Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Young Viking hopes to pillage Halle Berry ...

... but I think he'd do it respectfully.

Adrian Peterson, a 25-year-old running back with the Minnesota Vikings, confessed in a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports to a desire to date 44-year-old Halle Berry. "She could be like your mom!" the interviewer said. Replied Mr. Peterson, "She's a gorgeous woman, she definitely doesn't look her age, and I wouldn't hold it against her." See the interview below.

On a somewhat related topic that has little to do with younger men and older women:

Where do sportswriters find the gall to call a Mexican TV reporter unprofessional because she worked on a story that included the size of a player's biceps? How is that story less professional than the above in-depth interview about Adrian Peterson wanting to date Halle Berry?

As a former sports reporter, I worked hard to be as professional as my colleagues who covered mayors and bank presidents. But I also acknowledge that a good chunk of what is called sports journalism is really reporting-lite at best, promotion at worst. Covering sports is like covering Hollywood. While some journalists report important stories involving money, stadium construction, drug use by athletes, etc., others ask players about wanting to date Catwoman. And then there are those who are part of the sports promotion machine (I'm looking at your advertising that mixes sexy athletes and reporters ESPN!). Regardless whether Ines Sainz, the Mexican reporter covering the New York Jets, is a journalist in the Woodward-Bernstein tradition or the Access Hollywood tradition, how she dresses or the stories she covers never give lunkheaded football players permission to harass her anymore than the dress of cheerleaders gives permission for them to be harassed (it doesn't). You want shallow, unprofessional stories, you holier-than-thou sportswriters? Watch the video upstairs.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Guidelines for a HimPlus Life No. 5: Don't flinch

She will tell you her age. Don’t flinch.

He will tell you his age. Don’t flinch.

She will misplace her reading glasses. Be her eyes. Each time you find the glasses – in the bathroom, beside her bed, on the passenger seat of the car – understand that you are coming to know her better.

He is a boy and he will want a dog, a puppy with feet big as softballs, and you are terrified at the prospect. Say yes anyway.

She will have had more ex-lovers than you. Find them amusing. Ask questions to show interest in her life, but don’t ask too many.

He will wake in the middle of the night, worried. Money. Or he was too loud at the party. From your vantage of years, assure him. Mention the poet you’ve both read, and quote: “Nothing matters enough to stay bent down about.”

She will be an orphan before you are. When she loses her mother, understand that she is unmoored. Though you are young and overwhelmed, keep quiet and steady. Drive the car. Help her aunt up the stairs. Set up chairs and fold them again.

He will write a great book, he’s certain. Be excited with him. Grant him the joy of hours alone at his desk. Then, later, knowing how time and disappointment work, grant him the dignity of hours alone at his desk.

Her skin will wrinkle and her hair will turn gray. Don’t flinch. Instead, check the mirror, old man.

He will meet attractive women his age. Don’t flinch.

She will feel something small and unpleasant and ancient when you meet attractive women your age. You will feel something, too, and it is also old and real. But you won’t flinch.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Guidelines for a HimPlus Life. No. 4: Choose a guy who will step into the Wayback Machine

If you fall in love with a younger man, your history book will have a few more chapters than his. So pick a guy who likes to read.

When I met him, Michael’s favorite things included all eleven volumes of Will and Ariel Durant’s Story of Civilization. Even better, he’d inherited all that history from a great aunt born just after the 19th century had turned into the 20th.

Some people are fascinated only by the history they’ve lived through. For Michael, all the past is alive; he loves watching how it rearranges itself in the present. He’s always been more a man who looks backward than forward, someone who’d rather study than predict. So when I came bearing stories about my college years (when he was pre-K), he was eager to hear them.

He’s most interested in the way my personal history intersects with other histories. He was in elementary school when Taxi Driver came out, and Travis Bickle scared him, so he never saw the movie. But then he learned that I went to high school and college with writer of the screenplay. The personal past and the cultural past came together, and we added the movie to our Netflix queue. Likewise, we’ve watched other movies that were seminal to my generation: Chinatown, Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, The French Connection, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Belle du Jour. We’ve talked about the Viet Nam War, the Minnesota Twins World Series in 1987 (Homer Hankies!), my excitement at hearing Van Cliburn in his prime play a concert in the Michigan woods a few years after he won the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, and what it was like to have a job selling tickets to Disney World from a hotel lobby in Orlando right after the theme park opened.

OK, he doesn’t want to hear again where I was* when I heard about JFK, but he was fed up with that subject before we met.

*(At my high school locker, just before English class).