Another glorious Friday night unfolded in the suburbs.
They had pizza for dinner and then headed to the middle school, where her youngest daughter was playing in a Rec Department basketball game.
The entire scene seemed painted over in Polaroid hues: over-competitive parents living vicariously. Bored siblings causing mischief on the periphery. The spectators sat poised to move suddenly – for these girls played basketball more like a dodgeball game. The rumble of feet on wood punctuated by a blaring horn and the piercing whistles of pimply-faced boy referees.
She didn’t care much about the game and mostly paid attention instead to the oddities. She suspected, for example, that the “shoelace check” timeout called by the refs was not an officially endorsed call. Particularly when one of the parents yelled back, “Mine are tied!” She wondered whether a random whistle, which halted the girls midstep – followed by the call of “inadvertent blow” – really warranted a free throw for the team in possession. And she felt certain that the strategy of throwing the ball as far down to the other end as possible and then running like the dickens to catch up to it was in fact not a professionally used tactic. Then the game went into overtime – twice -because apparently 0-0 is a tied score, and the girls just couldn’t find the basket no matter how many times they tried.
Ah yes. Come to think of it: this did seem like a perfect way to end her week.