Olympic Fever, sort of

One of the things I love most about blogging is how much I learn.  My mind is expanding.  I mean, really, who knew about modesty socks or fake cigarettes?  WHO KNEW?  I am enlightened.  I am also confused because a very androgynous cashier called me “sir” today.  I’m not sure why.  I don’t think I look like a man.  I was wearing makeup, my hair was down, and I was wearing a pink tank top, a top that I discovered later, was missing its inserts and not properly concealing my nipples.  I don’t feel my appearance really warranted a “sir” but maybe this is a newfangled way young people refer to their elders nowadays?  Sort of like how the word “actor” refers to male and female thespians?  I don’t know.

It’s Olympic fever time around my house.  True confession: I find watching any of the events to be dull in the extreme.  I appreciate the athletes and their training, I’m happy to hear of a Canadian medaling, I understand other people’s excitement, and yet…I’m not that excited.  I did enjoy watching the opening ceremonies however.  I found myself becoming an encyclopedic explaining machine for the children, fielding questions about the British Empire, the Industrial Revolution, and Mary Poppins.  The trouble is that I tend to err on the side of over-information.  Children are by nature very black-and-white, and I end up explaining the grey areas like nobody’s business.  Half the time I can’t tell if the kids are informed or completely befuddled.  Lately some of the topics we have covered are drugs and ecstasy use, death, the dangers of not wearing helmets while bike riding, drunk driving, and what constitutes a cocktail.  After the past twenty-four hours we can now add the rise of factories and urban living in eighteenth century Britain, child labour in the modern world, and the definition of a banana hammock.

The children, unlike their mother, are very interested in watching the events with their father, who may or may not be enthused by their incessant questioning.  I observed them this morning watching the cycling and I realized that my husband is passing on his personal Olympic knowledge and general philosophies about life.  In my house, it is only acceptable to cheer for Canada, or, if the Canadian athlete is not close to finishing in the top ten, the host country, with one exception.  Under no circumstances can the American athlete be cheered for.  The Canada/US rivalry must be upheld at all times, as evidenced by the 2010 gold medal hockey game, during which I actually thought my husband was having a heart attack.  Fortunately he was not, and also fortunately, the Canadian team took the gold. 

So I have a long two weeks of Olympic commentary looming before me.  However, I think it will be more than two weeks before I get this image out of my mind.  There are some things you just can’t unsee, like how my neighbour – who has lately been mowing a lawn in both a shirt AND pants, thanks be to god – parked his truck in front of my house last night, lumbered out wearing nothing whatever but a smallish pair of shorts, and stood there with his back to me, showing off a large percentage of his butt crack.  Look away, Nicole, look away.  And yet, like a particularly horrific train wreck, I was paralyzed and powerless to look away. 


  1. What! I always think of rooting for the United States first, of course, and then Canada is my second choice because they’re so close!

  2. Yeah, you can’t root for the US, ever. Canada first. Then Great Britain. It’s just how it is, here in the colonies.

    My brother and his fiancee watched that gold medal hockey game with us, and he and I both almost had heart attacks. Michael and my future SIL were less invested in the whole thing. Pfft.

    (I actually do not care about the summer Olympics. I’m still disillusioned from the whole Ben Johnson thing in Seoul. But I’ll be happy when Canadians win.)

  3. BusyMomofTwins says

    I LOVE the Olympics! Loved the opening ceremony and will try to watch as much as I can. I am one of those people who cry when the athletes cry receiving their gold medals (regardless of country). That said, I was super bored watching tennis yesterday. So, I guess it does depend on what is the event.

    Good luck with your neighbor. There is one in every neighborhood isn’t there?

  4. I am a completely inconsistent Olympic watcher. I turn it on when I’m in the room, I watch when an event seems exciting, and then I get distracted and look away right before the end. I like races against individuals much more than team events. And I’m fine cheering for the US, especially if the athletes are cute and personable (both genders). And I never expect Canadians to win, because, hey, we’re Canadian. And when my sister and I were watching the triathlon at the cottage four years ago there was a bat flying around, so now I always feel like I should watch the summer olympics holding a badminton racket defensively.

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