Sunday, January 02, 2005

This is why I shouldn't drink...much

Mercifully, the Chicago Bears season came to an end today. Because it's unlikely that many readers of this blog are fans of American football (or, as my sister-in-law and her British boyfriend call it, "meatball," to distinguish it from actual football which the rest of the world plays), I won't bore you with the many reasons why watching the Bears this season has been excruciating. Let's just say, the Bears suck and leave it at that.

However....

I will miss going to the local sports bar to watch the Bears games, because I really enjoy the company of my fellow suffering Bears fans. Each week, John, Jennifer, Rich and I get together and curse loudly at the Bears' ineptitude. Also we drink some. Not unusual behavior among sports fans, except that the first round of NFL games on the west coast starts at 10 am. So we usually order the first pitcher of delicious Oregon microbrew beer at 11 am or so. So by 1 pm we're pretty toasty. Not a lot, but some.

This leads me to to be pretty, uh, philosophical by early afternoon each Sunday. For instance, today Lisa and I got together after the game to go to a local theater/pub and watch "Napoleon Dynamite." (As an aside, it's a wonderful movie, best appreciated by those of us who spent high school as hopelessly geeky and unpopular dweebs in small towns in the "flyover states.") On the way home, Lisa was telling me how she hated the swimsuit that she would have to wear for her swimming class in the coming term. So I said, "So don't wear a suit. Swim naked."

She looked at me askance.

"Why not? It a chlorinated pool. And wearing a suit while swimming is stupid. It's just a product of our misguided puritanical upbringing."

"I'm not going to swim naked," she replied. "What about the creepy guys, like the uncle in Napoleon Dynamite?"

"A creepy guy will be a creepy guy regardless of whether you're wearing a swim suit or not," I countered.

"Let's talk about something else," Lisa said, in a tone that meant, "You've had too much to drink and you're annoying the shit out of me."

Of course, she's right. But so am I. Why do "the expected" if "the expected" makes you unhappy?

Anyway, being thus shut down, I began to think about my New Year's resolution. I usually like to try to pick a bad habit that I want to eliminate. This year, I've decided that I won't play computer games until everything on my "to do" list is completed. Which means never. But on the way home, inspired by "Napoleon Dynamite," I thought that another New Year's resolution should be, "I'm going to celebrate my uniqueness."

I'm not sure right now exactly what that means, but it will probably have something to do with pursuing activities that interest me regardless of whether they serve some sort of "purpose" or not. And what's sad is I'm not sure if I can determine what those activities are if I'm completely sober. I think I need to have had a couple of drinks to overcome my natural Presbyterian tendency to dismiss things that don't serve an overt "goal" as "stupid."

When I was a teenager, I enjoyed astrophotography, certainly not because it had any marketable value or because "everyone was doing it" but because it interested me. A few years ago, I gave up my full-time job and started working part-time so I could take piano lessons in order to expand my knowledge of music theory, with the goal of writing music for films. Unlikely? Yes! Waste of time? No!

Anyway, my New Year's resolution of celebrating my uniqueness may lead me to do something far-fetched. I'm just not sure if I can identify my uniqueness sober. But I hope so. Drunks are annoying, and rarely correct.

2 comments:

liz said...

I think we find ourselves balancing the penalties for doing the unexpected against the frustration of doing the dumb ol' expected. I know from my own rebellious youth that it takes an incredible amount of energy to always do the unexpected (and then explain it).

Also, women typically incur much higher penalties for deviating from the norm than men do--across a variety of domains, from plain ol' financial, through social censure, to beatings, rape, and killing. Women's confirmity is enforced much more severely than men's.

Cousin Carla said...

I disagree on the women's conformity blog
In the day of birth control, and possibilities our Mother's generation could not envision, we are freer than we have ever been.
We choose or not choose to conform
Some conform, to non-conformity.
AS for the domestic abusers, rapists & percieved general male oppressors...isn't safe to say the majority were raised by women? Therefore shouldn't responsibility of the mindset of men be reflected (at least partially) on the women who raised them?
PS-No sniveling