My father is coming over tomorrow to help Graham and I take out the recycling. The city doesn’t think my block needs single stream recycling dumpsters. It prefers that we either throw our recyclable materials in with the regular trash or drive at least 10 minutes in any direction to a drop site, because apparently you’re not supposed to dump your trash and/or recyclable materials in a dumpster that sits in an alley where you yourself do not live. I don’t know how this is supposed to motivate normal people to recycle. All I know is that I am not normal, and that the thought of just throwing my recyclables in with the regular trash makes me feel awful. This is why I’ve been stockpiling all of my bottles, plastic, cardboard, and annoying bi-weekly coupon mailers since, um, probably last winter. Also I’m lazy. Whatever, the point is that I’m moving in less than a week (!!!) and I need a truck to get this mountain of stuff out of my house and into an appropriate receptacle.
My only sibling is my sister. While sometimes I think my father wanted at least one of us to be a boy (I’m going with my sister on this one, because I was the first and that alone was enough to make me a stunning example of someone’s ability to create life), he tried his best to play the gender hand he was dealt. When we were kids, he pushed us to do things like play sports and stop crying and do basic repairs. Now that
we’re I am an independent adult, he calls me three times a week just to talk and pesters me to ask for his help when big stuff like moving comes up.
I didn’t want to ask him to actually help us move. He’s almost 60. He’s still in pretty good physical condition, but the only one of us he’d be able to help move is Graham, and I don’t want him acting extra manly in front of a bunch of 30-year-old guys. It’s one thing to buy someone a nice 6-pack as a thank you. It’s quite another to end up apologizing profusely for the hernia they got moving your TV.
So we’re using his truck to do the recycling tomorrow, and after that we’re all going to my nephew’s soccer game.
I’m interested in watching my dad watch my nephew’s game. He coached our teams when we were younger, and this was way before he mellowed out and went to massage therapy school. Back then he’d scream at us until he turned purple. Seriously. Purple. I occasionally hear myself yelling “C’MON, HUSTLE!” at my nephew and I want to rip my dad’s words out of my mouth. Of course, I do realize that I’m not gesturing wildly and storming up and down the sideline like my dad would have done back then, but still. The kid really does need to hustle, I just don’t want to turn out like some of the parents there.
These fucking parents. People, this is a preschool league. These kids are four years old. There is no need to scream their names at the top of your lungs for 45 minutes straight, nor should you be yelling at them to bury someone on the opposing team. You also shouldn’t be audibly disappointed when your kid misses a goal, at least if you’re not immediately following that up with something like “good try, maybe next time!”. You should also try cheering for the other kids, too, as it’s sort of a team sport and encouraging this mindset will probably teach your kid to stop pushing down his own teammates to get to the ball. I don’t want to seem all soft on this – if a kid is going to keep playing sports, I agree that a certain level of competitiveness is an asset – but they’re four. Acting like a boorish, overly aggressive asshole at these games tells me you’re one of those losers who peaked in high school and still can’t stop talking about it.
The worst parent is my nephew’s coach. He’s actually a year younger than me; we went to the same high school. His kid is one of the smallest on the team, and certainly the least enthusiastic. He’s a bit of a whiner and a sore loser, but mostly, the kid just doesn’t want to play. I understand making him play out the rest of the season. My parents also believed that if you signed up, you should finish what you started. But his dad is so mean to him. He uses this shitty tone of voice to the kid’s face and can’t understand why his kid isn’t into the game, and once told my sister “Yeah, well, my kid’s pretty much the biggest tampon on the team.”
HE’S FOUR, you fat ugly fuck. He’s a little boy who wears pink cleats and has more fun twirling around in a goalie shirt than he does getting into a scrimmage with the other kids. Anyone can see what’s going on. Part of me wants the kid to be some gay femme fashion designer because that’d really piss his dad off, but the other part of me hopes he turns out as macho as possible because I can imagine how his dad would treat him otherwise.
I told my dad about that douchebag’s tampon comment. He laughed pretty hard at first, but in the same way he does when I tell a borderline dirty joke (sometimes my dad still has problems with me saying “crap” or a non-clinical term for “testicles”). He then said, “Well, that’s not right. These kids are pretty young. They don’t know what tampons are yet.”