Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Point/Counterpoint: When Are You Going to Finish Writing Your Damn Guest Blog vs. When I'm Good and Ready

The Onion news often has articles called Point/Counterpoint which delve into two sides of an issue. I thought it would be fun to write one of these about soccer coaching with someone, so back on Sept 27 I asked my ex-boyfriend Jim to guest blog about it for me, since he has been coaching his sons for many years and I am a newbie coach for my daughter. It didn’t turn out exactly the way I planned, but here are the results.

When Are You Going to Finish Writing Your Damn Guest Blog

By Cathy Collis, victim of recent ACL Reconstruction knee surgery

So sometimes, people ask other people to do things, and they, like, just don’t do them. I’m not talking about any one particular incident or anything, just putting the idea out there. Like let’s imagine for a second that someone has recently had knee surgery, and they’re battling through doing even the basic necessities of life, like showering and stuff, and then someone else with perfectly good knees and all the time in the world to go for bike rides breezily agrees to guest write something for the first person's blog—can you imagine the relief that provides for the original person, knowing they don’t have to write their own blog for a week? Considering they are on some seriously addictive painkillers and are not supposed to operate heavy machinery? But wait! Then he doesn’t do that thing. Months go by. He uses lame excuses, like work, and his kids having the chicken pox, and coaching soccer.

Clearly the original person should have known better than to ask the kind of person who would make plans to take his girlfriend to Olive Garden, and then later bail on those plans by saying he felt sick—only for the girlfriend to find out later that he was fine and at the pub with his buddies for a guys night thing. Even if that thing was 18 years ago.

Just saying. Hypothetically.

PS. Does anyone want to buy some leftover painkillers?

When I’m Good and Ready

By Jim Martell, ex-boyfriend

First of all, I am a beautiful, flawed middle-aged man with a host of emotional disabilities and only the most tenuous grasp on my sanity, but I am fairly sure that when my doctor tells me I am not supposed to operate heavy machinery he is not referring to a computer keyboard. In any case, I am easily overwhelmed when I have multiple tasks concurrently on my “to do” list. I become paralyzed, curl into a metaphorical ball and proceed with none of the work, regardless of impending deadlines and negative consequences. The one thing I always show up for is my soccer coaching duties: coaching kids is interactive, physical, and (at this level) uncomplicated. Frustratingly, my younger son’s routine on game days is as follows:

Pre-game: “Do I HAVE to go to soccer todaaaay?”

Half-time: “Is it almost OVER? I’m sooooo tired!”

Post-game: “I’m glad THAT’s over for another week!”

Why is his immediate reaction always avoidance? He’s not the best player on the team, but certainly not the worst. It fills me with dread at times that he would rather “not do” than “do.” I worry that this lack of engagement will spill over into all aspects of his life, that he will never develop a healthy enthusiasm for anything, and that I am failing as a parent by not instilling in him a sense of urgency to get going on something. Anything.

My suspicion is that he is probably feeling just like his dad: overwhelmed. But he doesn’t have a family to feed, a house and yard to maintain, bills to pay, teams to coach...or a guest blog to write. On the other hand, he does have school to attend, homework to do, extracurricular lessons, chores, personal relationships to maintain with his family and friends. Maybe on Saturday mornings, he just wants to be left alone to have a rest. I know how he feels.

I can never get everything done, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to get anything done. I feel like everywhere I look, I see someone whom I am letting down: wife, kids, boss, friends...I just cannot seem to spring into action. But at least now I have obliged my ex-girlfriend by spending fifteen minutes on this. That’s got to count for something, even if it probably doesn’t make up for the Olive Garden thing.

Sure wish I had some prescription painkillers.

1 comment:

  1. Great banter you two and I love your universal descriptions of avoidance. Nice dig about the Olive Garden, Cathy, and fitting counterpoint, Jim. No wonder you work at a pub.