Do you like to skip to the end?
I’m a passionate sports fan. Baseball and basketball are my favorites with allegiance to the local teams. So yes, I was painfully disappointed when the Dodgers couldn’t clinch the World Series and figured when Kobe injured his Achilles it would be a few years for the Lakers to be in contention for an NBA title. Both teams admittedly are testing my patience!
My love for sports began at an early age and typical of most sports fans, I can really get into the excitement with lots of yelling and screaming. What’s a bit unusual is how I watch the games, especially the playoffs. The way I see it, if it’s a good game, then it will come down to the last couple of innings or quarter depending on the sport. That’s when I tune in and save a lot of wear and tear on my nerves! If I miss the play of the century, it will be on YouTube before the game is over. If it’s a blowout, then I’ve saved myself plenty of unnecessary agony. I can hear some of you saying, seriously?
I have a similar viewing style for Hallmark movies. Yeah, I’m one of those who enjoy a happy ending. Rarely though do I watch the movie in its entirety since they are quite predictable. Instead, I catch the first twenty minutes and the last fifteen which pretty much gives me the whole story. I’ve joked around that I am going to record the endings of about eight Hallmark movies to create a full-length, super “feel good” movie.
This tendency to go for the endings also shows up when reading magazines and non-fictional books. Yes, I’m one of those who read from the back to the front. Checking Google to see if there was some kind of psychology behind such behavior, the answers could fill a column on that topic alone. To my way of thinking, there’s a simple answer—I grew up with Reader’s Digest where stories cut to the chase and books were condensed. I liked getting a quick taste of many different topics and themes. Maybe it’s where “tuning in at the end” of games or predicable movies first started. Or maybe it’s more because as I get older, I treasure time dearly and want to maximize how I spend it.
One thing that can’t be condensed is what it takes to achieve graduation from high school or college. Same is true for fatherhood. Both require time and commitment. To all the grads and dads, congratulations and best wishes!
Originally published in the Orange County Register, Laguna Woods edition, June 14, 2018