Sunday, June 26, 2005

Vive Lance!

Normally, the marriage of Mr. Raven and me is pretty much orthogonal, if not directly opposed, to traditional sex roles. For example, he is the domestic one who does most or all of the housework, and I am the one he catches eating out of the pan. When he goes out of town to visit his family, he returns to a domestic situation which, to say the least, has devolved in his absence, and he gets to spend a week just regaining lost ground--not that I do it on purpose; it's just absent the civilizing pressure, orbits decay. While we're pretty much opposite traditional sex roles on housework, in other areas of life, we're both pretty similarly androgynous.

The exception that proves the rule is sports--11 months out of the year, he is the avid sports fan, and I am the one who never can quite remember which team name belongs to the basketball team, and which to the baseball team. But July of every year--now that is a bicycle of a different color.

Every year at this time, I get totally caught up in the Tour de France (French here, English here). It's not particularly because Lance Armstrong is American; I'm not that much of a nationalist. Nor do I think I would particularly hit it off with Lance personality-wise; I lost an young, athletic, very vibrant friend to cancer; in the last year of his illness, he read my copy of It's Not About the Bike, and where I was willing to cut Lance a lot of slack, based on my ignorance of what it must be like to live with cancer, my friend (MF) ripped him several new ones about what a jerk his stories revealed him to be, cancer or no. MF's judgment in other things was good; I suspect my opinion would be the same as his, if I weren't so consciously not judging someone else's disease experience.

No, I think it is a synergistic combination of his being a cancer survivor recovered enough to compete professionally, and of his achieving six consecutive victories. Beating the odds on one front is compelling; on the second, it is more than twice as much--it's compelling squared. As unlikely as it is for me to be a sports fan, for one month out of every year, I am hooked on this combination of unlikeliness.

So, no, I don't have time for this; I'm not nearly ready to leave for Philadelphia yet--I've still got tons to do. But despite that, I will be tour-blogging in and around the move preparation.


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