Dear Dr. Babooner,
My husband’s attention is easily captured by contests.
I patiently worked with him through the heady highs and the heart crushing lows of his sudden obsession with the Mega Millions drawing last Friday. Somehow he convinced himself we were going to win and we would be forced to do something charitable because we would simply run out of things to want for ourselves.
He became completely worked up over the difficult philanthropic choice he knew we would face – whether to set up an organization to rehabilitate invasive Asian Carp who want to stop leaping, or create a home for Facebook Orphans – the sad children whose parents won’t friend them.
But we didn’t win anything at all! Instead of planning our victory announcement, I had to help him do calm-down exercises all through the weekend. Who knew writing explanatory haiku could be so therapeutic?
Now in the harsh light of Monday morning I see that it was all for naught – he’s stuck in a pattern of serial enthrallment, lurching from one popular thing to another.
Today it’s the Final Four.
He can’t stop talking about, thinking about, and fretting over the outcome of tonight’s Kentucky vs. Kansas contest – a basketball game that, to me, is utterly meaningless because it involves two states that I could never tell apart to begin with. One of them is certain to win but I’m sure that by tomorrow morning I won’t be able to remember which one it was.
As my husband pores over the line-ups and number-crunches the statistics, I tell him that these things always seem to come down to a couple of dapper millionaire coaches shouting about fouls with 3.7 seconds on the clock, and then some gawky near-teenager who hasn’t done his calculus homework trying to make a free throw with 0.6 seconds left.
I tell my husband to skip all the pre-game and mid-game angst and just tune in for the last 12.9 seconds. He won’t miss a thing! But words are useless. He doesn’t hear me and I know I won’t be able to get his attention again until Wednesday at the earliest.
Obviously I’m frustrated.
Why do they call it the “Final” Four when everyone knows there will be four more next year? I would be able to take these major sporting events more seriously if they truly represented the end – let’s crown a champion and then never, ever play the game again.
Is that too much to ask?
I told Mr. Fanatic that yes, in fact, it IS Too Much To Ask.
We all find it very easy to insist that other people give up things we don’t like. After all, it would be easy for US to walk away from the lottery and the Final Four – what’s the problem? And it feels great to scoff at these hopeless addicts. But what if someone asked you to stop feeling so superior? That could be a very hard habit to break.
But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?