October 03, 2006

It happened again today.

Here's roughly how it goes, every single time:

Jim: Hi, how are you? Good to see you. [There is a handshake.]

Vague Friend/Acquaintance/Co-worker: Good, good. How are you?

Jim: Fine, thanks. How's [insert female name here, a reference to the wife]?

Vague Friend/Acquaintance/Co-worker: She's great. Really great.

Jim: And how are the kids?

Vague Friend/Acquaintance/Co-worker: They're terrific. We're crazy busy, you know. The kids are playing soccer this season!

Oh, God. The soccer chat. Again.

I hate this.

Invariably the guy yammers on and on, going into excruciating detail about his kids "learning teamwork" while playing a "great sport," that when you get right down to it, the way it's organized in the suburbs these days, is glorified after-school care.

And the whole time I'm thinking, Really, pal? The kids are playing soccer? No way! Because, I like, never hear that from anyone. How unusual, different, and interesting that your kids are playing soccer. Soccer! Of all things, soccer! And, wow! They're playing in the fall! Because I remember they played in the spring and summer, too. Gee whiz, you have some serious athletes in the making there, buddy. Christ, do you ever spend any one-on-one time with these brats?

Then, if the guy's really hardcore, he starts either: (a) criticizing the "coach," who I gather is usually, in "real life," a part-time bus driver or something like that; (b) harping on some other "Dad," who's just too totally involved in it, you know?, and so they're not speaking anymore; or (c) if he's a real freak, carping about "a thing" his wife has about the snacks some of the other "Moms" bring.

Please, spare me.


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