The Thrill of Snarkery

Posted: February 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Daddio, Drink, Husbandry, Little Rhody, Travel | 2 Comments »

Am I the only one who wonders if the figure skating couples are doing it?

I mean, I think in the supers along the bottom of the screen they should indicate their country of origin, their standing in the games, and their relationship status. Like “Married” or “Skating Partners with Bennies” or maybe “Hooked Up One Night in the Rink Locker Room But Otherwise Not Together.”

As a viewer, wouldn’t knowing that—instead of spending the whole time wondering—help you to focus more on their skating? I know it would for me. 

At any rate, my hubby is at the Olympics right now. As a reporter, not an athlete. And while he covers the Winter Games in a professional capacity, I’m embracing a full-bore amateur peanut-gallery approach to tuning in from home.

And by home I mean home, as in Rhode Island, where we’re watching on an arcane Tivo-less TV. It’s crazy old school, but oddly quite liberating knowing we can’t pause to go tinkle, or rewind to get a second look at a failed triple salchow. If we miss something, it’s just gone. So we let what we see just wash over us, easy breezy. 

My father, a self-professed die-hard sports retard (there’s a reason I can’t follow a football game), has been a surprisingly fine viewing partner. 

The thing is, we’re dangerous with a little information. You see, Mark traveled to Chicago a couple months ago for a press thing with some Olympic athletes. One thing he learned there was that the cross-country skiers take around 40 to 45 pairs of skis with them to every race. Their equipment is that fine-tuned to the various snow conditions. 

Like me, Dad really dug this factoid. And in typical fashion, was soon relaying it to someone else with an air of authority—except he said each athlete has 80 to 85 pairs of skis on hand.

Okay, so I think he really said 60-something. But the point is, the guy likes to exaggerate. And I have to confess to a sight propensity for exaggeration myself.

We watched the opening ceremony, which is always just a heckle-fest fashion show. But this year, as the screen flashed the populations of each country, and the number of athletes attending from each, we took it up a level. You know, we had some behind-the-scenes insights that not every Dick and Jane watching fom home was hip to. 

Me: “China population: 1.3 billion. Number of athletes attending: 90. Number of cross country skis?” I look over to the other couch.

Dad: “Two thousand!” 

So we had some fun with that.

The other thing I can’t help but do, is the age-old asking of, “You have that shirt, don’t you, Dad?” when the male figure skaters take to the ice in tri-colored shreds of polyester, with large flesh-tone Vs that give the illusion (to Nancy Kerrigan’s mother, at least) of a bare chest.

But each costume is worse than the last, and eventually even I tired of that one.

This time next week I’ll be rink-side myself, having returned to Cali to drop the kids at home with my mother-in-law (God bless her). My dear collegiate frienda Brenda and I just couldn’t let Mark’s work-sponsored condo go to waste. We have tickets to two events, hopes of getting into more, and plans to drink like we’re 19 again. 

In the meantime, my sweet spouse is knee-deep in work. A crowd-averse guy, he’s told me about densely-packed crowds at Whistler, and jockeying for space in the immense press center. But despite the hordes of humanity, it turns out he knows nearly no one else there.

When we talk I ask if he’s had a chance to get out to a bar, to mix it up a bit in the international crowd—get swept up in the revelry. But thus far, he’s just been dropping into bed at day’s end, as spent as if he’d run the giant slalom several times himself. 

If you’re lucky enough to be in the Whistler/Vancouver area these days, and you see a cute guy with a lap-top back pack and reporter’s notebook—skinny, on the taller side, brown hair, Oakleys—that well may be my Valentine.

Tell him I miss him madly and can’t wait to see him next week. Then please, take him out for a drink for me.


2 Comments on “The Thrill of Snarkery”

  1. 1 Nell said at 4:42 pm on February 17th, 2010:

    We’re really enjoying Mark’s posts from Vancouver! Hope you really have a great time when you join him- what an adventure. I’m also waiting to hear what you think of “Twilight”…I’m on the verge!
    Where should we watch for you in the crowds? Curling? Ice dancing? Giant slalom?

  2. 2 kristen said at 6:46 pm on February 17th, 2010:

    happy you’re enjoying mark’s posts! i think he brings an interesting perspective to the coverage–but i’m clearly biased.

    brenda and i will be at the women’s giant slalom on wednesday and the final night of women’s figure skating on thursday. i’m also hoping we can see some curling friday before flying out.

    i’ll be wearing a “future olympic mom” sweatshirt, and have the olympic rings painted across my face. so keep your eyes peeled!

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