Thursday, February 2, 2012

Superbowl Sunday

This coming Sunday February 5 is the most important day in the lives of most American men.  The Superbowl is being played to determine who is the best team in the country, or maybe for all I know the universe.  I am really not a football fan.  Well, not of professional football anyway. 

According to most of the men I know, it's not right that the Green Bay Packers aren't playing this year.  Since I'm not a purposeful fan, and I only 'follow' them because I can't escape it in the office, I suppose that's true.

I remember going to Friday night games in high school.  I loved how it felt to go out with friends, to sit in the bleachers and freeze your butt in the coolness of fall in Minnesota.  It was cool to actually sit in class with some of the players.   Even cooler if you knew you were helping the team by tutoring some of them in algebra or chemistry! 

The sport never appealed to me much even then.  I dated a basketball player for a while.  That was a more elegant sport.  The guys were cute in their uniforms, and that was the most 'skin' we EVER got to see of any boy other than our brothers!!  And as to football, did you ever wonder why 200-300 lb men put on 20 lbs of equipment, then intentionally run into each other?  They gotta know someone's going to get hurt eventually!

I married a guy whose very blood is green and gold.  Nothing interferes with Green Bay football at my house.  And if I choose not to watch, so much the better!! 'Just stay quiet wherever you are OK??  And keep the food hot.'

When the kids were small we used to have a neighborhood party on Superbowl Sunday.  Someone would make chili or soup be the host, and the rest of us would bring snacks and desserts.  The kids would play games, the women would congregate in the kitchen, finding alternate entertainment while managing the grub. 

Every year for the past six or seven years we've done a similar thing with some friends from work.  Similar but different.  Some of the other wives are actually interested in the game!  And they're knowledgeable about the sport! 

I normally find some alternate activity that can be done in the same room with the sports fanatics.  I've taken knitting and hand sewing, but I have drawn the line at reading a book while they watch the game.  That might be bordering on the rude -- although my impression is that no one is too concerned over whether I'm enjoying myself and they might not notice!  That's not strictly true, I'm sure.  And I love socializing with these folks... I DO have a good time.

So this year, we all said the theme is going to be something along the lines of 'the game we don't care about because it's teams we don't like'.  Everyone else can rely on their football knowledge to be for one team or the other.  But I can't even pick a team based on the color of their uniforms because they're both going to be in red, white and blue.  Maybe cute QBs?  Not so much.  Mascot?  Theme song?  Phooey. 

I'm really just going for the commercials, and the snacks.  OK, just the snacks.  What down is this?  Who has the ball? 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lunch hour? What lunch hour??

It's almost 1 p.m. here in the Midwest on Monday, and I have just started my lunch!  Not that I'm not hungry, the tummy's been rumbling for over an hour.  No, my problem is I work in an office area populated by people whose attitude is "Lunch hour?  What do you mean, lunch hour?"

My boss does not eat lunch unless he's taking someone out, or he's attending a meeting where lunch is being served.  His idea of lunch is switching from coffee, the morning beverage, to diet soda, the afternoon beverage.  One of the other guys eats ALL DAY LONG, no kidding this is annoying.  Some of the others play cards during lunch hour, so they go off to another room and are not seen for an hour.  It might be nice if someone said 'hey, we're leaving, it's lunchtime'.

I set my calendar to send me an electronic reminder when I have meetings or calls to attend.  Maybe I should have it remind me of lunch!!  Maybe then I'd get it before dinner-time.  I worked at another company about 16 years ago where they had an organized break every morning and afternoon, and the whole office took its lunch hour at the same time.  They had a big lunchroom, lots of chairs and tables.  It was nice and social, and your desk didn't get messy from eating there.

Our office is being relocated this summer.  We're not moving far; actually it's only six or seven blocks.  But when we toured the building last week, I saw a big space full of chairs and tables, with a coffee/tea/snack counter, a big screen TV up on the wall, and actual people socializing with each other!  I'm actually kind of excited about this development.  They have tenant activities like Tai Chi and weight loss groups, and they offered to set up a knitting group if I want to try one!  Cool stuff.

You have to understand my current situation to know why I'm excited about this.  Our current building is only about half full, and even our staff is not all on the same floor.  I'm in an area of the building that's kind of closed off from the rest of the staff.  And for about the last two years, this group of offices has consisted of way too many testosterone sources and not enough estrogen donaters. 

Yes, at least a year or more ago the last of the women moved out of this area, and I've been surrounded since then by football pools, baseball scores, fishing stories, car stories, and once in a while dog stories.  No socializing about sewing shows or sharing Project Runway stories around THIS water cooler! 

If there is one thing I have learned over the past few decades, it's that nothing beats the friendships you get from your girlfriends.  Nothing.  I mean, you love your husband and your kids, your parents, your siblings.  But really, what can beat the woman to woman friendship?  Nothing.

MY girlfriends are super-special, because some of them really are family too.  My Friday night sewing sisters are the best.  Feel blue?  They cheer you up.  Feel crummy?  Someone has made chicken soup, or can tell you a funny story to make you smile.  Disappointments, crappy days, you won the lottery?  Hey, this is the first group you have to tell.  They understand that when you're whining about DH, you still love him, you just don't like him very much right now.

I have a couple of 'friend circles'.  If I had to talk to someone I know who to call to discuss what topic.  I have one friend who lives in another town, and we only see each other once every six months or so.  But when we do get together we pick up right where we left off. 

I have Facebook and chat friends too.  That put me back in touch with siblings living in other states.  I love seeing the photos!

But I will totally look forward to being able to lunch with friends, sit down at a table and chat over yesterdays' leftovers or a treat from the coffee place.  Nothing quite matches the face to face interaction, reading body language and seeing the facial expressions.

So I'm happy if you're reading blogs, mine or anyone else's.  It's nice to see your updates on FB, or get a card or letter in 'snail mail'.  But remember to have the original social networking experience - a live lunch meeting with a real person.  I for one can not wait!