Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Guest Post by Sheriden Defresne

My girlfriend, B., is raising twins. They’re not mine. Don’t worry; I’m actually not involved.
She is a nanny for an extremely hippie couple. They dumpster-dive. The only music the twins (Zach and Ariah, I swear) will listen to, other than “The Wheels on the Bus”, is Pete Seeger. Yeah, like that.
The parents, though, have a mean sort of landed gentry streak through them. This was best exemplified when, recently, they commented that they would not allow their sons to play sports. This infuriated B. It got me worried about the day that she and I raise kids, and they want to play sports. I will be severely fucked.
Even in the simplest ways, I will be absolutely no good to a kid trying to learn sports. Imagine light music playing over a comical montage where the kid tosses me a Wiffle ball and it bounces between my legs. I get tangled up in a soccer goal. I keep yelling “Home run!” during basketball games.
And how will my kid even know sports? If one were to spend time with me, the closest to sports he or she would get would be the cheerleader on Heroes (“See, Sheriden, Jr., save her, save the world.”). I admit to not entirely knowing what squash is. Is it like football? Or is it the one like tennis? I also have no competitive spirit. A child raised by me would likely just as soon defect to the other team if his or her object of affection is playing defense.
Then again, that might be where B. comes in. She grew up playing softball, and today is fanatical about certain sports. She has on several occasions accosted name contributors to this blog, explaining how they were wrong and she is right. In every sports-related way, she complements me. Maybe that’s how you know she’s The One.
The above is tangential, as I am guilty of lying by omission. The reason this couple does not want their sons to play sports is because they do not want their sons to interact with “Those sorts of people.” I must admit; thinking of the Duke case, and thinking of Kobe Bryant, and thinking of the Dallas Cowboys, and thinking of Magic Johnson, and thinking of Sammy Sosa, and thinking of the guys who beat me up in middle school, this seems like a reasonable sentiment.
Then again, it would not be unreasonable to consider myself a person who lives exactly opposite athletes. So why don’t we examine my chosen path?
I write. Like William S. Burroughs wrote. Like Ernest Hemingway wrote. Like the Marquis de Sade wrote. Like Sylvia Plath wrote. Like Marcel Proust wrote. This is not great company. And that’s even assuming that my hypothetical children associate with other writers. More likely, they will spend all their time alone and end up committing suicide. And that’s assuming they’re good at writing. They could just sort of be like John Irving, and end up sucking their way through their middle ages.
It’s fair to say that it is up to one’s parents to raise one right in spite of the assholes one will meet in one’s chosen field. Well, parent. I will probably be watching TV.

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