I finally understand March madness…
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about March madness for one of my clients. Researching it required me to dig into the traditions and vocabulary of the NCAA. I wouldn’t call myself a basketball fan but I couldn’t help but be enchanted by the traditions I uncovered.
I dug in and learned all about the sweet sixteen, the big dance, and why neither of those things described a movie starring Molly Ringwald. By the time I was done, I was actually excited to see what teams would make it to the final four.
[Minor obsessions with things you’ve never had any interest in is a common affliction of writers who research. You learn to live with it.]
And then COVID-19 hit Washington state. Before long, it had spread to California. Suddenly, the whole country seemed to be under siege. Businesses closed, schools scrambled to offer remote learning, and sports were canceled.
I discovered a new kind of March madness. It existed purely within my own mind and I had no inclination to sell tickets. I was mad that businesses I liked run by people I loved were teetering on the edge of an economic abyss. Mad that I actually had to think about whether visiting my 82 year old grandmother was a good idea. Mad that my tiny cousin who had been so excited to go to school this year was forced to stay at home.
Mad that I was stuck in Maine, 700 miles away from my partner and my dog. Mad that the book I was writing suddenly felt small and foolish. Mad that there was nothing I could do to stop this madness.
I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry for this long. Sometimes it drives me to tears. Sometimes I just want to scream. Neither one really helps.
I thought long and hard about some sort of moral for this blog post. I’d like to bring it around to something good. I’m still mad, but….
…at least no one I know is sick.
…at least I’m safe and warm.
…at least I’m used to working from home.
…at least I don’t have kids to entertain.
…at least the internet signal is good.
…the sun is out.
But I’m not ready to let go of this anger. They say the only way out is through. So I’m not going to minimize these feelings, or try to talk myself out of them.
It’s okay to feel these things. It’s still March and I’m still mad.
How about you?