I played hockey on Monday.
That’s not really much of an accomplishment (or even a surprise) since, as I’ve mentioned before, Monday is hockey day. (Except in summer — season of the snowclone, I guess — when Tuesday is the new Monday. Or something like that. You can’t fool me, though — that doesn’t apply because it isn’t summer. The meter of snow on the rose bushes was enough of a hint, even for me.)
So it wasn’t a surprise or an accomplishment but it was something I hadn’t done for a while: I’ve missed three games in the last month so this was me getting back on the horse. (So to speak. No equines were harmed — or even present — during this process.)
I missed the first game because of the flu. (Described here.) Ms. Rose caught it first but the flu being what it is I was pretty sure that I’d have the pleasure soon enough so I poured ginger ale into her, made sure there was soup in the house and waited for my symptoms to arrive. They didn’t disappoint (for a somewhat unusual definition of ‘disappoint’) and I spent the next several days shuffling between the bed, the couch and the green chair. (And drinking Ms. Rose’s leftover ginger ale.) Eventually — no doubt helped along by some vigorous whining — it departed and it was time to get back to Real Life.
Or not. Because when I was shuffling between the bed, the couch and the green chair (I have no idea what I did or when I did it) I managed to injure myself. Not seriously, but enough to keep me shuffling (as opposed to walking in a symmetrical and pain-free fashion). (It takes a great deal of skill to injure yourself while lying on a couch under a blanket. I am not proud of this skill.) So I missed the second game while remaining dormant and feeling sorry for myself.
Eventually, though, injuries heal (although rather more slowly than they did a few years ago) and, again, it was time to get back to Real Life.
Because that’s when the gentleman on the white horse (I had no idea there was so much theological dispute on this topic) showed up again — this time only bringing discomfort and massive amounts of… (Never mind. Let’s just say it was no fun but not actually horrible or anything.) So rather than play hockey I stayed at home in close proximity to several boxes of tissues and shuffled between… but I’ve said that already.
All of which brings me to Monday. I was healthy (ish) and uninjured (ish) so off I went.
I was late. Not late enough to make me run from bench to bench during the game to find the dressing room key (I hate it when that happens), but late enough to make me the last person onto the ice. And when you’re the last person onto the ice you often don’t have much choice in which colour sweater you wear — often you just join whichever team has the fewest players. That’s what happened on Monday — the white team had seven players, the any-colour-but-white team had six players so I put on my blue sweater (the one that says what kind of a player I am) and joined the any-colour-but-white team.
While sitting on the bench waiting for my first shift, one of the talented young ladies (the one that sometimes swears a sweater with a skull on it) sat down next to me and said
“I’m glad you’re playing for our team.”
It took me a few seconds, but I managed to think of three possible interpretations for that comment.
The first thing that occurred to me was that she meant that my presence evened out the team numbers — with my aged, out-of-shape and weak-as-a-kitten carcass, both teams had numerically equal ‘reserves.’ That seemed reasonable except for the ‘aged’, ‘out-of-shape’ and ‘weak-as-a-kitten’ parts. I’m not really much of a reserve.
The second thing that occurred to me was that she was referring to my near-legendary lack of skill — because of it, my presence on a team automatically makes everyone else on the team look better. (Heck, my presence on a team makes everyone else look like a star.) On the other hand, that interpretation is a little mean and this young lady isn’t mean (at least, she’s never been mean to me).
The third thing that occurred to me was that she meant that my congeniality, skill set and work ethic were a valuable addition to the team. I immediately rejected that interpretation.
Sure felt good, though.