Being a parent of a basketball player can be fun. Can be. It’s not always. Here’s the fun part: I get to sit in the bleachers for a few hours. Here’s the bad part: I sit in the bleachers for a few hours. Yes, I have one of those “Don’t make fun of me, I’m old” seats that will support my back. Mock all you will, I don’t care. So my back is okay. But aside from a few compatriots (I always try to wedge myself between them), there are some parents who tend to complain. And yell. And badger the refs. And want me to do the same with them. I don’t even want to make eye contact with these people, let alone be lumped in with them.
It’s embarrassing when a kid from the other team is about shoot a free throw and one of our “mature” parents screeches loudly to throw him off. It’s a kid, for crying out loud! And did you know that every ref in the world SUCKS! And not only sucks, but personally has it out for this one parent’s kid. Not that I’d blame the ref. Let me tell you something, being a ref for these games is the most thankless job in the world. They are constantly booed and yelled at. Occasionally I boo and yell too, but that’s just so the other parents won’t get mad at me.
Then there’s this one dad who insists on making eye contact when he talks to you, so that you’re guilted into doing the same. Most people understand you talk sideways to one another at these games so you can watch the game as you pretend to listen. Not this guy. And invariably it’s while having this “eye-to-eye” talk that my kid is in and I miss the one good thing he does in each game.
Today, I get to miss out on the bleacher portion of my life. That’s because I have Snack Shack duty where I have to man the Snack Shack with another parent or two and on occasion dole out coagulated nacho cheese or a limp churro. I actually kind of like Snack Shack duty. So far I’ve been teamed with “cool” (i.e. not annoying) parents and I’m able to sneak a few chips when no one’s looking.
I do get mildy irritated when I ask a kid customer what he wants and he looks at the menu for a minute and then asks for the one thing we don’t sell. That puts me in the position of having to disappoint this little punk who will blame me for not having what he wants. But then I smile at the thought that this is the same feeling I have at home countless times each day. And I take a strange comfort in that.
Anyway, just a glimpse into the rest of my day. Can’t wait for work tomorrow.