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A Woman's Journal


Spectator Sports

By Maggie Turner

Monday, March 20, 2000

Spectator Sports


Boredom is a mystery to me; it always has been. As a small child, I delighted in the quiet times of observation. How could one be bored when one could lie on the earth; stare at branches swaying against a blue sky; hear a fly buzz, a cricket sing; catch the sound of the wind softly pushing its way through the universe; feel the breeze brush your hair across your face? The world was filled with movement, sound, and constant change.

As my life progressed through time and place, I came to know of things that were of little interest. It was not that these things bored me; it was that they held no magic for me. The mystique of Irene's new crinoline, a miracle of fashion in the eyes of most of the girls in my grade five class, escaped me. Rather than envy, which seemed to consume the other girls, I experienced intense curiosity as to how something so useless and uninteresting could inspire such desire and passion. The crinoline was not boring; I spent no time thinking about it at all. Eventually I stopped wondering what all the fuss was about when it came to these matters and accepted that I would never truly understand.

Another blind spot in my character shows up in relation to spectator sports. I have been obliged by diplomacy to sit and watch football, baseball, and a variety of other sports. Within ten minutes my mind would have escaped to more interesting thoughts. The spectacle of sports could not hold my interest or my focus. I knew that I must laugh when other spectators laughed, moan when other spectators moaned, and cheer when other spectators cheered. This ruse required little conscious thought to maintain, leaving me ample opportunity to pursue my own thoughts.

One night I watched a hockey game with a dearly loved friend. His interest was keen, his excitement contagious. Watching him watch hockey was an epiphany. Until that moment in time, I had not realized that some people experienced joy while watching sports. I envied him that night. He changed the way I thought about spectators, although my disinterest in sports has remained unaltered. He liked watching sports and I like watching him; we had a lot in common.


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