I’d Rather Be Alone Forever Than Ever Have to Spend an Afternoon Helping Choose Paint Colors for the Guest Bathroom

And other answers to unsolicited questions.

“I don’t have an NFL football team. Who should I cheer for?” — New Fan Fran

When I first realized I could spend my weekend mornings watching World Football from Britain, Spain, Germany and Italy I knew I would need teams to cheer for. I grew up in Massachusetts, so I already had a hockey team, a basketball team, a baseball team and an American football team. And that’s not counting the local New York area teams I follow. How does one select something as important as a soccer team?

The short answer is just pick the team whose uniforms you like the best. I decided to follow Tottenham Hotspur. I liked their uniforms, a sort of classy white and blue with yellow accents. They had a tall striker and a short striker. Their stadium was old and cool-looking. And they hadn’t won anything in a long time. Those people who start cheering for a team five minutes before they win a Super Bowl are unbearable. You can cheer for winning teams lightly when your real team is out of it. I always have to have a team to cheer for or else watching TV sports is no fun. Someone has got to lose so someone else can win.

So Tottenham Hotspur. They had a cool cockerel as a mascot. Their fans sing a cool version of “When the Saints Come Marching In”: “When the Spurs Come Marching In!”

I’ve liked them ever since. They’ve always been pretty good, in the Top 8 or so teams. Last year they came in 3rd. Pretty good. Never select a team with a history of hideous losing. There is no reason to inflict that on yourself. This is sports, it’s supposed to be fun. As fun and as satisfying as it must have been for long-suffering fans when the Cleveland Cavaliers win the NBA Championship, what led up to them winning was not fun. And as cool as you might think the Cleveland Browns uniforms look, I wouldn’t jump on that moving crazy train just yet.

I cheer for Palermo in the Italian league because my grandmother was from Sicily and they have cool pink and black uniforms. I cheer for Cologne in the German league because they have an awesome goat logo. I met these guys from Bordeaux a while back, so I will always love Bordeaux anything. I’m still trying to decide on a Spanish football team. There are only like 3 good teams that win all the time. So I haven’t decided.

American Football has the same once a week Big Game quality as soccer. So focus on:

  1. Best Uniforms
  2. Not Completely Jinxed
  3. Team Hasn’t Just Won It All

And, remember, watching sports is supposed to be fun. If you live near a bar that cheers for the Pittsburgh Steelers, maybe cheer for the Steelers. You can meet a new bunch of pals and have some laughs while our world crumbles. It’s what Tom Brady wants for us all.

“Is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?” — Heartbroken Hal

Yes. In fact, it’s better to have loved and lost than to actually be in love. I prefer just having crushes on people, however long they last. Crushes are great. And real love is hard. You have to really work at real relationships, and who really has the time to do all that now that porn is free and gotten at the stroke of a few keys? Sure, companionship is nice. But that’s what I got my roommate Ben for. He is recovering nicely from his knee surgery. And I bring him home popsicles.

The longest crush of my life lasted ten maybe years. That’s a pretty good stretch of me just kind of unrequitedly loving someone who was kind of aware of it, not too bothered but not too interested, either. I’ll sit at home writing poems for someone and then, you know, watch hockey.

Losing someone is really the only way you really know if you’re in love, any way. And you can tell you’re in love because you feel miserable. And that’s what love is. Feeling miserable. Always having to say you’re sorry (which movie said that love “Was never having to say you’re sorry?” Because fuck that movie). All that Hollywood movie stuff about what love is? That’s cool and all, but love is really about doing day to day crap no Hollywood movie would ever want to film anyone doing, like cleaning things and remembering anniversaries.

The most satisfying relationship I’ve ever had was being snowed in with a house guest and never doing anything physical, just watching old movies by candlelight and getting matching tattoos. I wasn’t in love with her, I was in love with the character I made out of her. And it was delightful for a weekend, unsustainable for a lifetime and who wants kids anyway? I’d rather be a lonely old grump waiting for a ball game to come on any day.

Sex is OK once in a while. But just longing and longing for someone who probably isn’t even worth it? That’s where the fun is really at. Do yourself a favor and get as comfortable as you can being single. Then you’re actually thrilled by the small encounters you get and are single enough to take advantage of them.

Oh, and never grow up. That’s a bad deal.


Jim Behrle lives in Jersey City, NJ and works at a bookstore.