Friday, February 12, 2010

Gold Medal Husband

Do we really need all this nationalism in the Olympics?

Don't get me wrong - I'm quite patriotic. If constitutionally protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens and advancing civilization were Olympic events, we would hold all the gold medals. Rock on, USA.

But I can't bring myself to care whether or not some guy from Minnesota can skate a little faster than some guy from Saskatchewan.

What about the underdogs? Show me the story about the kid from Timbuktu who comes out of nowhere to lead her team to an unexpected bronze metal in curling, and I'll show you one less time we have to hear about Lindsey Vonn being groomed her whole life to become the greatest winter olympic athlete of all time. Gag me with a ski pole.

Patriotism does not have to extend to sports. Maybe if we got to hear some of the interesting stories from other parts of the globe, NBC wouldn't be losing a zillion dollars on these games.

No matter what, though, it is hard to work up enthusiasm just a couple of weeks after one of the greatest and most heart-warmingly triumphant sporting events in American history.

I'm referring, of course, to the Dodge Charger ad that aired during the Super Bowl.

In case you haven't seen it, the ad features a series of forlorn-looking guys staring into the camera with the expression you'd expect to see from an 11-year-old girl who just watched her puppy get butchered by a guy with a swastika tattooed on his scalp.

The voice over says, "I will get up at 6:30 in the morning. I will eat breakfast. I will be sure to have fruit with my breakfast. I will shave. I will clean the sink after shaving.... I will sit through two hour meetings. I will carry your lip balm. I will watch your vampire shows with you..." At the end: "Because I do all of these things, I will drive the car I want to drive."

On one hand, it is sad that masculinity's "last stand" is reduced to some superficial status-grab based on the kind of car you drive.

On the other hand, this ad spoke to me. In fact, it inspired me to go out and buy the economy-sized bag of dog food, even though my wife insists that we get the smaller bag because it fits better in our utility room.

I say: as long as I'm lugging around the dog food, I'll decide how much we spend per pound on it.

(So far, she hasn't seemed to notice the change. Please don't mention it to her.)

By the way, everyone who appreciated that commercial should go on Youtube and search for "Woman's Last Stand," a rather pointed rebuttal that got me thinking.

The real reason I do all those types of things for my wife is because I watched her give birth. When I think of that moment (I say "moment" as if it didn't last 36 hours), and the succession of months and years that followed in which she nurtured our child brilliantly, I'd happily commute on a recumbent bicycle for that woman.

You can say I've been emasculated, but I went into marriage knowing exactly what to expect. I found the woman I wanted to raise a family with and I married her. No one forced me.

So if I have to forego the ice hockey semifinals so we can watch ice dancing, I'm lucky to be able to make such a sacrifice.

No comments: