November 16, 2011
On Being an Adult Male at a Gym Meet
There's been a lot of talk in the press recently about some of the disgusting things that have been happening at Penn State. Not the cover up business, but the terrible allegations against Sandusky and what he may have done to those poor children. This isn't a story about him.
We live in a world where it is now weird for adult men to be alone with children. Single fathers aren't the norm. Men walking through a park a little too slowly will trigger a call to the cops. Kids can't be outside too far from home or too long for fear of being snatched.
This past weekend I got to (finally!) go to my cousin's gym meet at a local middle school. Being the avid amateur photographer I pretend to be, I took my camera. As my dad and I were walking in, I had a strange cringe of what people would think about two adult men (we drove separate from my aunt and cousin) walking in to a building of little girls with our cameras. I made sure we were sitting obviously with my aunt before actually pulling out my cam and zoom lens, but I couldn't share the fear that people would be concerned. After her first event, I let it go, but I can't shake the feeling.
I don't intend on diving in to a "how did we get here" type blog post, nor is this a social commentary. I have come to rationalization that I would rather people eye me funny if I take my cousins out for lunch or something than risk a stranger harming them and no one taking action. But it is a shame that this is the case.
For the record, my cousin swept the event and scored highest all around for age group. She's just that great – no big deal.