Friday, October 28, 2011

Magnifique: My Interview with Bruce Constantineau

I was at a networking event recently and met Bruce Constantineau, the fellow who writes about the Whitecaps and other soccer news for the Vancouver Sun. Well, we didn’t meet exactly- I overheard someone I had met talking about soccer with him, and found out who he was just as I was leaving, so I didn’t get the chance to introduce myself. Instead, the next day I brazenly sent him a link to the blog I’d written about attending a Whitecaps game with my daughter and asked if we could talk. Naturally I expected nothing from this encounter, but he was very kind, and responded by saying he’d read the link and said he’d be happy to answer my questions. Nice!

It doesn’t take much encouragement for me to get excited about things related to soccer and writing. Here was someone with everything I didn’t have – a paying writing gig, connections, journalistic integrity – paying attention to my blog! As I waited for him to call, I began to treat this impending event the way some might plan for a visit with say, Nelson Mandela, or the Beatles. I checked to make sure my cellphone ringer was on approximately every twenty seconds. And during this time, I may have let my imagination get the better of me. Keeping in mind that I had never actually met this person and know almost nothing about him, I began to picture Bruce and me attending soccer games and writing about them over the years, eventually growing old together. What kind of last name was Constantineau anyway - French? Perhaps we’d move to Paris and get a little apartment there. Bruce would be well connected with the French soccer scene so, of course, we’d become friends with the famous former player Zinedine Zidane. On Saturdays, Zinedine would come over with a bottle of expensive red wine and I’d spend all day making Coq au Vin for us. I guess my husband Steve could come too – in my fantasy I’d sort of temporarily forgotten that I’d already planned to grow old with someone – but this was France! (As I understand it, you can get away with all sorts of things there.) The four of us would sit around an old rustic table in our little garret, drinking wine and looking out at a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower as the sun went down. Zinedine would promise to keep the head-butting to a minimum. Magnifique.

And then the phone rang and I had to actually talk to him.

Bruce was a consummate professional, dutifully answering all my dopey questions about the Whitecaps coaching changes, the players, the stadium, traveling with the team, his son's successes and how he got into writing about soccer. For about twenty minutes he generously spoke with me as though I were an equal, telling me I was a good writer and encouraging me to keep it up.

He did not offer to whisk me away to France though.

If I had to describe it now, I’d say my relationship with Bruce is in a holding pattern, in which I remain happily married to my husband and Bruce continues to do a great job of reporting on soccer in Vancouver and completely forgets about me.

I don’t mind, though, because we’ll always have Paris.

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