Early last week, around Monday, I prepared myself for my annual March treat, watching the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on television.
By Monday evening, it hit me:
Son, you're working now. So forget that.
Uh-oh. That was a revelation I didn't need.
It's true. Back in November, I took on a part-time job working in the mailroom of a local bank. From 1:30 to 5:30 each day, I run mail through a postage meter, stuff envelopes with notices, and then empty, sort and redirect mail into zippered and locked canvas bags coming from and going to the various branches.
So when it occurred to me that this job would come between me and my basketball, it was more than a revelation — it was a serious body blow.
Then came a sub-revelation: This would be the first time in 35 years that I would not be able to see the ACC Tournament, either in person as a sports writer covering the event, or on television as a couch potato lounging in retirement. I mean, c'mon, 35 years? That's more than half my life.
It took my breath away.
But clearly, I overreacted.
On Thursday and Friday, I was able to watch the first half of the each day's noontime games at home on TV. Then I'd go to work.
Because the mailroom is adjacent to the bank's break room, I still had access to a non-HD television with a slightly fuzzy monitor sitting forlornly near the vending machines. This was helpful. Although I was fairly busy flipping mail behind my back into the sorting cubbies, I'd slip away now and then to catch a few minutes of the tournament. While I could not watch a complete game in the afternoons, I was able to keep track of what was going on.
I guess after 35 years of living in a sports fantasy world, I'd finally stepped into the real-life working world. This was reminiscent of those October days years ago when we smuggled transistor radios to school so we could listen to the World Series between algebra and English lit classes (sometimes even during classes, what with ear jacks).
Anyway, I managed to get through Thursday and Friday without missing too much of the Tournament.
But now I've had another revelation: with spring and warm weather approaching, and now that I work afternoons, when do I get to play golf?