I’m reminded tonight of my bleeding heart. The reminder came from a football game.
I grew up in the Pete Adkins era of Jays Football. If you are from Missouri, you probably know what that means. Coach Adkins won a lot of football games. And his teams didn’t just win them. They slaughtered the other team. Every season the Jefferson City Jays would score 40, 50, 60-some points and the opposition would score “0”. Our high school and town took great pride in it year after year.
In high school, I wasn’t really thrilled about it but I didn’t really care too much either. Mostly, I just saw us as an overconfident, sometimes cocky school and community when it came to sports. It was fun to win games but it clearly went to our heads and other teams didn’t stand a chance. I love to win (who doesn’t) but would prefer a close game. I never played on a sports team and that is probably wise since I definitely lack a killer instinct.
After a few years where the Jays not only didn’t win by 60 points but didn’t win period, we are back to some Adkins-era scores this season – 36-0; 42-0. Tonight was another night and with all the cheers coming across Facebook, I was instead thinking of the other team. What a hard night for them – to play, possibly with everything they’ve got, and not score a single point. To come out on the field and face a giant and get trounced. My bleeding heart was stirred. I’m too soft for sports, I think.
Perhaps the lowest point for my bleeding heart came at a comedy club in Vegas. A few years ago, I went to Vegas for a long weekend with three girlfriends. It was the birthday weekend for one of the friends and this was her destination choice. We stayed at the Mirage hotel and spent the days doing a variety of things – sitting by the pool, shopping, sight-seeing, etc. Vegas is definitely not my type of town. I didn’t enjoy the crowds or most of the activities. Everything seemed to hurt my heart – watching folks spend hours and thousands of dollars in the casino, wondering whose lives, beside their own, they were throwing away with the dice; going to the shops and seeing the millions of dollars wasted on material things with zero worth; walking on paper advertisements selling girls – papers that litered the streets of Vegas.
By our last night in Vegas, I was emotionally drained and my heart was bleeding significantly. We had tickets to a local comedy club for our final night in Vegas and went to the show. The first two comedians were pretty funny – mostly self-deprecating humor. But the third comedian was just mean. He told joke after joke making fun of other people, the final straw being a joke about a boy with mental disabilities.
I was getting mad and wanted to punch his lights out. But instead tears started to flow and I knew what was coming. I told my friend I’d meet them outside after the show and rushed for the door as I began to just weep. My heart had had all it could stand.
I’m standing in the lobby, crying and trying to gain my composure when two guards approach me.
“Ma’am, are you alright? Do you need any help?”
“Yes, please. The comic is being mean. Please make him stop.”
(Of course I didn’t say that. I may be soft but I’m not an idiot. Instead, I replied ….)
“No, thank you. I’ll be fine. I just needed some fresh air.”
My friend swears she will never take me to Vegas again. And that is just fine by me and my bleeding heart.
What makes your heart bleed? Leave a comment here.