We spent the majority of our time this weekend at a soccer field complex in Claremore. Why? Because the coaches said we had to.

I’m not a huge fan of kid soccer. Our kids both asked to play so we said “sure” but when the coaches came to us with the breathless news that there was a pre-season tournament in Claremore, I was not excited. They were totally excited of course because to them, if you can play more soccer, life is good. Our kids are lucky to have coaches that never lose their cool; they are about the only coaches that don’t. I guess our coaches just really like the game.

I don’t get a lot of pleasure listening to all the other dad coaches bellowing at the kids. I’m a guy and I’m still not sure why we all yell so much when we’re frustrated at the way things are going. I guess it’s the primal “bull elephant trumpeting to the herd” thing. When confused or frustrated, we yell. But the obsession with winning is another matter. I’d like to one day knock one of the yelling coaches to the ground, sit on him, and get up in his face and say: “Hey, now that you’ve lost you know what’s gonna happen? NOTHING! Your kids don’t hate you any more than they did, your wife isn’t going to leave you, you still have a job, and when you go to the latrine, you’ll notice that nothing is any shorter than it was before!” I suppose it’s the age old reason: they’re trying to make up for something that’s missing in their own lives. In contrast, Erin’s coach is given to saying things like the following: “Beautiful kick Victoria! Great distance! But our goal is the other way, it’s OK, you can remember next time.” Something must be working, they were undefeated last fall.

But, we’re all together, we’re out in the sunshine, and we’re getting exercise; what’s not to like? Well, I’m one of those weird people who value spare time almost as much as cash money. If you ask me to give up a weekend, internally it’s very much liking asking me to give you several hundred dollars. I’m pretty selfish with my spare time. That’s why I rarely watch TV.

That’s also why I feel torn about this tournament thing: both kids’ teams won all their games. That sort of takes the “wasted time” feeling away. There is another thing too: Claremore (aside from being the one-time home of Will Rogers) has one of those old downtown areas that are crammed with antique stores. I crawled through several of them and finally found an old tool I had been looking for. (A #7 jointer plane – yay!) So, you could say we all had a rewarding weekend. Except for the flat tire. I seem to have bad luck with tires.

Of course, now that they’ve won all their games, we have to go back next weekend for the finals. Well, maybe I can crawl a couple more antique stores and perhaps find some more old tools.