I don’t know many guys my age who read books. I also don’t many guys my age who have a blog. Then again, it feels like 90% of the blogging community is female, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
I read books and have a blog, so at times, I feel like an anomaly. I’m okay with that. A few years ago, one of my friends said I was a “dying breed”. I’m proud of that compliment.
To get to the point I’m trying to make, I need to make a detour.
Detour begins here.
When I was growing up, I was always the sports kid. I wore at least one jersey to school every week. When we had to draw something for Art, I’d draw a hockey rink, or a baseball field because that’s what I knew.
When I had to draw something else, I’d draw a house with a door, three windows, a welcome mat, a tree out front, with a few clouds, and a sun above it. That was easy because all I was doing was drawing shapes.
If you ask me to draw more than that, you’re asking for trouble.
I draw sausage people and my animals all look the same. The only way you can tell them apart is by their tail, whether they have udders or not, and what the thought bubble says above their head.
When I got to university and my major was Sport Management, it felt like I was looked down upon by others in holier-than-thou majors.
I’d always get the, “What, do you watch highlights and look at stats in class all day?”
They made it seem like I was in a major for dumb jocks who couldn’t get into anything else because they can’t speak good.
My 88% average in Grade 12 didn’t matter because my major had the word “sport” in it. And sports are for stupid people.
I guess that put a subconscious chip on my shoulder to prove that I wasn’t “dumb” and that I knew stuff other than sports.
I took a Geography course one year with friends who weren’t in my program. It was an 8AM class. The day of the mid-term exam, I walked into class without sleeping at all during the night.
Now, for some reason I’d always been really good at Geography. I first realized that in Grade 7, when the material didn’t seem as dreary, boring, or outdated as History.
I wrote the exam and a few weeks later we got our marks. My friends and I compared notes. Wouldn’t you know it, I pulled out a 94%. Me! The Sport Management kid.
“How did you get a 94? You didn’t even sleep the night before.”
I can’t tell you how pleased I was with myself.
Detour ending here.
On Saturday night, I finished a book called, The Rooster Bar by John Grisham. The first 100 pages were making me doubt why I was reading it, but the last 250 were worth it, I suppose.
The book took me well over a month to read, because I couldn’t bring myself to read more than a chapter at a time until this past weekend.
Also, I’m convinced more pages were magically added to it as I was reading, just to mess with me.
All of Sunday, I had this anticipation about me that I could finally start a new book that night. There are about ten on my floor still in their bags, just waiting to be chosen.
It’s like that scene in Toy Story where the toys are in the arcade machine and the claw (The Clawww) comes down and picks up one toy at random. That’s basically how I choose my next book. I pretend my hand is the claw from Toy Story.
Okay, my selection process is more scientific than that. I’ll normally select a book that is completely opposite from what I just finished reading.
I don’t know if this is a thing other people do, but whenever I get to start a new book I call it a, “New Book Night”. It’s pretty self-explanatory. I read at night and get to start a new book.
New Book Night. Rolls off the tongue in your mind.
The book I chose from my floor is called, Throwing Rocks At Houses by Colleen Jones. It’s been sitting there for a while and I figured I’d use the “First In, First Out” method I learned in Grade 11 Accounting.
I try to apply lessons learned in school, to real life, whenever possible.
It’s a curling book, written by a legendary Canadian curler. I love curling (have never participated in it, though) and it’s not the first curling book to meet my eyes.
Of the last five books I’ve read, two have been about professional wrestlers, one was about a former Secret Security Agent’s experience in the White House under the Clinton administration, one was written by the creator of Nike, and the last was a John Grisham novel.
Now I’m on to curling.
Is that all over the place? I hope it is.
This year, I’ve been adding pictures of books, and quotes from them, to my Instagram story. At first, I wondered if people would find it weird. Now, I still wonder if people find it weird, but I don’t care anymore.
Everything we share on social media is judged by the people who see it, so I might as well post the stuff I like. And if I can make it normal for a “sports kid” like me to share pictures of books, and not make it seem like something out of left field, then I’ll be happy.
I think some guys fight with perception, and if they admit to liking a certain thing they’ll be laughed at, or looked at differently.
Well, screw that.
I’ve seen my fair share of teen drama shows, I blog about The Bachelor, and I could probably write out some lyrics to songs from High School Musical, but at the same time I can flip the script and talk about true crime cases, songs from the 80s, and almost every sport until the cows (with udders and “Moo” in a thought bubble) come home.
I’m proud of that. Sports will always be my wheelhouse, but it feels good to have knowledge in other areas – especially ones people wouldn’t expect from me.
That being said, I don’t know a lot about a lot. But at one point I didn’t know how to use a potty, so I trained. Ha, that made me chuckle. I’m picturing Rocky music in the background as I do bicep curls with rolls of toilet paper.
On the other side of the coin, I’ve seen girls who talk about sports get a lot of flack from guys who want to challenge their knowledge at every step in an attempt to prove that they don’t know as much about sports as guys do.
I’ve never liked that, partially because I know my sister will kick my butt every day of the week and twice on Wednesdays when it comes to hockey knowledge from the late 90s and early 2000s.
Why can’t we let people like what they want to like and talk about what they want to talk about? If their facts are wrong, then they’re facts are wrong. Gender shouldn’t play a part.
I think everyone around us has a specific definition of who we are written down on a spreadsheet in their head. And the moment we do something that is contrary to their definition, alarm bells go off because their data shows we’re not supposed to be that person.
In reality, those definitions are worthless.
We are more than they think we are.
But the Bears are who we thought they were.
And it’s never one size fits all. In this case, it’s one size fits Paul. In your case, I hope your name also rhymes with “all” or else that will be a tricky pun to swing.
Point being – be proud of the things you like and don’t be afraid to admit them. Because at the end of the day, no one is like you, so how could anyone possibly judge?
And yes, all of this came about because last night was a New Book Night.
What book are you reading now/next? Do you have an interest that others would be surprised by? How can I draw animals and make them all look different?