Skip this if you have anything important going on

I don't generally do the 'what do you think' post-ending thing. It's not because I'm against it. Often I appreciate it when other bloggers ask me what I think on the subject they're posting on (although when it has to do with books it's annoying because when somebody asks me "what's your favourite book?" or even "what are you reading?" my mind has this annoying habit of freezing in panic and refusing to cough up the title of a single book I've read, ever). I kind of assume that people will tell me what they think in the comments.

So, to be clear, this is a blatant and shameless post-generating gambit - it's Nablopomo, all's fair in love and daily blog-posting.

Angus is on the grade eight volleyball team at his school. He has the same coach he had last year for the grade seven team. I love this coach - he's enthusiastic, committed, puts in a ton of time, is demanding without being abusive, has given me zero cause for complaint.

This week-end the team is going to Toronto for a tournament. Driving down Friday morning, playing a game or two Friday evening, sleeping in a hotel, playing games all day Saturday, driving home Saturday night. Angus thinks it's the coolest thing ever.

The coach wants the boys to wear a shirt and tie on the drive down. This isn't totally new to me - we showed up at hockey tournaments with Angus in a shirt and tie, we go to baseball games in the summer with his jersey on a hanger, not to be put on until the game starts. I get that it's a thing. But for a four to five hour drive in the car? While sleeping and snacking might be taking place?

I sent a short email to the coach asking if maybe he'd rather they wear a t-shirt in the car and then put on the shirt and tie just before arriving. He sent one back saying in previous years they've always done it this way, the boys take pride in stopping for lunch dressed like this and other years he has never had any issues.

I had a brief moment of going hot-and-cold at the thought that I am now an "issue". Then I shook it off. I don't really have a horse in this race. I'm going to be in Barrie by the time they leave. Angus doesn't seem distressed at the thought. I have sensory issues, so the thought of wearing a shirt and tie or anything similarly confining on a long drive gives me the vapours, but he's not me. Angus tends to live in t-shirts and athletic pants, as I assume most of his friends do, and some practice at wearing grown-up clothes is likely not the worst idea ever

At the same time, I think it's a little silly. The boys "take pride" in going into McDonald's in shirts and ties (I don't know for a fact that it will be McDonald's, but it's ten 13 year old boys, so it's probably not going to be fine French cuisine). Look, it's your team, if this is what you want, just say it's what you want.

That's what I think, at first glance. If you feel like devoting a moment to this, whether you're a sports parent or not, what do you think?


Nicole said…
Hmmm...that does seem like there is a lot of room for error. A team of boys at McDonald's in shirts and ties? KETCHUP ISSUES. SOFT DRINK ISSUES. GETTING TIES STUCK IN FLIES ISSUES. But hey, maybe he thought it might be nightmarish to get all the boys dressed in their shirt and ties on the bus? I don't know. Maybe it will boost team morale? Huh. I don't know, it does seem like a lot could go wrong - at the very least they are going to be pretty wrinkled by the time they get there.
Jenny said…
Hmmm. This definitely sounds like the coach's preference, not the kids', and an irritant for the caregivers involved. I wonder if the coach does his own laundry and ironing (or his own shopping for dress clothes, for that matter). [Not that I'm bitter about the division of labor in my house, or anything!]
Lynn said…
As a parent, this would peeve me to no end, it's like putting extra work on something that is already going to be extra work, GAH.

However, from the kids' perspective, I can see how it might be fun - similar to wearing any kind of outrageous costume on the ride down. "Let's all wear chicken outfits, it'll be hilarious!" kind of thing. So if it's a tradition, and Angus doesn't mind, I say go for it, and maybe send the coach your dry cleaning bill :).
Maggie said…
Oldest is only 10.5, so perhaps he will have some kind of dress-up epiphany in the next three years, but right now, I can safely say he would find wearing a shirt and tie on a long drive to be close to hell on earth. I can hardly get that kid in a button down shirt without a battle and he still gets carsick sometimes. He would obviously do it if his coach insisted, but I'd hear plenty about it. Plus, I'd be the one who had to care for the shirt and tie when they came back (inevitably) wrinkled, stained, or otherwise trashed.

I wouldn't die on that hill with the coach, but it would make me mildly disgruntled.
StephLove said…
It's definitely odd, but I'd shrug and go with it.
Hannah said…
Agree with everyone's comments. Not the hill I'd want to die on, especially not if the coach is as great as you say. Seems weird to me, but my boys - who are apparently strange - love any excuse to wear collared shirts & ties, so maybe I'm projecting because I'd wear pajamas for a 5hr drive if given the choice?

Meh, if Angus doesn't have an issue with it, I'd stay out of it, I think.

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