Archive for April, 2010

Thoughts on body image formed while walking the dog

April 28, 2010

Thoughts on body image formed while walking the dog

            As I was walking my dog this morning, I saw two men and I projected that they felt the opposite about their bodies. Their shapes were amazingly the same:  both men were short, had stocky builds, and un-toned arms and legs. The first man I saw was wearing only very brief running shorts. He was obviously proud of his body and didn’t mind showing it off whether or not it met the cultural standard of buff. The smile on his face and the lilt in his gait spoke volumes about how he felt about himself.

            I encountered the other man about twenty minutes later. He was also running, but in a plodding way.  There was no skip in his step. He had on a long sleeved shirt and long pants. I’ll bet he realized swimming suit weather was almost here and he’d better get going on a body he could present at the pool.

            I see the same thing with women. Lots of women in Phoenix wear shorts, whether their bodies are shown to advantage in them or not. It’s just too damned hot to worry about body image for these ladies. I admire them. I haven’t worn shorts in public in years. Last summer I did buy a few pairs of those knee-length Bermuda shorts but wore them only a few times in my cabin in Munds Park when it got hot there. I don’t have air conditioning and fans can only do so much during the peak hours of three to five in the afternoon. I have been cowed by the fashion industry and the advertising world.

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Suns Fan

April 20, 2010

Suns Fan Through and Through

            I like basketball. I don’t do football at all. I like to go to baseball games as a leisurely activity. I went to the Coyotes-Redwings hockey game last week and thoroughly enjoyed myself. But basketball is my sport.

            I grew up in a home with people who did not like sports. My parents NEVER watched sports on television with the exception of the World Series when the Brooklyn Dodgers played. When we would visit my mother’s parents, sometimes the television would be on wrestling or the horse races. Neither captured my interest. Title IX hadn’t been enacted so there were no sports for girls. I did play basketball for my seventh grade homeroom team. I was tall but clumsy. Still am.

My brother wanted to do sports. My parents let him a do some Little League baseball. He was also on the cross country running team in high school. He earned a letter in it and got the jacket. I found it twenty years ago in a closet in my parents’ home and appropriated it. I finally gave it back to him a few years ago.

I went to football games in high school because they were social occasions. I didn’t enjoy watching people try to hit each other hard, with the crowd yelling, “Kill ‘em!” The basketball games were not as well attended but I liked the fast action and the finesse. I also liked ogling the guys in those short shorts.

I went to college at University of Rochester, not known for any of its athletic teams. During football games, one of the chants was, “But we’re smarter.” Our basketball players were short but quick and won more often. That’s when I got hooked on basketball.

When I moved to Arizona, it took me a few years to hook up with the Suns. I was immersed in my career, buying a house, and having a child. We moved to the Encanto Park area of the city, not far from Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, where the Suns used to play. My second husband had friends with tickets and we got to go. I loved it!

When the Suns moved their games to the new arena downtown, I was a principal without the time to go. Until the Suns got hot. Then I had the money and I made the time. An acquaintance had three seats in row one and sold me a single seat for the season. The first year I went to the games by myself. It was very hard to sell a single ticket. Then I noticed that the seat beside me was owned by a ticket broker. The next year the ticket broker and I stuck a deal. We traded tickets so I got two tickets for half the season. I took my son, then five, to many of the games. My husband preferred to watch the action on television. I gave away tickets as gifts and thank you’s.

Then came the divorce and the loss of extra spending money. I took a friend up on the offer to share her less expensive but still lower level season tickets. I went to about a third of the games. After a few years we were able to move down to row 12.

This is the last year of my season tickets. They are just too expensive for a retired person. It costs more than ten thousand dollars for the two seats. Even though we added another partner, the price was too steep for me. I realized that when I was no longer able to set aside my income tax refund to pay for the tickets. Other pressing needs gobbled up that disposable cash.

So I’m going to my last set of playoffs with assured tickets. I was jazzed up for the game on Sunday night. I even bought new sneakers that were purple, orange, and pink. I guess that’s why I got them so cheap at a discount store.

And the Suns lost the game. I got home from the game at 11:30 but it still took two hours for me to calm down enough to fall asleep. I was in an orange funk most of the day yesterday. I finally put the Oreos away and hunkered down to the computer to write about one in the afternoon.

Hope springs eternal. Tonight is another chance to scream my anxieties and worries away. That’s really what the season tickets were all about: having a socially acceptable way to go nuts for a few hours. Wonder what I’ll do next year.

The Joys of Living Alone

April 12, 2010

The Joys of Living Alone

            My youngest son, Max, may be moving in with me this summer. I think it will be for a year or two. This starting me thinking about what I like about being single and living alone:

  1. I have complete control of the remote.
  2. No one hears me use baby talk with my dog.
  3. I can burp, belch, and fart whenever without offending anyone.
  4. I can eat ice cream in bed with no reproachful looks.
  5. I can leave my sewing and quilting supplies on the dining room table until I’ve finished the project.
  6. If I wake in the middle of the night, I can read or watch television without disturbing anyone.
  7. If I snore, it doesn’t ruin anyone’s sleep.
  8. No one ruins my sleep with snoring.
  9. I only have to clean up after myself and my dog.
  10. I don’t have to explain a mood to anyone.