“Babe, that could have been us,” I said to him while watching John Schuster & his wife be interviewed during pre-game coverage of the U.S. Men’s Curling gold medal match.
I don’t remember the exact conversation the day he told me he was going to go to a curling class but if I had to guess, it went like this:
Me: What are we doing this weekend?
Him: Oh, I forgot to tell you, me and a couple guys from work are going to go learn how to curl.
Me: No offense, but you don’t have the hair.
Him: *Stares at me blankly*
Me: Curling? Oh! The Olympic ice bowling thing.
Him: Well shuffleboard is a more accurate comparison because…
Me: *stares at him blankly*
Him: Yeah, like Olympic ice bowling.
Jump ahead 4 years, 8 seasons, half a dozen bonspiels, 1 trip to the Arena National Championships, and countless injuries. What started as a comedic way to spend a random Saturday night has transformed into something just shy of a lifestyle. Dating a curler has its bonuses. First & foremost, the beer. There’s never a shortage of it or people wanting to drink it. I think there’s a solid argument for the drunker the curler, the better the curler. The sport of curling is extremely diversified and allows you to meet people of all backgrounds, ages, and uhh “personalities”. There are plenty of drawbacks though too.
1) It’s effing cold.
This isn’t a sport that’s especially fun to go and cheer on your significant other. Outside of it being literally freezing, the view sucks and the crowd isn’t exactly energizing.
2) “Curling Night in America” has a monopoly on your Friday night DVR.
3) The travel.
Curling bonspiels are tournament style events where teams from all over the country come to a city to drink and compete (in that order) for ice glory. Due to costs and low interest, cities typically only hold one a year which means teams must travel to other cities to get new competition. As a “WAGS (wives and girlfriends) of Curling” member I typically don’t take the time off work to go with which means I don’t get to go to exciting places like Norman, Oklahoma, Duluth, Minnesota, and Dayton, Ohio.
4) It’s kind of confusing.
It’s been four years and I still don’t feel comfortable explaining all the rules and scoring to someone. Everytime I think I got it down, I learn something new.
5) It’s amateur.
WAGs of MLB, NBA and such leagues have much more frustrating drawbacks; constant distance, worries of infidelity, and lack of privacy just to name a few. You know what else they have though? Mansions, cars, personal chefs & stylists and permanent vacations. Money can’t buy happiness, but it does buy jet skis.
6) They get really defensive.
Curlers may take their sport more seriously than any other genre of athlete. While it’s easy to joke about the uniqueness of the game and the physique of many of the athletes, curlers are extremely dedicated to their sport. The world’s best likely didn’t start until they were an adult and then spent years or even decades getting to the point they are now at. While you’re safe to laugh at it with your friends or chugging a Natty Lite on your couch, if you’re ever in the presence of a curler, I advise you keep all jokes to yourself.
Oh, and don’t call it “shuffleboard on ice”.
Congratulations to the Men’s Curling Team on their gold medal victory and all the U.S. Olympians & their families for representing our wonderful country with class and grace. Maybe we’ll see you in 2022.