It is true that I have envy in my heart. Not jealousy. Just envy. You would think that at this age of mine I would be free of that feeling. Alas! I am not free of it at all. Especially envy of women;
especially women who know more than me;
especially women who can sit on the couch and watch the sports channel, and know all about that sport;
especially women who can teach their children and grandchildren how to keep score.

Okay, let me make myself clear here. I know tennis. I played tennis. I know Golf, I play that, I know soccer, (the Indian football), didn’t play that, but I can keep the score. And I know basketball. Played once against the Bangalore medical college team, and our team got beat something terrible. But that was because we didn’t know that they didn’t know how to play Netball, and we had never played basketball. So when we went for the Meet, we were told we had to play BB. Anyway, what I am trying to say here, is that I know basketball.

When I came to the States, I watched Baseball on the TV screen, and thought it was just ho hum. Kind of boring. But Bobby Gibson was so famous then, so I kind of knew a little bit about the game.

Then I watched the American football.

I am telling you, I couldn’t understand anything-at-all! What kind of a jungly game was that where people were falling all over each other? To this day, I don’t know the ABC of the game. I get a headache just watching all that violence. If given a choice, I would take baseball over football, because the former is a little like cricket, which I do not understand, and think it is boring.

So to make my point here, I have to say, that I envy women who understand these two games and can get immersed in them to the tune of not wanting to get off the couch to go get a glass of water! Can you believe that?

Case(s) in point!

I was in New York once and just before getting on to the escalator, I saw a huge man who was surrounded by a lot of people. He got on the escalator, and the Dude and I got on just behind him. I did not know who he was. I had to know. I tapped him on the shoulder just as we got off, and asked. “Who are you? Why are people staring at you?” He must have thought, “OH MY GAWD! A country bumpkin right here in the middle of New York! But he was very gracious, and told me that he was a baseball player and played for some team. Of course I have forgotten his name and the team he played for. The Dude, he walked away from me as if to say that he didn’t know me at all. Later on, he said, “Dang, Zakiah, how could you do that? He is so and so, and blah blah blah!” I just smirked and shrugged my shoulders.

Another time in St. Louis, I was attending a conference and was in an elevator in the basement. It stopped in the Mezzanine level and a young man got in and there were some kids running towards him. It looked as if he was trying to get away from them. So the curiosity came to surface once again. I asked him, again, “Who are you?” Sweetly, because I was wearing a sari he probably realized that he had to educate me; he told his name. My face was blank. In my brain I was thinking, “SO?” He saw the vacant look on my face and said, again, very sweetly, “I am a shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals!” I knew then that he was famous. Told him that I was sure my ten year old son would know all about him. He signed his name on the cover page of my conference book. I gave that to my son when I got home. I do not recall his name but he was sweet.

In 1986, I was in Anaheim California, attending a conference. In those days, the pharmaceutical companies used to put on a real exhibition with different booths and promotions with tickets to plays and dinners and what not.
It was a Wednesday. (Some moments are defining, and they stay in the brain regardless of the age.) It was about two or three in the afternoon, and I thought I would get out of the meeting rooms and just walk the exhibition floor a little and see what freebies I could get. There was a long line of almost fifty or sixty people, men, women and kids, waiting for something. I just kept walking and at the head of the line sitting at a small desk was an African American man. Again, I was wearing a sari, and had my name tag on. I stopped short when I saw him. I had never seen anyone that black. I just stood there and stared at him… probably for three to five seconds. The pharmaceutical representative was standing next to him and felt that he needed to give me a nudge. He said, “Hi Dr. Ali, would you like to have a card signed by Mr. Hank Aaron?” The man took his eyes off the card he was signing and looked at me and smiled. And like a fool, like an imbecile, I had a stupid smile on my face and said, “No, I need to get back to the meeting room!”

Can you believe that? OMG! Two days later I returned home and was telling the children about this incident, and there was such a silence. It felt like no one was breathing. Then Junia, the Brazilian exchange student who was living with us that year, screamed and said, “MOM, you didn’t get Hank Aaron’s autograph? He is one of the greatest Baseball players!” Then everyone started yelling at me. To this day, I will never forget the feeling of helplessness of not knowing Who is Who!

Therefore, I say again, I envy all women who know all about the games and the players and scores that they can keep. I envy them. However, I don’t envy them for too long though. I have enough things on my plate to keep me occupied

About Zakiah

I write poetry and some fiction, have a book that was published in 2012. . . Stray Thoughts/Winged Words. I have four grandchildren, ages 16 and half to almost 16 months. I love the ocean, and grew up along the Indian Ocean in South India. I am a retired physician. Don't know much else to say. Thanks for reading. That has been my profile for so many years. My daughter Saadia a great poet and story teller, has two sons; the oldest grandson is now 21 years old, doing architectural engineering at Missouri S&T in Rolla MO. His younger brother is almost 16 and taking driving lessons seriously and is in High School. The other two grandsons, children of my son Sayeed, are 9 and 5. I have recently published another book titled Gulistan, A home of Flowers. It has stories and memories of my childhood and of a distant land which I still consider as my HOME., even though I have lived here in the US for more than fifty years. Hope to see you on my blog.
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16 Responses to ENVY

  1. Oh my – hahaha. I remember getting an autograph of a famous rock star once. The only paper I had was a receipt and he signed the back of it. When I was cleaning out my wallet, I unknowingly threw it out.

  2. slmret says:

    We have all lived through the death of 9 famous (locally or nationally) basketball stars for the past week. I had reason to drive past the entrance to Kobe’s gated community last week, and saw the mountain of balloons, toys, and flowers that was piling up there in addition to the piles that were left at the Staples Center where the Lakers play. Although I had my camera with me, I couldn’t make myself get out and join the throngs!
    A comedian once described a football game somewhat as follows: One team lines up while the other has a meeting to decide what to do. The other then gets together and throws a ball around. When the first team figures out where the ball is, they tackle the guy who has it, and the skirmish is over — on to the next one! That’s about my understanding of football and baseball and basketball!

    • Zakiah says:

      I am sorry it has taken me a while to respond to your comment, which is in it self funny, and also sad with Koby’s untimely accident and death. Janet, I have so many incidents like those i have described. My children have a grand time with what I do and say!

  3. I suspect it’s the other things on your plate which put you in the position of running across these famous people.
    I hope you don’t really envy these women who know sports.

    • Zakiah says:

      Well Carrie, sometimes when I am with my daughter in law’s mother, Susan, I feel intimidated. She knows everything about baseball, basket ball and foot ball. She and my son get along like blazes, while I have marbles in my mouth.I am not sure that i care about knowing everything about every game. I appreciate your lovely comment. Yeah I should not feel envy about these people (women) who know everything about sports. I am sure they don’t know about taking care of patients! hah hah!

  4. mrswrangler says:

    People are good at different things. You have skills others wish you have. One time a college friend and I came across a famous college coach. The way they acted was awful. The had stars in there eyes. The coach was out for a family meal and not left alone during it by numerous people.

  5. Like Matt…I HaHaHa’d! 😀
    Great write!
    Hey, those women have nothing on you, SweetZ! What’s on your plate is better than what’s on their plates! 🙂 So keep doing what you do!
    I rarely run into anyone that is “famous” and then in an airport one time I saw two famous people…an actor and an author…I feel honored that I got to go up to them and thank them for how their words had been positives in my life. They were so down-to-earth and so wonderful to sit and talk to me. 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂
    PS…If I tried to explain American football to you, you’d be even more confused! 😉

    • Zakiah says:

      Awwwe! Thank you Carolyn. How you make me feel so special. Authors are my favorite celebrities. Their work and words don’t age with time. Did I ever told you I played tennis with George Plimpton in New York? I was just so humbled in his presence.

  6. LOL. I don’t keep up with any sports and really don’t care.
    Yes, you have enough on your plate to keep you busy..and very interesting stuff at that.

  7. Val says:

    Well, I’m not one of those women who knows any more than you do – rather, I know less, as I knew none of the names of the players you mentioned or met! But that’s probably ‘cos I’ve never been to America (and don’t watch sports). I have, however, met so-called ‘rock stars’ and not known who they were…

    • Zakiah says:

      Hello Val, thank you so much for coming over to my site and leaving such wonderful comments. I have read them all. I Thank you also for liking my work here. See we have something in common…. you and the rock stars, and me and the athletes… we both don’t know who they are!

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