Thursday, January 17, 2008

Soccer Sign-ups

A few days ago I dropped by a local elementary school after work to sign up Jaydn for AYSO soccer.

AYSO is dear to my heart. I played AYSO soccer when I was a boy for probably four straight years. I stunk at it, but it was awesome.

In short, it was an easygoing, wonderful experience for a young boy.

But something happened in the last ten years. Soccer has CHANGED.

I walked into the school and right into the back of a mile-long line. Sign-ups were at 5:30 pm. I got there at 5:25. EVERYONE was already there. And the way the line was moving, I was going to sign up Jaydn by, oh, 11:00 pm?

So I stood there for 20 minutes until someone said, "Oh, there's a shorter line in the lunchroom. This line is for those who filled out the paperwork online."


Since when does it take "paperwork" to play soccer? Just give them your name and shirt size and you're done.

Not so.

And why is the "online" form line waaayyy longer than the one for those who didn't come prepared? Isn't that what technology was supposed to fix?

Anyway, she was right. The old-fashioned handwritten form line was MUCH shorter than the online-line.

But then I had to fill out the paperwork.

1st contact number. 2nd contact number. 3rd contact. Doctor contact. Work contact. Home contact. Elementary school. Disabilities. Allergies. etc., etc., etc.....

I almost thought I saw social security #, credit card #, and pin #, but then I snapped out of it.

Paperwork galore! All this to play soccer?

Whatever. So, I stood in line filling out the form, but I couldn't hear myself think. EVERY parent had brought their children with them (except me). Not only did they bring their soccer-playing kids, but ALL their kids, it seemed. Why? To hand in a few papers? Kids definitely outnumbered parents 5 to 1. The 3-yr old in front of me was having a 10 minute-long violent scream-tantrum, so the boy behind me got in on the act as well. Of course, THAT boy's mom had just run into her old high school history teacher who was in line behind her, and HE was hitting on her with sickening one-liners.

All the time I was worrying my squeeze'em parking job was going to land me a nice scratch on my driver's side front door.


As I got up to the front of the line, I handed the lady the $40, gave her the papers, and scrammed. I made sure I walked past the million-man soccer line on the way out so I could give everyone my "na-na, I'm done" look.

On the way home, I couldn't help but laugh inside with wicked glee. I was going home, and most of the people in that building was destined to be there for at least 20 minutes more.

I shouldn't take delight in other people's misery. But I'm so glad I don't have to stand in THAT line again!


Trav and Darcy said...

What an escapade. I'm glad you escaped unharmed.