Friday, February 26, 2010

Hi, my name is Crazy, and I'm an Olympiholic

You should see my house right now. OK, actually, you shouldn’t. I’m a poor enough housekeeper that even in good circumstances, I only let trusted friends into my house, but right now, I’m afraid that even they might be tempted to call the health department. Alpha wanted to make herself a snack after school the other day, but she couldn’t find a spot on the counter to do it. Except for the hours before noon, which are often filled with other obligations anyway, my every waking moment has been spent watching the Olympics.

I like curling. OK, I looooove curling. Several days, I rushed to pick up the girls at the last possible minute, pulled into the space vacated by the school bus, hopped out, opened the sliding door, and, as soon as the girls got out of school (bus kids are dismissed first), waved them into the van, shouting things like, “Hurry up! When I left home, it was tied in the ninth end!”

I’ve got a profile set up on the satellite box such that I can limit the channel selection to the ones showing the Olympics, and from noon to midnight, it’s on one of those. Meanwhile, I’ve got one window on my laptop open to and another open to, so I can see both what’s on TV and what’s actually happening. This can get a bit frustrating, as when I was following the bobsled runs: When Canada 1’s split times went from first to eighth to eighteenth out of eighteen, clearly something was up. But my ancient Mac won’t run Microsoft Silverlight, so I can’t stream the live video. *pout* So I waited and waited, and finally, flipping back and forth between the primetime coverage and the US women’s curling match, I managed to miss both the Canadian bobsled crash and a really good end. I gave up and went to bed.

One of my favorite moments watching the Olympics didn’t occur at home, though. It can’t get much better than watching the first period of the Canada – Russia men’s hockey game on the rink TV with a bunch of hockey dads and coaches – including a Russian and a Canadian. As a hockey mom of girls, I of course like watching the women’s hockey, too. I like it even better when the girls watch it with me. And I like that other people are watching it, too. (I’m getting tired of hearing, “Your daughters play hockey? I didn’t know girls could play hockey!”) I’d like it even better if some of it had been shown in NBC’s main coverage, so it was likely to be seen by folks who weren’t looking for it.

To that end, I like seeing girl hockey players in no fewer than three commercials: Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and, I think, one of the Chevy commercials. What Olympics coverage won’t do, maybe mass marketing can.

Watching the commercials has become part of my Olympic experience. I can’t get over the “The Ladders” commercial with the office-chair safari, which has the disclaimer: “Do not attempt.” Why? Because an office chair might bite you if you do? Because People for the Ethical Treatment of Office Furniture might get upset? Because there are no herds of office chairs rolling through the African savanna, and if you think there are, we’d like you to stay right where you are so we can shoot you with a tranq dart, wrangle you, and take you to the zoo funny farm?

I want to know why the unseen dad in the Chevy Equinox commercial wants to send his family away on a trip without him. Is he waiting for a big meet-up with his mistress? (OK, this thought may be influenced by all the Tiger Woods coverage recently.)

And clearly, even though I’m a minivan-driving mom, I’m too old for the folks at Toyota to want me to buy their Sienna. I can’t understand why associating your product with people acting like jerks, even (sort-of) funny people acting like (sort-of) funny jerks, would make people want to buy your product. It must take the irony and snarkiness of a younger generation of parents (why, yes, I am an old fogy) to comprehend this.

I don’t waste as much time wondering about this, though, as I do wondering what’s going to happen when the Olympics are over. Will Olympic withdrawal reduce me to a twitching, quivering mass? Or will I awaken from my vegetative state into a new, shiny world?


  1. When you said you called to the girls to "hurry up" I could have sworn you were going to write "hurry hard!" considering the curling theme. ;)

    And being Olympics-obsessed is a great thing.

  2. LOL!

    I wish my girls were still young enough to make a bobsled out of boxes, BTW -- your boys are cute!