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8th November
written by Mombo#9

The season following a Winter Olympics year is much like the morning after Daylight Saving that takes place in November, nine months later.  Everything looks the same but there is a subtle difference that you just can’t wrap your mind around. The clock says it is five o’clock but something feels off.

The short dance blends the compulsory and the original dance, but yet, it doesn’t quite feel right. Not yet.

One of my tasks for these approaching longer winter nights is to finally put the skating scrapbooks together. When competitions were in progress, I was lucky to just get the tidbits put in a pile, to be carried to the box, to be added to the stack. The first things to organize were the photographs, which is how I had a 5 by 7 glossy sitting on top of my coffee table when a non-skating acquaintance stopped by.  She inquired about the skating photo near her coffee cup (that I was keeping a close eye on!), and I replied that it was one of my daughter with Michelle Kwan.

“Oh…which one is your daughter?”

For a moment I was speechless. Was this possible? Could someone not really know the Kween of skating? Could someone not know there was in fact a Kween of skating?

I pointed out my daughter and my houseguest murmured platitudes while brushing white fox terrier hairs from her black pants.

Of course I realized she would have been more impressed with a snapshot of Tony Romo or Tom Brady with an arm around my child.  A pic of Shaq towering over my pixie or Lance Armstrong cycling past my offspring would have garnered a low five at least.

Mondays in any office, in any car, on any bus or train, in any school — the talk will turn to replays of the weekend games from August to February — the weekend football games. For skating fans, this is the same time frame that encompasses the start of the Junior Grand Prix to Nationals. But skating aficionados have no one to rehash the miss-calls and miscarriages of justice in the judging calls that occurred the prior week.

Sometimes I try.

“The Bills have the worst record in the league and we had to win in overtime — and almost blew that.” (Guy One)

“We have to get our offense off the fence!” (Guy Two)

“And how are they going to call Roethlisberger having control of that ball? Did you see the replay — from any angle? Are they blind?” (Guy One)

“I know. I’m not sure the Technical Callers are going to same training classes. Did you see what they gave our team on that footwork sequence? Do they need glasses”? (Me)

This typically results in silence, and not just the quiet that ensues when people just stop talking, but that long silence that lingers like when you call the wife of your boss by his current girlfriend’s name.

Sometimes I try to interject skating as an analogy in a professional discussion — after all, sports comparisons are plentiful in everyday life. “He’s no first round draft pick.” “That was almost a no-hitter Marvin.” “Betty, let’s keep it in the strike zone.”

I offered, when commenting that perhaps teachers were being asked to do too much in the No Child Left Behind debate, “Even Sarah Hughes could only get seven triples in a four-minute gold medal performance.”

This was also met with silence. The kind of silence where no one looks at each other because they don’t know if they are supposed to know what that means or not. Or the kind of silence you have when you find out your first humor book as been outsold by a book called, “The Wonder of Farts.”

And so, on this first day post-Daylight Saving, I am feeling a bit out of sync as the clock reads five and darkness hovers at the horizon. The Grand Prix results await the end of each week for the judging sheets for the short dance and free dance.

My eyes digest it while my memory subconsciously searches for that third column. Maybe by the time Daylight Saving has righted itself in the spring, I will have gotten use to it.

Maybe by then “The Fart” book will also not have so much wind in its sails.


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