Monday morning. March 1. It’s no longer the winter Olympics. Now it’s just winter. And where I live, it no longer feels like Christmas morning as we bound out of bed every day eager to discover what new medals arrived during the night. Worst of all, my prized red mittens with maple leaf decals have gone from being the trendiest winter accessory to being just a souvenir.
Why can’t the Olympics last forever? The Olympic World is simpler than real life. In Olympic World, success isn’t as complicated and overwhelming as passing a national policy on global warming, it’s simply whether or not our speed skater got across the finish line first.
Olympic World is more exciting than real life. In real life, newspapers report, “The House of Commons voted to accept the new health bill.” In Olympic World they’d say, “In a breathtaking display of courage and determination, members passed the bill in record time, later thanking their mothers for inspiring them never to give up hope.” It just makes all the difference.
Partner: You’re still on the couch. You were there when I left nine hours ago.
You: It’s a Flip this House marathon.
Partner: I’m so leaving you for someone who takes out the garbage.
Partner: You’re on the couch. You’ve been there all day.
You: It’s the Olympics.
Partner: Of course. Let me get you a snack.
Me: Let’s watch women’s sports tonight.
My friend, Rob: Oh yes, let’s. Oh dear. There’s only men’s sports on again. Oh well…
Me: You know, since 80 per cent of Canadian medals in the last two Olympics were won by women, don’t you think it makes sense to fund only sports for female athletes?
Rob: (gasping, chocking and making other very satisfactory noises)
I realize the Olympics can’t last forever. Sooner or later Rick Mercer would run out of human interest stories to tell. Possibly by this Friday. Announcers would start interviewing athlete’s pets. And by July, it may be too warm to wear my official 2010 toque. Sometime, we have to return to the real world.
But not yet. For a few days, I’m holding onto the pure simple joy of feeling that our country is the centre of the universe and happiness is no harder to obtain than a bronze in snowboard cross. And then, I’ll return to real life again. But only for another four years.