At the tender age of nine, in a futile attempt to fit in with my classmates, I begged and pestered my poor parents until they agreed to trot me down to the old ball field and sign me up for softball. They spent the remainder of their summer dragging me to practice. This experience provided all of us with the sure and steadfast knowledge that the only danger I presented to the other team was the chance that a fly ball would smack me on the head and cause a game delay while the medical team scraped me off the ground. My only athletic talent seemed the mysterious ability to become distracted by inanimate objects while actually playing the game. After realizing that my current state of athleticism was not about to change, the dedicated coaches of my softball team stopped telling me where the games were. I believe that my parents were in collusion with them.
This was just my first sign from God that I was not meant for great athletic feats.
In future years, I found myself failing physical education exams, getting kicked out of gymnastics class, and breaking my hand while playing a game of intramural broomball. For those of you without knowledge of this particular sport, just imagine a bunch of college students running around on ice pretending they are playing hockey with brooms for sticks, a kid’s inflatable ball for a puck, and sneakers substituting for skates. They promised me that it wasn’t like real sports.
My complete athletic experience has been spent on the bench worrying that the coach was going to make me play, in the game completely terrorized that someone was going to hit the ball my way, or back on the bench in total pain because I attempted to play the game. As soon as I realized this, I ended my athletic career.
(Can you really end something which never got started?)
Having said all this, I believe that I can honestly utter the phrase, “I am not a jock.”
Therefore, I went and got married to someone who was. I still can’t figure out how that happened.
Due to her full-body embrace of athleticism, I found myself once again immersed in the bosom of the great lesbian community: the softball field.
Lesbian Law #23: Each lesbian must attend a minimum of two dozen softball games in her lifetime. At least one half of these must be in adulthood.
Oh yes, if you won’t go willingly, you will end up dating or even marrying someone who will drag you to them. It’s just God’s little way of saying “Gotcha!”
However, there are ways to avoid actual sweat and still stay in your wyfe’s good graces. For instance, you can temporarily revoke Lesbian Law #22: Everyone gets a chance to play in the middle of, well, any game, thereby insuring a victory for your team and a little bit of relaxation for you. This strategy lacks any sort of guarantee, though. Unfortunately, most lesbians respond to this generous offer by saying, “It doesn’t matter if we win or lose. You just go have fun.” They don’t realize that if you never entered a playing field in your entire lifetime, it wouldn’t be long enough between games.
Therefore, I am passing on the fruits of my wisdom, also known as:
LA’s Femme Tips for Surviving Sports.
Tip #1: Always wear a dress and heels when attending any sporting event. You’ll look and feel great and, in the event that the softball team doesn’t have enough women, there is no way that you can play.
Tip #2: Lesbian Law #21: The duty of the femme at sporting events is to bring the refreshments. Good cookies and a special knack for margaritas are always a socially acceptable substitute for actually participating in any game. The margaritas just need enough tequila for the rest of your teammates to forget you’re there.
Tip #3: An enthusiastic cheerleader is worth three good infielders. If you can get your teammates to believe this, you are officially home free.
I was lucky. My wyfe finally left that softball team. Even though this was not my goal, the side effects are great! I haven’t been forced onto a field in about two years. I feel blessed.
However, although I have an understandable aversion to playing sports, I find that I very much enjoy watching others play. Yes, even the Lesbian Housewyfe has been bitten by the Extreme Olympic Horsy Tennis Bug. You probably have friends who have succumbed as well.
In my case, I am glued to the television for about three to four weeks out of each year. My events are the Extreme or X-Games, the Olympics (winter and summer), all the Grand Slam tennis tournaments I can find on TV, and anything with a horse involved-including rodeos (strange, don’t you think?).
The Olympics are pretty self-explanatory, as are the tennis tournaments (I still haven’t figured out the scoring yet), and any girl who ever loved horses understands the last. Now the hard one. The Extreme Games were first shown on ESPN in 1995 and I was hooked. These people jump out of airplanes on surfboards, climb steep manufactured mountains, and fling themselves around on bicycles, skateboards, and in-line skates. The most impressive of these crazy folk trek across miles of wilderness in a sport called Adventure Racing. This year, one of the members of the winning team popped a tendon in her knee on the next to last day of the race and still finished. And she was one of the oldest people at the games. Nothin’ but butch there.
I find that my fascination with sports grows each time a new event begins. I’m one of those people who sits with a box of kleenex at her elbow and teary eyes glued to the television screen. I sob with the excellence of it all. Sometimes my friends will watch with me and try to berate the dedicated young athletes because they didn’t do something as well as the guy from Sweden. My only response is, “Could you do that?” They respectfully clam up. Strangely enough, I find that my loyalty is exclusively to those athletes whose names are forgotten after the games end. I could care less about Michael Jordan or John Elway. Maybe that has to do with the idea that they have enough fans.
But I digress….
Not even I wish to admit that all I did all day is sit around and watch television, although it has happened more than once. “Sports Fever” can capture your attention in a way that no other entertainment can. And you can’t videotape it because then the excitement will be lost.
Unfortunately, you still have a job to do.
Fortunately, I have an answer. (As if I’d be writing about this if I didn’t.)
The only way to survive this “Sports Fever” and still maintain your housewifely status is to pick the right chores to perform and carefully schedule them. I have found a line of chores which I call the “Do Practically Nothing” or DPN chores. These chores require a minimum of effort and create a full day of work. The best “Do Practically Nothing” chore is laundry. All you do is dump your laundry items into the washer, sorting as you go (after all, you only have a three to five minute commercial break), and let the machines do all the work while you sit back and watch cute little Miss Steffi Graf slam another one away. When your wonderful supportive wyfe comes home after a hard day on the job and asks what you did today, you can look her straight in the eye and exclaim (completely guilt-free), “Laundry.” I don’t know anyone who doesn’t fold the clothes in front of the television anyway, so there we go. Thank God for the person who invented the washing machine. Where would I be without it? Out in a stream somewhere scrubbing clothes against rocks.
Laundry can be complicated, however, by the introduction into your life of Lesbian Law #18: Conserve all energy except yours. In this case, one must adhere to one’s time schedule with a vengeance unseen outside of the German train system. As soon as the commercial break starts, run back to the washer and empty it. Collect any stray clothespins you will need, as if time allows. Then, at the next break, trudge out to the clothesline and hang your clothes quickly, quickly, quickly! A kitchen timer is always useful in this situation. I did this for a couple of years before insisting on the installation of a dryer. Who wants to hang their clothes outside in the middle of winter anyhow?
If you have a dishwasher, dishes can be handled in the same way. Very cool. Just be sure to let them air-dry. There is never a need to dry your dishes with a towel unless you really need that cup NOW. And don’t let anyone tell you different.
Another good DPN chore is baking. However, schedule this task during one of the events you don’t particularly care about like hockey or any of the Dream Team’s basketball games. I find splitting prep time into three to five minute intervals affects your final product in a very detrimental way. However, once you get into the rising and baking stages, you’re home free! Can you tell that my personal favorite in the baking department is bread?
Baking bread is my therapy. I can recommend nothing sweeter to solve a marital spat than slamming some dough onto a counter and beating it up for eight minutes. Then the yeasty smell of rising and baking bread fills the house. You take out a stick of butter as soon as you start the first rise and, by the time the bread leaves the oven, you have the perfect consistency to coat each warm slice. Your spouse is guaranteed to show up willing to apologize (whether or not they really did anything wrong) when you pull that hot loaf out of the oven. With all of your anger spent in the kneading process, you may simply smile, slice the bread, and accept these heartfelt apologies. Plus, you have enjoyed two to three hours of watching the cute little women’s gymnastics team bound about on mats and bars and other weird equipment that just make you think “Ouch.” Have a second slice, you busy bee! You’ve already burned up those calories.
As you can see, the main characteristics of “Do Practically Nothing” chores are that they take a maximum of three to five minutes to get started and a minimum of effort to sustain. Any chore which can sustain these stringent guidelines qualifies! But good scheduling is intrinsic. One slip up and you might miss the synchronized swimming or the mass street luge. No one wants that to happen. After that, all you need to add is your imagination. Who else do you know who can go to a fancy dinner and be doing their laundry simultaneously? These chores are magic!
So I send you out into the world to enjoy the fruits of my wisdom. Use these tools sparingly, my children. They are powerful and other’s knowledge can mar the admiration of those around you.
Remember Lesbian Law #1: Never underestimate the power of a Lesbian Housewyfe.
We “non-jocks” have got to stick together.
Those “Do Practically Nothing” chores still hold up after all these years, and with age came the knowledge and ability to situate a television near the kitchen so I can watch the tennis even as I knead the bread.
The Extreme Games are now the X Games and I’ll still catch them now and then.
As I write this, I’m in the midst of Wimbledon. Roger Federer is on court playing a tie break. Bread is in the oven.
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