Saturday, February 14, 2009

Something new under the sun

This was a week of new never-before things.

For one thing, I signed up Paul's mom for a Xanga site. She was wondering how to read our family's blogs via email. I have a Feedblitz blog feed but I didn't think there was any way for her to get the girls' posts without signing her up for her own Xanga. So I did. She is prayinggrandma. Don't expect her to post or even to check her site, but hey, it's there if she ever wants to share her life with the world.

Then, last night I went to my first high school basketball game ever.

Ok, this is really embarrassing to admit, that I had never attended a high school game, so you can all comment and tell me it's ok, you've never learned to ride a bike or something.

[And just a note, if you're going to send your kids to a public high school, please let them participate in something besides speech and yearbook, or at least go watch if they don't participate. But that is a rant for another day, and I have to admit both my speech and yearbook experiences have come in handy since.]

Anyway. Paul's nephew Justin, the tall and handsome redhead, is on Harrisburg High School's basketball team and they had a home game last night. Ben and Steven wanted to go. Unfortunately Paul was gone, the girls were gone, Matt was at the warehouse, and they couldn't reach any friends.

I got a brilliant idea. "Hey! Maybe I should take you!"

Ben looked dubious. "Well, maybe you could just go drop us off."

But no, I was warming up to this idea. "No, really, I'll take you! Yes! I will!"

Then I got all nervous and began to pump the boys. "Where do you go in? Where do you pay? Where do you sit? Do they play the national anthem? What if I yell at the wrong time?"

Ben said, "Mom, it's not the inauguration or anything."

Jenny said, "Just yell whatever Bonnie yells."

Well. Bonnie is Justin's mom and a seasoned veteran and she is famous for yelling her heart out--"Watch him, Justin! DEE-fense!"

I didn't think I'd better start yelling whatever Bonnie yelled.

Ben said, "If nothing else, just cheer when everyone else is cheering."

We went. My [adjective adjective] teenage boys scampered ahead so they wouldn't have to be seen with me, and they sat clear on the other side of the gym

I found my friend Regina and stayed close by her side. Love you, Regina.

Harrisburg played Santiam Christian. It was a nailbiter game and the final score was 34-32 Harrisburg.

Here were a few of my reactions:

1. Wait. What's with that?
There was this whole ritual thing before the game could start, a carefully orchestrated song-and-dance, with the teams running out at a certain time, and the fans lining up along the sides, and the team slapping the fans' hands as they went by. And a funny thing where each player would run in a zigzag slapping hands with various important people. Weird.

And afterwards the teams walked by each other and slapped hands. Slapping hands is an important ritual, I guess. Anyway, it was nice, like, let's not hate each other too badly.

And why didn't they shoot more? They would pass and dribble, dribble and pass [yes, I know these words], but they wouldn't shoot unless they were right under the basket in a tangle of arms and legs. Also weird.

2. Really now. I mean really now.
So what's the point of the contrived introductions? "Jus-tin SMUCKERRRRR!!!"
And the mega-micro-mini skirts on the cheerleaders. I don't get it. You shouldn't have to flinch when a girl bends over.
[I just thought of this. I once sewed a cheerleader skirt, back in the day, for my friend Sheila. I am sure it was longer than the ones I saw last night, but I still don't think I'd better put it on my minister's wife resume'.]

3. Awwwww
This year's seniors and their parents were introduced and the guys gave their moms flowers. Sweet.

4.Just play for goodness sake.
Ok, so the clock would start ticking, and they'd play for maybe 30 seconds, and a whistle would sound, and they would stop playing, and some people would applaud, or sometimes boo, although I'm not sure why, and then things would reshuffle, and maybe someone would shoot a freethrow, and then they'd finally play again. This happened many times. I wished they would just play.

5. Whoa.
Justin shot freethrows four or five different times. He made a bunch of them, I don't remember how many. But I was impressed by the pressure of having all those eyes on him and how he handled it. Surely this will come in handy when he's a preacher someday.

And the biggest "whoa" of the night was the coach. He and the team were right in front of us and I found myself mesmerized. He was so unbelievably tense that he would have made my Type-A BIL Rod look like a couch potato. Up and down, clenched fists, pacing the floor. [Oh and during the team huddles he crouched in front of them and I thought he was writing on the floor with his finger like Jesus with the woman taken in adultery. Later I figured out he had a white board he was drawing on.] And constantly, endlessly, this guy was shouting shouting shouting. It was too noisy for me to understand much but I did catch this:

Quote of the Day:
[to one poor singled-out kid who didn't burst into tears like I would have] "TRACY! Don't! let! him! get! there!"
[paces back and forth]
"We're gonna go down here, and go wide!"
[pushes up glasses]
[stomp stomp]
[draws on "floor"]
"Like this, right? We're gonna switch it after a [something something]."
[slight disbelief from students] "I don't care! You're Justin Smucker!"


  1. You might want to start at the 3rd/4th grade level, where my son plays basketball. They shut the scoreboard off when there is a 15-point discrepancy in the score, which has happed thrice this year, once in our favor, twice not.

    At least the coaches are nice. Personally, I don't think there is any call for a coach berating a kid at all or being unsportsmanlike to the opposition. "Stupid" is a taboo word in our house.

    But then, I try to treat people and expect to be treated with respect (which I suppose is why I work for myself, not someone else!).

    And I keep praying that nothing will ever happen that my son has to go to public school EVER, esp. in jr high and high school My goodness, how can a boy remain pure when the girls dress like prostitutes? Yes, even the cheerleaders. We have quit going to football games (which used to be a mainstay of our Friday nights, because he is getting to the age of noticing, and the dress, language and PDA of the kids in the public schools is so base and vulgar--we live in JC--and I wouldn't even let him watch that kind of stuff on TV, let alone in real life, where I can't turn it off!!

  2. and again I LOL at most every paragraph.....I like people who can laugh at themselves and you clearly can do that. I am glad you don't have to become old and have the regret of never having gone to a high school basketball game. Go Dorcas!! :-)

  3. Be careful. The Register-Guard is going to want you to write a sports column next!!! LOLOL I loved it. =D

  4. Sounds like my appreciation of basketball is similar to yours. :) Got quite a chuckle out of your description of it.

  5. that is a hilarious story! i read it out loud to cameron and laughed the whole time.

  6. I went to a game once or twice. I complained to someone else that I was bored watching something I didn't understand. Well duh, I was informed, you don't go to watch the game, you go to socialize. Oh!