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My Dream Job and Men of Religious Persuasion

The dream job.

More than once over the last few weeks, I have been told that I had that. And I’m not always sure how to take it.

I suggested to a female sportswriter friend that it seemed like it was maybe sexist. As in, “You should be grateful for having a job so seemingly great, being a woman and all.” I asked her if she thought male sportswriters were told the same thing.

Good friends tell you the truth. They also support you when you’re being irrational. I have a guy friend who, whenever I would launch into any complaint, would say, “OK, so what do you want me to say here?” and then give me a multiple choice of responses.

It’s kind of along the lines of asking your husband or boyfriend, “Does my ass look big in these jeans?” Even “No” is not a good answer if you don’t say it the right way or quickly enough.

But my female friend told me the truth, that I was basically an idiot. Women sportswriters do not throw around the “S” word lightly. We save it for when we really mean it, when it really applies. Otherwise, it just diminishes the real examples.

“No,” she said, “I don’t think it’s sexist. And yes, I think male sportswriters are told that all the time.”

I wonder if male sportswriters are as careful in responding as I’ve always been. For example, when someone tells you how lucky you are to be a sportswriter, they really don’t want to hear about the deadlines or travel problems or athletes who treat you like spittle.

And I never tell anyone about the time I nearly neutered a monk.

OK, so he may not have been a monk. But a man of some religious persuasion and I shared a limo from the airport once, and I broke the cardinal rule of limo riding or really any moving-vehicle riding, which is:  Do NOT get up while it is moving.

In my defense, I was merely trying to give the driver my credit card in order to get a little bit of a headstart in getting out of the limo when it arrived at my house. Of course, I did this at a toll booth, which is not technically a stopping point. But also in my defense, it had been an arduous road trip, I was at an advanced stage of pregnancy and there was some urgency in expediting the proceedings, if you get my drift.

As I retrieved my card, the driver inconsiderately started moving again, thereby throwing me toward the back seat, where my co-passenger was sitting, minding his own business.

For those of you who don’t know what happens to a pregnant woman’s fingernails when she takes prenatal vitamins, let’s just say they are not unlike lethal weapons. This can actually be a wonderful and beautiful thing unless you’re being thrown into a perfectly innocent monk inside a limo.

I’m not exactly sure where I violated him, but it was apparent he was in great pain, bent over and nothing I said could either restore his power of speech or keep the limo driver from laughing.

You see what the driver knew that I did not, was the destination of the other passenger. He had been wearing a coat, thus hiding his identity until we pulled up to his stop, which happened to be a monastery.

He was very nice when he got out of the car, whimpering a goodbye and nodding as I apologized for the fortieth time. I asked the driver if the man could have really been a monk and between hysterics, he assured me that he was, adding some other really unfunny remarks.

Now I’m sure you’re saying, “But this could happen to anyone, not just someone with a dream job as a sportswriter.”

And I would have to agree.

So would my co-passenger once he stopped whimpering.

 
 

3 Comments

  1. Maria

    ha, missy! love the part about your prenatal-vitamined nails. but i have to tell you, i used to get told what a fabulous job i had when i worked no less than the SPORTS COPY DESK! really!

  2. Dan

    Very funny story! And, yes, male sportswriters get told that, too (although I did that only for a few years, and not big league stuff, it did happen. One neighbor, though, wondered why I didn’t get to cover the good stuff, such as fishing and hunting. No thanks.)

    My monk experience in journalism relates to an extremely strange man who did battle with state Children’s Services on the side of abusive parents he thought were treated unfairly. He wrote lengthy case histories — pages long, single spaced — from his/the parents’ perspective and, to protect privacy, gave them names of medieval English monasteries.

  3. Frank

    Melissa -
    Great story. I’m sorry, but I found this very funny. Would have been good for a short scene, in a comical movie.
    I apologize as I know how tough it is in the later stages of your pregnancy. Was not funny as it was happening, but looking back now it is a good story. In later years your children will enjoy telling their children.

    Frank P.

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