My Soccer Addiction

I came across this article the other day:  “Indoor Tanning Addictive as Alcohol and Drugs.”  [19 Feb 2012–it appears this article is no longer at the linked location.  Maybe I’ll have to start copying the articles and storing them somewhere on my own to prevent this problem in the future.]

My first thought was, “Wow!  This is really stupid!”  Then I got to thinking about how scientists and doctors and all the feel-good, it’s-not-your-fault-types keep claiming they have research that supports their suppositions that just about anything that you do that’s bad for you can be blamed on heredity, bad parenting, lack of parenting, being spanked or having your creativity stifled as a child, or an addiction.

According to the article, one of the standard questions (taken from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) used to diagnose substance-related disorders) used in the survey/research was “Have you ever missed any scheduled activity (social, occupational, or recreational activities) because you decided to use tanning beds or booths?”

That, again, got a “Wow!  Really!?”  If I take that question and modify it slightly, I come up with this:  Have you ever missed any scheduled activity (social, occupational, or recreational activities) because you decided to play soccer?  My answer to that would indicate I’m a soccer addict.  I do my best at work to arrange my meetings so they don’t conflict with playing lunch at soccer.  I skip out on lunch with my work team to play.  I get the hairy eyeball from my wife for disappearing on the weekends to go play.  I recently had to take my daughter to  a birthday party while still dressed in my sweaty uniform because I  had just enough time to squeeze in the first half of a game and still get her to the party on time.  I guess I can claim to my wife and co-workers that it’s not my fault.  As soccer time approaches, my endorphine levels increase –evidenced by my increasingly good mood, overriding my sensibilities, which is one of the ways drugs and tanning get people “hooked.”

I’m not making light of real addictions –drugs, alcohol, and gambling, ones that come easily to mind.  I’m poking fun at the ridiculous idea that indoor tanning would qualify as a real addiction.  I used to hit the tanning bed years ago and it certainly makes for a peaceful break, a brief escape in a hectic day –30 minutes or so lying still while the gentle breeze from the fan blows over my body, the quiet hum of the bulbs, maybe listening to some music.  It can be very relaxing, but, ultimately, it falls into the category of vanity.  Aside from folks who have a condition that prompts a doctor to tell them they should make use of a tanning bed, indoor tanners are just vain.  We tan our bodies because we look healthier (unless we over-tan and turn orange or burn) and because a tan can hide some skin imperfections –both of these reasons fall under the ‘making-us-look-better’ umbrella, a.k.a. vanity.  I’d bet that the majority of the ladies (and maybe some of the men) who’d qualify by the article’s criteria as addicts are also big users of make-up and nail salons.  Yes, I know, I’m making big generalizations, but, hey, this is my article, and I am basing it on really, really, hard research –what I’ve observed.

So, if I’ve ever made plans to do something with you, and I’ve blown you off for soccer, I apologize, but it’s really not my fault… I’m just a soccer addict.


One Response

  1. […] and I love watching it.  In fact, I wrote about how much I love it almost two years ago:  “My Soccer Addiction.”  My daughters play it and list it among their hobbies, but I haven’t yet seen the […]

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