How not to watch the game (Part I)

kibbie_dome copyI had a college boyfriend who lived by the principle that if one expects the worst from life, he’ll never be disappointed. I told myself he was a philosopher.

Not surprisingly, this guy was kind of a bummer to be around. I cannot fathom why I didn’t tell him to shine on after our first date. For some reason, I was terribly worried that, with as little as he had going for him, he’d find me lacking.

Anyway, this isn’t about him, or where my head was while I was dating him.

This piece actually started to be about making decisions based on love rather than on fear, and expecting the best. I was inspired by a clip from a commencement address Jim Carrey gave at some school for existential transcendental meditators or something.

Jim’s speech got me started thinking about that bummer boyfriend of mine, who always expected the worst out of life and usually got it.

I wonder about him sometimes, and whether he’s held back from flinging himself from a bridge. I mean, if all you can look forward to is not being too terribly disappointed with how crappy things are, then what’s keeping you from just laying yourself down in the middle of the freeway and letting whatever is going to happen just happen?

But while I was thinking through where this blog was going and how I could possibly make light of people potentially flinging themselves from bridges and taking naps on the interstate, I decided to go a different way altogether.

It’s my blog. I can do that.

And then while I was in the middle of topic #2 for today’s blog, Mike handed me a Forbes article about how Multitasking is Worse than Marijuana for your IQ, and I couldn’t let that out of my hands without reading the whole thing, while I was also trying to think of something interesting to tweet about it.

By the time I’d finished the article, I’d forgotten what I was going to write about in the first place, except that it was loosely based on this boyfriend I had in college, which made me think about this story I can’t believe I haven’t told you yet.

Once upon a time …

While I was dating this guy in college, my parents visited campus for homecoming weekend.

Homecoming at my school went like this: spend the week cleaning whatever is called home – whether fraternity, sorority, dorm hall, or apartment – then host a big party on Friday night to mess it all up again after various and sundry parents, dignitaries and alumni visiting for the weekend have had their requisite tour.

Then, oversleep on Saturday and miss the Homecoming Parade. Get up for a big, greasy breakfast and go back to bed to quell the Mother of all Hangovers you earned the night before. Finally, get back up in time for a late lunch and a whole lot more to drink, and head up to the Dome.

The Dome is a covered football stadium at the top of a hill. No matter the weather, the climate inside is roughly the same as that of the costal plains of Guatemala. In summer. By halftime, roughly two thirds of the crowd will have taken off rather than risk needing another nap when the beer buzz wears off.

The section of bleachers at the fifty-yard line of the student side fills up first and remains full the longest. All the fraternities send their freshmen to the Dome hours before the game starts to save seats in this section. By kickoff, this is the home of the rowdy crowd. They’re splitting their attention between the game, singing the drunk version of the school fight song, and passing a person or two overhead from the field to the top of the bleachers and back.

The weekend my parents were visiting was during a time my boyfriend was trying to get in tight with the Campus Democrats. He had been elected a student senate representative the year before and fancied a future in politics. All of this was prior to his moving in with the roommate who introduced him to LSD, and also prior to his development of a recreational habit that likely put the kibosh on his political career.

Being a peon with the Campus Democrats meant that my boyfriend had the task of saving seats for our Governor and his party for the big game.

This was the same governor against whom my mom had actively campaigned on behalf of the rival candidate during the last election. Of course, I insisted we accompany my boyfriend on his assignment. You know, quality time.

What a treat it had to be for my folks: the opportunity for a long visit with their obstreperous daughter and the boyfriend they didn’t care for, sitting in uncomfortable bleachers in a steamy stadium for a full two hours before kickoff, saving space for a Governor they’d campaigned against, and all this on the fifty-yard line of what would soon become the sloppiest section in the whole stadium.

This would be the point in the story where the whole “expecting the worst” philosophy seems the most rational…

…. but this blog is already too long, so you can read about what happened when you come back tomorrow.

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photo by: theslowlane