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9th May
written by Mombo#9

The second weekend of May is one that is anticipated with much speculation in many homes across the country — not the shock of getting a pink peony or a heady-scented hydrangea for Mother’s Day, but that of confirming after months of conjecture those national skaters that made THE ENVELOPE for funding for USFS.

The problem is they mix the analogies, symbolism, or metaphors in the process.

“What are you talking about?” My daughter queries when I raise the issue. She contorts her face into a look that foreshadows a “here we go again/drama class 201” expression.

I elevate my eyebrows in a “sit up and take notice of this bit of imparted knowledge” and “it is almost Mother’s Day, where is the ‘Queen for the Day’ love” rebuttal.

She sighs and settles back in the chair.

“I don’t quite understand the modern day marketing process anymore.” I glance at her as I pontificate. “I mean look at Geico. They use a lizard, cavemen, and talking money to sell their product, but that is confusing to me. I mean it is almost like they can’t make up their minds, so they throw out the top 3 ideas from some seeming college competition. It’s confusing!”

“It’s a gecko.”


“It’s not a lizard; it’s a gecko.”

“Well that just adds to my point of how confusing it is.”

My daughter is clearly holding in her frustration when she asks how this relates to figure skating and USFS team funding. “Geico isn’t even a sponsor, State Farm was. You’re getting confused.”

“I am not confused. I am merely pointing out that so many aspects in life now have thrown out the processes that help make life a natural process of the mind.”

My daughter sighs although she clearly tried to keep it in.

“I can’t trust a company that can’t make up its mind what mascot or logo to use. You just can’t mix concepts and that is what the USFSA is doing.”

My daughter now has her hand to her forehead and is shaking her head similar to my reaction when I get on the scale each morning.

“Okay. They use the ‘ENVELOPE’ analogy, which is fine, but then they introduce the ‘Tier’ subcategory. It just doesn’t work.”

Silence from my listener.

“Seriously, if they are going to use the image of an ‘envelope’ then they need to stick with that type of connective terminology. The mind would easily jump and fill in the rating system if they moved to the ‘stamp’ breakdown. For example: Envelope A. First Class would be the gold medal winners from Nationals, Second Class would be the other medalists, Third Class those behind them, and Book-Rate would be next in line.”

“You can’t call people ‘second class.’ That would be crude.”

“True, that analogy does bring in other connotations.” I paused before continuing, “Well, they could consider the size of the envelopes. Team A could be the 11 by 14; Team B the 8 by 10, Team C the number 5s and the Reserve Team could be the postcard.”

My daughter looks at me for a moment before commenting very slowly, “Everyone understands what the system is now, and it would be,” she pauses, “odd to change it now.”

“But it is so gecko/caveman/talking money-ish; it’s confusing and literarily incorrect.”

This is skating, not the Pushcart Prize for small presses. Imagine being the ‘postcard’ recipients. I mean it doesn’t even close. And they haven’t announced the reserve team yet; that will come later.”

“Or maybe they could do Priority and then Express — or is it the other way around? I always get those two confused. . .”

I think the ‘Tiered’ system works fine. Skaters understand it. It just identifies who is first , second and third by the results of the previous year. You are putting way too much thought into it and trying to make it an extended metaphor, which is not the purpose.”

“Fine,” I reply succinctly, “Since you are the skater and it meets your needs, I will also give it my ‘stamp’ of approval also.”


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