Oh hey. I see you spent spare parts of some threads in the last ten days discussing about what is a rom-com and to decide if a movie falls squarely into the category or not. Well, I’d like you to bear with me.
You know that classic movie (but ultimately real life) situation where there’s a guy/girl who’s really close to you, who you know well because for a time you grew up with him/her, who is head over heels for you and wouldn’t want anything more from life that spend time with you and give you all of his attention and heart and caring, who some of your friends keep talking about because in the end everyone knows you’re destined to be together, but who you keep rejecting because s/he’s probably too much of a plain Jane for you and you just feel like s/he couldn’t ever surprise you, and what’s a love story if not a fucking disaster but chock-full of unexpected little joys? And you know how in the end people find themselves in weird predicaments and, like, give a shot to this poor guy/girl because, I don’t know, maybe they just need someone to take them across the shitty pond that’s been their life for the last few years, and they find that being with a stand up lad/lass who wears his/her heart on a sleeve and genuinely has your well-being as first priority isn’t that bad of a living?
Dear Knicks fans, let me introduce you the guy you met in seventh grade but, come on, he was just so basic and kinda boy-scouty: Tom Thibodeau.
“Oh dear god, why does he have to always let the toilet seat up?”
“Can she really eat every day the same BLT and nothing else? Is this obliviousness or is she that stubborn?”
“Fuck I hate going every sunday to my parents-in-law”
“But in the end this person makes me happy for now, so why should I second guess everything?”
You see, there’s something unsettling in seeing someone you give the keys to your heart not completely fuck up your life in some convolutedly stupid manner. I mean, the quirks will always be there. The befuddling choices. The letdowns. But we’re human, and that’s what we do. We disappoint people. The thing is, you fight and claw and gnaw until you find someone that among the disappointment genuinely cares for you.
If I had a dollar for every time I wrote “it’s still early” on Knickerblogger, I’d probably be 100+ dollars richer, but bear with me again. It’s still early, but there’s nothing not to like about the Derrick Rose acquisition for now (on purely basketball terms. I still have a super hard time solving the ethics conundrum of trying to root for someone who probably never understood the meaning of “consensual”). And I really, really don’t think many of us reacted to the Rose trade thinking that Thibs would not have screwed everything out of sheer commitment to his old pals. Well, guess what: Thibs didn’t screw us up. Rose and Quickley work fine together. I actually have more faith in Quickley after the Rose acquisition than before. And that’s a surprising development. Not as surprising as the day when Payton will finally move to the bench or to an entirely different team, or we stop playing the same guys together every single time, but…
“Dear, I found this old gramophone in that cabinet. Do you mind if I try to fix this and use it to play my old vynils?”
“(muttering under your breath) Yeah sure, as if I never tried to fix it before”
“What the hell, what’s this amazing music coming out of the basement?”
“I told you I would try to fix it. It was worth the try”.
Ah, good Julius. It’s not the points. It’s not the threes. I mean, yes. It’s also that. But the really important part is the fact that 4 out of 5 nights, you know that good Julius will show up and you will have a star on the court. Not a superstar, mind you. 2020-21 Randle is, at best, a top-30 guy in the league. But top-30 is freaking good. Especially for a guy who, after last season, many of us would have traded for a bag of chips and a 1975 xeroxed, black and white Clyde Frazier trading card. Watching Julius last night you could have only come away from the game thinking that a) Julius was the only surefire all-star in both rosters and b) Randle would have found a way to win the game no matter what, a-la real stars in the League. This is a stunner. I hated Randle’s guts last season. Now I’d be heartbroken the day they’ll trade him. And his teammates just, like, genuinely like him. That’s the best endorsement that a team’s top dog can ever get. And how could you not credit Thibs and the coaching staff for that?
“Sometimes I look at her and wonder if I’m just settling down with a rando because I’m scared of being lonely”
“Dude, you’re crazy. You’re with her because your life has gotten unbelievably better since she’s around”
“That’s reassuring. But I still hear my inner voices. I’m unsettled”.
“So be it. But at least, at the very least, live in the moment. Enjoy what you two have. If it ever fades away, that way you won’t have regrets, at least”
Here’s a dirty secret. Not even once have I looked at Tankathon since the season began. I don’t care about losing. I don’t care about winning. I get angry watching Payton and Bullock play, but I’m kinda getting over it. I’m enjoying the season, and we’re 40% in. I still can’t shake the feeling that the other shoe’s gonna drop, but I can’t stop drowning into this entertainingly gritty fairy tale. This is what happens when you have your second fiddle being a no-nonsense, kinda inefficent guy who bullies his way as a living. When RJ scores 21, it gives you all the thrill you get from winning a bet on snail race. You’re happy and exhausted.
“Is he the one?”
“I don’t think so. This feels too grounded, too logical, no butterflies in the stomach.”
“Well you know what? Maybe he’s the one. Because being the one is being the boring one. The bad breath in violet pijamas one. The squeeze my pimple one. Nobody shows this in the movies, and we’re brought to think that love is that intoxicating feeling you get when you know someone new. That’s not love. That’s falling in love. Love is boring. And you know what happens when you find it? You find that boring, well, is good because it’s enduring”
As much as I never looked at Tankathon, I also never felt ecstatic after a win this season. Maybe it’s the pandemic thing. Maybe it’s because I’m tired. Maybe it’s because sometimes I find myself bored to death even up by 15. But you know what? In a few years we’ll look back to the first months of the 2020-21 season, and we’ll be grateful. I couldn’t have asked for more from this. Especially because once in a while, and not that rarely even, you’ll have a Quickley eruption. A Toppin outrageous dunk. Two minutes of Noel defensive dominance. An Atlanta Hawks thorough beating.
Even boring, sometimes, is beautiful.