The devil’s cup

Helped my sister out today in the morning and in the evening, staying with kids while also finally discovering a reason to use Twitter: to follow the progress of the men’s college baseball playoffs, most of which weren’t televised.  While the kids were napping, I watched bits of the Women’s College World Series (softball) on ESPN and was depressed, though not surprised, to see that when players’ names were displayed onscreen, their stats were usually accompanied by some piece of cutesy, non-student/athlete-related trivia like “Her favorite actress is Sandra Bullock”!  I mean, really?  Could you not just tell us what she’s majoring in?

When I was in my mid-twenties and in grad school, a slightly older woman (early thirties?) in my cohort used to joke about the cute male undergrads and how the advent of warm weather meant lots of youthful boyflesh on display.  At the time, I found the possessors of the youthful boyflesh too callow for my tastes; I guess when you’re twenty-six or so, you want a goodly amount of distance between yourself and the twenty-one-year-olds whom you’re trying to teach.  And I wasn’t just furiously ignoring the boyflesh; it really wasn’t registering with me.  Now, though, from the early forties, I can report a distinct aesthetic pleasure in the boyflesh of certain college baseball players, the sort of thing to which I was, I guess, immune when I was younger. 

The actual boys that I teach, either the high-schoolers or the graduate students, still fail to register for me in That Way.  For which I am thankful.  Occasionally I will think of some charming high-school geek I teach, “When he’s older, women his own age will love him, even if no one gives him a second look now,” but that’s about as far as it goes. 

(Edited to add:  I didn’t really have a point here, even though it might look as though I thought I did.  I can find the male players desirable, but do I care who their favorite actors are?  Some of the women players are also hot.  Some of the women players are also wearing a surprising amount of mascara.  When ESPN cranks up to televise the men’s finals, will they throw in all the little personal details that are supposed to make the athletes more fun to watch, or will they assume that the men’s game is intrinsically more interesting and that we don’t have to be coaxed to find ways of identifying with the individual players?)

I was also grading exams at my sister’s this evening, and I drank coffee a little later than I should have, so I’m awake later than I should be, too, but obviously not as coherent as I should be.


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