history, I was understandably thrilled by their success.

But so, it seemed, was every one else.

Suddenly, Laker memorabilia materialized from thin air. Documented Laker-haters were dressed in Kobe Bryant jerseys. Laker hats with the tags still attached covered the head of every other kid. Those obnoxious Laker flags adorned every car on the freeway like a strange presidential motorcade.

Sure, I’m proud of my team’s accomplishments but I don’t want to share the moment with wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Relationships are fickle in 2009. Our culture lacks the vision to look too far ahead and our minimal powers of reflection barely allows us to remember what we had for lunch. Our obsession with the bottom line prompts us to demand of each other what a big-haired Janet Jackson inquired during the summer of 1986: “What have you done for me lately?”

The choices we make in selecting our preferred sports franchises reflect this fleeting attitude. Fans switch their allegiance in teams like a seasonal wardrobe change.

As a new champion is crowned at the culmination of each sports season, the surge in the winning team’s popularity reaches a deafening crescendo. Should that team fail to repeat its success in the subsequent year, that same team loyalty would meet the same fate as the mutton-chop side burn or a Croc sandal.

Maybe the advent of player free agency and the rise of fantasy sports leagues have contributed to this Machiavellian devotion, where the focus is on statistical analysis and final outcomes rather than the quality of a player’s effort or the spirit of the competition.

The idea of a monogamous relationship with our favorite sports club is a vintage way of thinking and grows rarer with each season.

But like any bad fashion, even the really terrible ones, the cyclical ebb and flow of things will bring everything back into proper focus.

Maybe we will miraculously re-develop the bravery to devote ourselves to something we can believe in and be willing to accept the bad with the good.



Filed under Sports