Saturday, May 18, 2013

When WAGs attack (with sticks)

SB's lacrosse teammates' plus ones are a lively group of women who I enjoy visiting with.  They're not so different looking from the rugby WAGs: pretty, well dressed and put together with much more care than SB's girlfriend who rarely diverges from ponytails and flip flops.  I like the rugby ladies well enough and get along with the ones who play other sports (I even went to my first netball tournament a few weeks ago to support a couple of the rugby girlfriends) but I don't spend a great deal of time chatting to them as a group because often the talk is about their men or things relating to their men.  Trust me, I hear it enough from the men themselves. I'm fortunate that my difference as a player makes it acceptable to leave the conversation because some of the WAGs take on a glazed, trapped look when the others' talk inevitably turns to "my boyfriend is amazing because blah blah blah."

Lacrosse isn't a hugely popular sport here in Hong Kong, although it is growing, so it is less likely that chronic "jersey collectors" number among the women lining the stands.  When not prowling the sidelines watching SB or taking photographs of the team, I enjoy listening to the banter.  One woman works for an NGO that focuses on teaching job skills to battered women.  Another plays on the women's national team and always appears at the matches with two young children, wearing mini team jerseys and carrying mini lacrosse sticks.  They aren't an over-awed group of supporters and last week we were in stitches making fun of the antics of our men with their awards.  I won't reveal SB's silliness but it isn't as awesome as one of the men who was revealed to strut around naked, wearing all of his medals.  I didn't think to ask if this practice achieved a positive result from the girlfriend. I wonder how many people actually do sit at home and polish their trophies.

I started playing lacrosse this season and it occurred to me that I should invite my fellow WAGs to try it out with me.  They always pay close attention to the game and express a lot of enthusiasm.  So I showed up at training with a fellow WAG.  After some initial bemusement from players who were used to seeing her in a pretty dress on the sidelines, she soon convinced them that she was serious about learning the sport.  Now there are three of us wielding sticks at along with our menfolk.  I don't think that all of the WAGs are going to join in but it's nice to have a common activity with them since we have been sitting together on weekends for seven months of the year for the past couple of seasons.  We are practically a team already, just a stationary one.

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