Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Crying Game

Jack has a powerful and very personal post on crying. It tugged at a few of my heartstrings and made me think a bit.

When I was 14, the Cubs lost in the baseball playoffs to the Padres. I cried myself to sleep that night. How could they blow a 2-0 lead in games? How could Lee Smith give up that home run to Steve Garvey in the bottom of the 9th in Game 4 after the Cubs had taken the lead off Goose Gossage in the top of the inning? How could Leon Durham let that ball squirt between his legs? I don't know if I said I would never cry like that again, but from that point on, I really never cried because nothing affected me like that. Occasionally, there were some wet eyes at a movie (Schindler’s List) or a happy event (Ray Bourque raising the Stanley Cup), but nothing like an all-encompassing, heaving cry.

But then my wife died 2 years ago. Boy did that put things into perspective. For months, the tears just came without warning. Now it is getting better, but I still get sad at times when I miss her. In a way, I am glad that I was finally able to let out that kind of emotion. But now I fear that I will be unaffected by lesser events. I hope I am in touch enough with my emotions that I will be able to cry for less cataclysmic events, and I certainly hope I never have to experience that kind of pain again.

Jim Valvano, former basketball coach at North Carolina State, said at the first Espy Awards, as his body was being ravaged by cancer,
"To me, there are three things we should all do every day. Number 1 is
laugh. You should laugh every day. Number 2 is think. You should spend some time
in thought. Number 3 is you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be
happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think and you cry,
that's a full day, that's a heck of a day."

Monday, December 06, 2004

Of "Girlfriends" and other politically incorrect titles

DovBear and Sarah have both posted recently about how one should refer to females. This raises an interesting question about how someone should refer to the female he is dating.

The candidates:
Girlfriend: Pro- the tried and true term that gets across the meaning. Con - How is this not politically incorrect? Even without the political correctness nonsense, doesn't "girl"friend connote a certain immaturity? Maybe it works for teenagers, but not when both people are in their thirties. I just think the term sounds too "high school".

Friend: Pro - Avoids the immaturity thing. Con - Sounds waaaayyy too platonic. The type of person you would love to have a cup of coffee with and talk to for hours at a time, but the thought of actually kissing the person makes you convulse.

The girl/woman/chick/chyck/etc. I'm seeing: Pro - Expresses the point and the romantic side of things. Con - Makes it sound like you're just fooling around until something better comes along. You like the person, but you know you could never bring her home to the folks. Kinda like the way religious Jews feel about dating someone who is Reform or even not-Jewish.

Lady-friend: Pro - Sounds mature. Con: Sounds like she's your "shack-up honey". Either that, or you are both in your fifties.

Woman-friend: Pro - sounds mature. Con: Sounds like she's your "shack-up honey". Either that, or she's a "femi-nazi".

So how does a guy refer to someone like this? Obviously, there's an easy way to remedy the situation: Simply buy the ring already to change the title to finacee, and eventually, wife. But what to do in that interim 2-6 month period, when you are dating seriously, asking the important questions, having the major discussions, seriously thinking about the future and saving the coin needed to make the big purchase?

I'd be very curious to hear what the female readers of this blog (all two of you) think.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I guess the glass is half-empty after all...

This is funny, but sad. It seems the Optimists Club of Quakertown, PA is breaking up due to lack of interest. Depressing, in a way. But I'm sure the remaining members are holding out hope that the club will become popular again, eventually.