Mothers In Law, Romance — and Basketball?

Mothers-in-law need romance. When I met my husband many years ago, I thought he had a dash of the romantic in him — kinda’ like Mr. Darcy, from Pride & PrejudiceWhat was I thinking? (Go figure . . . I was a starry-eyed English major at the time.)

Basketball Flowers?
These flowers remind me of basketballs.

As I reflect back, my husband is more of a wannabe Larry Bird from Indiana rather than a Mr. Darcy from Derbyshire, England. Larry Bird, retired forward for the Boston Celtics, is my husband’s all-time favorite. He was a 12-time NBA All-Star, winner of three NBA championships and the league’s MVP three times.

Over the years, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I married a die-hard basketball and all-round sports fanatic whose fantasies used to involve me. Now, he’d probably prefer to meet Larry Bird! For the most part, my husband’s passion for basketball has blended into our perfectly seamless life together. (Big wink here.) I think it’s healthy that he still plays on a league twice weekly. And I don’t mind that basketball pops up unexpectedly in conversations — like a few weeks ago when I needed to run a quick errand to Springfield, Massachusetts. I asked a simple question which led to a visit to the Basketball Hall of Fame, located there.

Me: Would you like to come with me to Springfield?

He: Sure! While we’re at it, let’s stop by the Basketball Hall of Fame. I know you’d love it!

Me: Uh, okay.

We drove for 45 minutes. My errand took maybe five minutes. Our conversation continued.

Me: Let’s have lunch somewhere fun!

He: The Basketball Hall of Fame has nice restaurants.

Me: Uh, okay.

Minutes later, we pulled up to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, named after James Naismith who invented the sport in 1891. It’s an impressive, 80,000 square-foot facility that draws fans from every corner of the globe. It’s dedicated to honoring worldwide contributors to the sport of basketball, including coaches, players, referees, managers, executives – you name it.

My husband and I explored the exhibits, had lunch, and visited the Hall of Fame Store where he bought a t-shirt and a cap.

Basketball Hall of Fame Store
Basketball Hall of Fame Store

We paused a few minutes to watch young basketball hopefuls shoot hoops in an oversized basketball court. One boy wildly dribbled the ball, lost control and it accidentally hit his little brother. The younger boy let out a wail, and his big brother consoled him.  Another wiry kid took a jump shot, but his aim was way off. His dad strolled over and proceeded to coach him on foot position. A blonde girl wearing a bright red, Just Do It t-shirt made two baskets in a row. She grinned ear-to-ear. These kids were making history in their own right, and we enjoyed watching their antics. But, it was time to head home.

Before leaving the facility, I made a quick stop in the women’s restroom. Wow. Everyone should check out these powerful hand dryers! They’re designed to look like basketballs.

Hand Dryer
Basketball Hall of Fame Hand Dryer

As my husband and I drove home, our conversation went something like this. (Keep in mind, we’ve been married a long time . . . )

Me: Did you see the hand dryers in the restrooms?

He: Didn’t notice.

Me: Wow. They’re total works of art.

He: What do you mean?

Me: They look like basketballs!

He: Cool.  Didn’t notice.

Me: What stood out the most for you today, Honey?

He: The life-size statue of Larry Bird . . . now that’s a work of art! (Big smile.)

I wonder if other mothers-in-law (and women, in general) engage in similar, romantic conversations with their partners. Or, am I the only lucky one? (Let us know!)

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