A contradiction of sorts.

Yesterday afternoon, my friend Kelly and I baked some sugar cookies from scratch and then watched the Panthers game. That reminded her of a conversation she’d had with a friend of hers about contradictions. Her friend, Anna, eats sausage biscuits with her pinkies sticking out, but she also loves The Simpsons. Kelly decided that her contradiction was that she loves baking, but she also likes playing video games and smack talk (just ask Brian).

We decided fairly easily that my contradiction is that I’m a fairly girly girl, or high maintenance or whatever – I do my hair every day, and I always wear a little makeup – and yet I love sports. Not playing them, but during parties where the girls are hanging out with the babies and the guys are watching the game, I’d much rather be with the guys.

On the way home last night, Mike said, “Well, it makes sense that you would like sports so much, since you grew up with a brother, and you would have had to play things on his terms.” The problem with that theory is that, while Joseph and I did play sporty things together, he also played with me when I wanted to play Barbies (sometimes). And, of the two of us, although he is definitely more athletic, I am the sports-watcher. When I talked to him last week, I asked if he was watching any of the World Series, and he kind of snorted. I think the real reason I like sports is because my mom likes sports. She was a tomboy growing up, and I wish I was as athletic as she is. There’s even a story about the time she made the game-winning free throws for her high school basketball team. She and I would be the ones watching every Carolina basketball game, while my dad often fell asleep on the couch. (Sometimes we’d wake him up with our yelling.) I only remember staying up to watch a game with my dad one time – the 1992 NLCS with the Braves vs. the Pirates. And I didn’t get into football until I married Mike, because my dad doesn’t watch it very much. So, in my house, sports were more of a female thing, oddly enough.

Last week I ran across this book called The Meaning of Sports. It’s about why Americans watch sports and what sports mean to people in this country. It’s been slow going, but I have enjoyed it so far. Since my brother and I grew up in the same house and are so different when it comes to sports, it’s been interesting to run some of the different things in the book past him to see what his opinion is.

Since Mike and I are both into sports, it will be interesting to see if we raise sports-crazed children, or if they will be more like my brother – interested in more creative pursuits.

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