I don’t know if it’s because I live in Indiana now or because Mr. Rafia is a fan of sports, the other night though I whispered to him (whispered because I’m sick and can’t talk without coughing every 30 seconds), “I kinda enjoy basketball.”
I hesitated to even say it, but it was true.
I think Fergie’s ENTERTAINING rendition of the National Anthem at the NBA All-Star game last weekend did it for me. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it NOW. Although I will say: my non-sports-watching sister was not the least bit amused. Does this mean I’m a Hoosier now? It’s not just that Fergie was trying to channel Marilyn Monroe a la “Happy Birthday, Mr. President,” which itself was cringe-worthy, it was just badly sung. I felt like I was watching American Idol again. I thought maybe Fergie was recovering from a cold or something and couldn’t hear herself? I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. I know, as a singer, that when you can’t hear properly, your singing will be off too. But maybe she should just stick to singing about her lovely lady lumps? I don’t know.
But we were both laughing so hard, I decided I would stay for the game instead of going up to finish the behemoth that is Alexander Hamilton (I think I will be done next month!). With Mr. Rafia checking Twitter and LOLing at the memes, the pull was irresistible. I ended up falling asleep on the couch some time after half-time (is that what it’s called?) but knew the Cavs (more like the Calves!) were going to win. ETA: Oops, sorry. Team LeBron!
I will admit that the first time Mr. Rafia took me to see a Pacers game, I was bewildered. We were so far back I couldn’t even see the ball! It wasn’t fun for him either. I think he said something like not ever wanting to see a game with me ever. Haha! Which I was fine with, because I only went for him. He’s seen many musicals for me, so it’s the least that I could do.
I don’t know what’s happened since then. The more I’ve watched basketball with Mr. Rafia at home, you know, because married couples are supposed to spend time with one another (or so I’ve heard), I’ve found myself becoming interested in the game. For one, the rules are not arbitrary as they are in football. Football is so boring to watch as a newbie. Basketball on the other hand is pretty simple (to follow). Get basket in ball. But also, it’s kinda fun??? Especially when good teams are playing. Also living in the Hoosier state, there’s literally nothing to do. Everything halal closes at 9 PM. The one bakery that was open until midnight is now permanently closed. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.
Oh, and Kevin Love. He’s like a relevant Henry Cavill. Just as long as he keeps the beard. (Tangential side note: Why do men who decide to grow a beard later decide to go back to being clean-shaven? I’m of the opinion that once you have made the very public decision to grow a beard, it’s unkind to others who have to look at you to have to get used to your entire face again. I’m just playing. But for real: a man always looks better with a beard. Just facts, yo. Just facts). Don’t worry, Mr. Rafia knows. He and I like to make jokes.
I’m not a super fan or anything, don’t get too worried just yet, but this is still a pretty big deal for me, Rafia, the girl who purposefully sprained her ankle to get out of playing baseball in gym class (A fool, but an honest fool, I remain).
But more than the sport itself, I see this as a symptom of marriage. I married outside of my world, if you will, and yes, my life has changed in ways that I could not have foreseen. I love shrimp! I love sushi! I’m willing to try cuisine that is not Indian or Italian! I swear I’ve had more than just food-related changes, but that’s all I can think of now to share. As long as it’s not a bad change, then the change is good, I suppose.
Now I hate to wax poetic about how marriage has changed me, because I really dislike that narrative for several reasons. But as someone who blogs about her life, I can’t ignore it completely. Marriage has changed me. This whole basketball thing falls on the lighter side of things, but if I had married the male version of me, would I be writing this post? Probably not. “What if” is such an easy trap to fall into – and I’ve done it many times myself – but what’s more useful is to look back on the things that have changed for the better. It’s because you did what you did, not what you didn’t. Even the difficult things that happen bear fruit… just as long as we have the patience and perspective to see it.
Now that I come to the end of this post, I’m thinking of a neat way to summarize it. The movie Love & Basketball comes to mind. But I haven’t seen it, so I don’t know if it’s applicable. *does a quick Google search* Okay, not at all. But you know what? I’m sick, so I’ma leave it at that. Maybe I like basketball because I’m sick? Maybe I’ll be back to my normal sports-disliking self in a week? Who knows? But if you’re still reading this blog in a few months, I’m sure we’ll both find out soon enough, God-willing.*
P.S. Muslims like to say Insha’Allah, or God-willing, after anything that’s related to the future, because we don’t want to be presumptuous in assuming that we’ll be around. Yeah, it got morbid real quick, but you know what? Life is not something you should take for granted! So carpe the heck out of that diem!