Saturday, January 16, 2010

Call Me

Alpha had a hockey tournament this weekend. Actually, the tournament is still going on, but Alpha doesn’t have any more games. They didn’t score enough points to make it into tomorrow’s finals. However, they held their own against teams that play a division above them in the local league. They had a close loss, a resounding loss, and ended up with a resounding win this afternoon.

Our family decided to stop for dinner near the rink before heading home. So, apparently, did the opposing team. We had parked the car and were walking up the street to the Mongolian barbecue, when, passing another restaurant, we were greeted with a windowful of nine and ten-year-old boys, wearing warm-ups emblazoned with the opponent’s logo, hollering, pounding on the window, waving, and calling out to Alpha.

I don’t know if they recognized her as someone who had just helped beat them. Maybe they would have similarly accosted any girl of the same age who walked by. They were certainly in high spirits for a team that hadn’t won any of its tournament games. But the sight of these boys had me laughing. They might have wolf whistled if they were old enough to know what a wolf whistle was and how to make one, and I might have been offended on Alpha’s behalf, but I couldn’t help simply being amused, especially at the little boys who were gesturing (and in one case, saying loudly enough to be heard through the window), “Call me.”

Alpha spent a bit of dinner talking about what she might have done. She wished she’d been wearing team gear at the time so she could point at it and make a face. She wished she’d said, “No, you call me.” I asked what she would have done if one of them then asked for her phone number, and she said, “I would have said, ‘No, you tell me yours. You were the one who wanted me to call you.’”

Thank goodness she’s got that sort of wit about her, because even so, with her red curls and freckles and big blue eyes, give it a few years, and I’m sunk.

For now, though, I can smile when boys pound on a plate glass window and shout, “Call me.”

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