Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

The Raiders seem to have quieted down on the drama front, hiring James Lofton to coach up the receivers and getting a new strength and conditioning coach, supposedly both interviewed and hired by Lane Kiffin, which I'm choosing to take as good news. And they re-signed Fargas, which is great news.

I was thinking about writing about the NBA, which I may yet. When the Raiders moved to Los Angeles in 1982, I kind of stopped caring about football. I still watched it, but I didn't have a favorite team. Basketball became my first love. The Los Angeles Lakers and Magic Johnson in particular (yes, you can point out the hypocrisy of being mad at the Raiders for moving to Los Angeles but then loving a basketball team from Los Angeles, if it will make you feel better).

So the Pau Gasol trade is good, good news. I've been talking to some of my friends (mainly Sllaacs and Ken and my lawyer Nappy McBigtoe) about rediscovering basketball.

Which brings me to Valentine's Day. I always liked it as a kid, because it was fun giving and getting the little Peanuts and Ziggy and Spider-Man Valentine's Day cards in elementary school. And I liked the candy. One time, I even got Michael Jordan Valentines. I still might have a couple of those, actually.

Anyway, once I got old enough to have an actual girlfriend on Valentine's Day, it went all bad, and I longed for the nostalgic days when everyone got cards, even the ugly people with snot on their shirts.

Junior year, the first time I had a real girlfriend, she came over to my house for dinner. My parents got into a fight that eventually involved my mother throwing some small appliances (clock radios, a small black and white TV) at the wall behind my Dad's head. My parents didn't fight like this very often, but when they did they always made sure they had an audience. It inflated the apparent level of domestic strife in the Sousa house, but at least they had some style about it. That kind of behavior in the privacy of your own home without anyone to witness it is a cliche.

Senior year the shittiness of Valentine's Day had nothing to do with the girl I was dating. That part actually went okay. I think I got her a Prince tape (Diamonds and Pearls). But I had a game that night at Pittsburg (I was an Antioch Panther) and I forgot my goddamn uniform at home. That was fucking embarrassing waiting for my mom to drive home and get it while I explained to the coaches why I wasn't getting dressed. Thank god it was a Pitt, and not at say, Berkeley or El Cerrito.

Freshman year of College, I had a girlfriend who was one of those "I don't want to be known as John's Girfriend, I'm my own person" types. Anyway, so she said "I don't want to celebrate Valentine's Day." Since I was a fucking idiot, I believed her and didn't get her anything. So she was pissed at me.

I managed to avoid the next 6 or 7 Valentine's Days because I was single. When I finally got another real girlfriend, I think I was 25, she broke up with me on Valentine's Day. Actually put the breakup letter in a Valentine's Day card. That was cold blooded.

But again, I was a fucking idiot, because I'd seen that one coming, and I should have stayed home to watch the Lakers game on TV instead of going over to her house to get that stupid letter. I should have made her use a stamp.

Okay, you're asking as you're reading this, where does the Professor fit into all of this? I bet she just loves reading about all of your ex-girlfriends. Well, when we were first courting, I got a CD from her for Valentine's Day. And it almost made cry. And we've since had 6 great Valentine's Days. And now that we have Baby Lily, I get to vicariously re-live the glory days when everybody gets a Valentine in their cubby hole.

1 comment:

Sllaacs said...

Nice piece - very personal and interesting. What are you, some sort of writer or something?