In this column, I discover a whole new world of entertainment:
I like to fancy myself something of a connoisseur of entertainment — a paragon of pastime pursuits, if you will — but since moving to Texas, I have been coerced by forces both natural and unnatural to try out a form of entertainment I had long stifled under memories of elementary school physical education trauma.
That is, I’ve started watching sports.
I can tell there’s something to be enjoyed from watching sporting events. Being the lover of leisure that I am, I can appreciate the balletic beauty to the movement that a young athlete makes while gracing a field or a court, displaying their physical skills.
An added enjoyment factor to watching sports is the family factor — my nephews and nieces are the primary MVP athletes in my personal brackets, and it’s fun to shout their names with enthusiasm. It’s especially fun when the teams print playbills (or whatever they’re called) that list the names and numbers of the other athletes, so I can enthusiastically shout the names of random players throughout the game, too.
But while I’m having a blast enjoying the cool, breezy outings or the dank, musty gymnasiums of athletic performance, I’ve been looking around and seeing something pretty funny at the young people’s games I’ve attended in the Houston area: Most of these parents aren’t seeming to enjoy themselves. Like at all.
Imagine paying to see a movie where every minute or two something happens onscreen that just makes you outrageously irate and instead of cheering the characters on, you’re just yelling out of anger. Now imagine that, except your kids are the stars of the movie.
Many of the parents I’ve seen seem to actively hate their children, the sport they play, and the decisions in their life that led them up to that moment — not the least of which being the purchase of their entrance ticket to the game. They often yell things like, “Argh!” and “Box out!” and “You are my greatest regret!” and “I didn’t get enough affection from my own parents and now I’m passing along the cycle to you!”
The last couple might just be my translation of the sounds coming out of their disapproving mouths, beads of sweat dripping down their bursting-with-emotion heads.