Plinky Prompts

Sporting Events? No Thanks

I'm not a sports fan.

In fact, it's pretty safe to say, I am not interested in sports, of any kind, whatsoever.

The Super Bowl coming up? (It is coming up, right?) Could care less. The only thing I'm even remotely interested in are the commercials and even then, I'll watch them online and only then, based on what people say about them. (Because I'm nothing if not curious – don't think I jump on bandwagons because ugh, no).

I used to watch football, keeping track of favorite teams and how they were doing and who made it to the Super Bowl, but I've lost interest and I haven't watched a football game in, oh, a decade maybe?

I watch my boys' school football team but ONLY because Jazz (youngest son) plays the saxophone in the school marching band and I DIG the marching bands.

In fact, it's pretty safe to say I'm one of THOSE moms when it comes to band competitions. (I.E. Fiercely loyal, but not irrationally so).

I like basketball. In fact, Kevin and I will be going to watch a few games coming up – but again, because Jazz will be playing in the band during those games; I wouldn't go otherwise.

But if I had to choose a sport, basketball would be one I could sit through without wanting to claw my eyeballs out. I like basketball because it's fast, unpredictable and there's always something happening. I could do without the sweaty gym smell, though.

I LOATHE baseball. I mean, just abhor it. It's soooooo boring to watch, either live or on TV. I don't want to offend anyone, but I'm hard pressed to even call ball players athletes, I mean, they stand around all day unless a ball happens to come their way or it's their turn at bat. You couldn't pay me to watch baseball … wait, yes you could. But I'd be one of those annoying observers who wouldn't shut up about a bunch of guys standing around waiting for something to happen.

Now racing? I can dig it. And I watch it. I didn't always like it, but Kevin started getting into it and in order to find common ground and do something together, I started watching it and I have to admit, I enjoy it.

At first, it was like, "it's a bunch of guys driving around in circles," but it's really so much more. And I used to think the same thing about race car drivers like I do baseball players – how are they athletes? They're sitting around on their butts all day.

But they are having to constantly deal with the G-forces of driving and keeping the car on the racetrack and that takes a lot of physical exertion, I'm sure.

Then there's the driving strategy, and the fuel and tire issues, and what plan of action to take after a caution comes out and there's a lot of things to deal with in racing. It's not simply driving a car, it takes skills.

(Not implying baseball doesn't take skills, but still).

I like tennis, but really only because my husband used to play tennis in high school and it gives us something to talk about. I can play tennis, but I'm not very good. Now THAT'S a tough sport. You're constantly in motion, running back and forth, hitting balls .. that takes a lot of strength and endurance.

The boys? Hate sports. They have zero interest in any kind of sport. They have never taken any sort of interest in sports whatsoever. Even though Jazz plays music at football and basketball games, he doesn't enjoy it. He loves the playing music part, but he hates the sitting around waiting to play part.

At first, it sort of bothered me that the boys didn't like sports that much. I mean, society seems to want to label people (especially boys) as weird if they aren't into sports and I would be a little embarrassed to admit that our boys didn't play and didn't have any interest in sports. But now? I don't care. Whenever anyone new asks what sports our boys play (see? They just assume – why is that?), I simply tell them,

"They don't play sports. In fact, they don't like sports. They are geeks and we're quite okay with that. Geeks are usually successful and make money."

Well, they do.

I've also seen too many kids, too many family members, end up with broken bones and long-term issues from injuries sustained from high school sports. I think it would kill me if one of them got seriously hurt playing a game.

I also don't care for how parents react at sporting events, either. I can understand a parent caring enough for their kid's team to want them to perform well and winning IS fun, I mean, I get into the band competitions, but it's not a do-or-die situation. These parents that yell obscenities at the coaches, the referees, other players and worse, at their own kids, sicken me. I've watched too many young faces wither and die under a parent's harsh criticism of their sporting performance.

FOR A GAME. That won't mean a whole hell of a lot in a week's time. I just don't get it.

And then there are the sporting celebrities who tend to get away with all sorts of disgusting behaviors. What exactly is that teaching our young athletes? And let's not forget how much professional athletes make. I mean, they should definitely get paid well, they are, after all, putting their bodies through the wringer all in the name of entertainment, but the fact that big-sporting names make millions of dollars when other professions, like teaching, law enforcement, fire fighting and other equally important community careers only just scrape by.

It infuriates me. Our priorities are screwed up. We place a higher value on sports than we do on education. (And let's not forget actors – but that's a different rant).

Again, I just don't get the appeal. I mean sure, sports are fun, both to watch and play (for some people) and they teach our young people the importance of team work, following rules and camaraderie, but when it's all said and done, it's a GAME. It won't change the world, it won't pay the bills, (unless one is lucky enough to go pro – and let's be honest, those are some pretty high odds) – it's a fleeting distraction, a moment in time that will soon be chronicled and later forgotten.

I just don't get it.

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Can We Talk?, Plinky Prompts

How is technology changing the way families interact?

No Technology in Brighton

I know that a lot of "experts" say that technology is actually ripping families apart, and though that may be true on some level (more distractions means less face-to-face time), in some ways, I think it's brought our family closer.

I have two teenage boys (for those that don't know) and I'm lucky if I get grunts, let alone actual words. And trying to get them to talk about their days? Is nearly impossible. And I try, believe me. In fact, I do some of the silliest things in an effort to make them laugh and open up. Once in a while, I'm successful, but most times, they just roll their eyes at me. I'm afraid I only reinforce their opinion of me – lame-ass mom.

But the boys got new phones for Christmas. These phones have pop-out keyboards which make texting easier. And we text back and forth. Not a lot, they are teenage boys after all (which basically means teenage boys aren't typically chatty to begin with), but I feel like I talk to them more now because of the texting feature.

We also watch YouTube videos together. ("Hey mom! You have to watch this funny video!") And of course, there's Facebook (sometimes reading their statuses is the only way I know what is going on in their lives).

I honestly think I would know a lot less about my boys without today's technology to fall back on.

It's certainly easy to get distracted by technology. When I think about making the boys give up their technology in favor of real life I have to think, "how would I feel if someone asked me to give up my favorite gadgets?" I'd resent it.

We have come to accept that that is what our boys like. They enjoy their computers, they love playing their games with their buddies online. Texting is crack to teenagers – our children have grown up with technology, it's what they know, it's what they enjoy. Sure, we teach our boys to take breaks, to come back to "reality," but as with anything, using technology comes with responsibilities and too much of anything is never a good idea.

Do I wish our boys had more one-on-one social skills? Yes. And I daresay they're going to learn those skills pretty fast when they get jobs and/or go to college, but they're also learning skills with technology, too; skills that I daresay will come in handy in our technology-saturated world.

I mean come on, can you imagine your world without your cell phone and your computer?

Okay fine, I can imagine it too, but the REAL question is, do we WANT to?

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