I advised a girl in practice Thursday night to wear bootie socks under her soccer socks to keep from getting blisters from her new cleats. Laughter erupted. You’d have thought I’d said something indecent. I explained myself and my generation.
I’m usually one to love. Write about love. Loving things.
But like vegetables, shin splints, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, love can’t exist without a dose or three of hate.
“Leave hate for Hitler,” I like to say. (OK, I don’t say it, yet, but I heard it in a movie, and it sounded cool.)
Inspired by the hateful words on tidbitsofchaos.com (the author isn’t hateful – she’s honest, insightful and funny), here’s my list of 5 things I hate (I’d considered making it 10, but it didn’t make sense to double the dose on my Five For Friday theme that I got from another blogger, Krafty Kat).
1. Every country that goes against the U.S. in the Olympics.
The kids have picked up on this one, and it’ll mean talk about the difference between American pride and, um, being openly racist. It’s actually a fine line. We can stew over a Russian gymnast celebrating an American mistake, and rightly so, but the following exchange happened between my oldest two and me, in the presence of my sister, who was appalled:
Me: Dangit, the American didn’t win.
Elise: Who won?
Me: The French dude.
Elise: I hate the French.
Marie: I hate anyone who isn’t American.
They’re just learning about this great big world. Of course we don’t hate the French; of course, we don’t hate anyone who isn’t American. But the seeds for a healthy disdain for your rivals and the seeds for hating your rival sometimes get mixed in the same pack.
We’re working on that.
As American women’s soccer star Alex Morgan pointed out, “I wanted to beat Canada SO BAD.” This isn’t a bad thing to feel or say. As I said, we’re working on it … because it’s OK to really, really dislike your rivals.
2. The rivals: the Dodgers, Raiders, red wings, and lakers.
It’s OK to have rivals. That team you can’t stand. That school you have nightmares about your daughter choosing. I’ve always felt if the Broncos went 2-14, and beat the Raiders twice, it’s a great season.
I wonder how many of you noticed I won’t even capitalize the teams’ names. Rivals, though, are what gives sports such depth. They make winning sweeter, losing more bitter, and the desire to get back in and play again overwhelming.
Been part of a rivalry? You know how it feels. For every kid who wears a Duke jersey for a trip to Chapel Hill, or helps carry a rival-inspired trophy out of a stadium, or who has celebrated a title on a rival’s playing grounds, it’s a rich and delicious fabric in sports.
The Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry has been explained as “just plain hate.”
I can associate.
3. Buying tortillas in the store.
I’d rather buy maxi pads or Preparation H. There’s just something fundamentally wrong. I’m no longer Catholic, but I’m fairly sure there must be a saint in the Latino Catholic church that watches over the coconut – you know, the one who is brown on the outside and white on the inside.
Saint Masa Trigo, forgive me my sins. I know I should be home making them myself.
My penance? Three Our Fathers, six Hail Marys, and 50 homemade tortillas.
During a shameful trip to Wal-mart, I felt self-conscious taking the white, er, easy way out with tortillas prepackaged in Trenton, N.J. When I decided on the even-cheaper Wal-mart brand and put down the Old El Paso, I did so in the presence of a young Latina.
She shook her head slowly and shopped on. My Latino card had been revoked.
What would abuela do?
Like I was no longer permitted to yell “aye! aye! aye!” during a Spanish polka song (OK, so this isn’t something I have the opportunity to do every day, but still … ), or to bark out “primera a la pelota!” during a soccer game (translated: “first to the ball!”), or to order enchiladas in the Mexican restaurant and use a Spanish accent.
4. Jacking up a favorite shirt by slopping on it.
It’s one thing when a little butter seeped through the end of my tortilla, or pizza sauce dribbled. It’s somehow all the more tragic when the offending spot-creator is something as deplorable as Italian dressing.
I mean, I’ve just relegated a shirt – probably a favorite – to the charity/yard sale pile, all because I thought I’d go all Dr. Oz and douse my salad (what am I doing eating salad in the first place? I’m a carnivore. It better have had bacon bits) with Italian dressing and pass on the Thousand Island, Buttercorn Ranch or Super Creamy Oh So Dreamy Caesar dressing?
Man, I’m getting all steamed up just thinking about it.
Damn salads. Trouble. Leave them for the rabbits.
5. Losing a golf disc to a sneaky kid. Or forest snake. Or wilderness nymph who doesn’t even grant me wishes.
More likely, it’s just someone who happens by and decides not to call the cellphone number I’ve scrawled in Sharpie underneath. (Who am I kidding? Half of the discs in my bag have someone else’s name and number on them, and I never call them. It’s the one Old Testament part of me. You know, eye for an eye. We’ll get into this later).
Not to be insensitive to those who’ve lost pets, but when you have to walk away from a thicket or creek without one of your discs, and it’s because you made a lousy throw, it kind of feels like coming home from the vet without your pet.
You feel empty. You’re mad at the world and mad at yourself.
You stew over your emotions. Place blame. On Dodgers fans or Latvians. Or whoever invented the machine that can make tortillas in mass quantities and the companies that are big enough to sell them for 99 cents a bag.
Makes me want to add extra bacon bits, and maybe creamy French dressing, to my salad.