Dad Island | March 1, 2023

My eleven-year-old’s winter hockey season came to a close this past weekend, and after what was either three months or three hundred months of hockey, I’m TIRED.  T-I-R-E-D.  I’m so tired that I came down with a cold, and that’s not even the worst of it.  Want to know how tired I am?  I fell asleep eating pistachios.  I’ve never stopped eating anything in my entire life, let alone fallen asleep mid-bite.

I’m so tired I was thinking about skipping the story for this week and instead sleep-eating some more pistachios; but Kyle suggested that in honor of the end of the hockey season (I mean, it starts up again in three weeks but okay) I write something brief about Mom Island.  “Mom Island” is what Kyle calls any group of Hockey Moms; although if you ask me a more appropriate name would be the Spice Girls because Hockey Moms hang out as a GIRL POWER team wearing recognizable outfits and say things like, “Now don’t go wasting my precious time / Get your act together, and get the boys in bed by nine.”

And so I tell you what I want, what I really really want – I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna really really really wanna not give away the secrets of my fellow Hockey Moms and instead tell you – briefly, with my apologies for this story’s suckiness and a promise to write something much better next week – about Dad Island.

The thing to know about Dad Island is that it’s actually more of a Dad Archipelago because men are seemingly under the impression that if there are too many of them in one place at a time, someone will ask them to raise a barn.  Also, little boys and big boys aren’t that far off from one another in that they focus all of their attention on the things they care about – for little boys: winning hockey games, telling jokes involving the number 69; for men: winning hockey games, telling jokes involving the number 69 – and don’t really bother themselves with extraneous details.  Therefore, as opposed to Hockey Moms who enter an arena with purpose and direction and sit in a coordinated group behind their team bench, both Hockey Dads and their sons wander into the building with the same “Oh, is this a hockey rink?  Okay.” hands-in-pockets-look about them. 

At some point, the dads amble to wherever they are going to watch the game, which is usually one of four Dad Island locations: on the glass, at the chair rail, behind the bench because they are the coaches, or as far away from the Hockey Moms as possible. They select their spot based on the presence of one or more dads – up to but not exceeding five – in the same said location.  These sites have been time-tested for their opportunity to view the game from every angle so that when they hands-in-pockets-meander into new micro-Dad Islands after the final buzzer they can critique every second of the play from all possible vantage points.  Additionally, they are situated where their own younger children can’t come and ask them for money without first passing by the Hockey Moms.

There are a couple of ways to get more than five Hockey Dads into the same place at the same time.  One is to dress them in matching outfits, such as sports uniforms, camouflage, or a tuxedos.  The other is to provide them with a space with access to alcohol.  I wouldn’t know anything about this because I typically leave hockey games and go directly back to my hotel room to knit booties for underprivileged children, but I’ve HEARD that dads will gather at a conglomeration of tables, hopefully in a private (so no one can surprise them with barn wood and nails) community room of sorts, where they can work out all the problems of the world and/or talk about really important things, like driveways.  The moms will simultaneously gather in the same room, but will not interact with their own spouses unless absolutely necessary (usually with the phrase, “Are you putting our child to bed or am I?”).

Anyways, Dad Island is no Mom Island, let me tell you, but its inhabitants are cute so we’ll keep them around.  Plus, without Dad Island we Hockey Moms would have to wake up even earlier than we already do to take the kids to the rink; which, no thank you.

Zig-a-zig, ah.

Our fantastic, wonderful friends invited us to see a comedian named Bert Kreischer on Sunday night after the conclusion of the hockey tournament. I was sleeping on the couch up until the minute we left for the show, which was hilarious and we had a great time (and we were in bed by 10, so double-great time). The photo above is of the two most tired people in the universe.

Speaking of knitting, here’s a sweet story about Bismarck’s Maggie Krumm. (KFYR TV)

In North Dakota-adjacent news, three “Old Guys” snowmobiled 4,000 miles from Minnesota to Manitoba. (Dickinson Press)

This was the hockey tournament our 11-year-old participated in last weekend. (Fargo Forum)

Have I posted this story before?  I’m too tired to look.  University of North Dakota students launched a weather balloon as a part of a NASA program. (UND)

The North Dakota State High School Hockey Tournament was also last weekend, and here’s a nice little story about some of the fans from Grand Forks. (Facebook)

Grand Forks’ Justin Auch is working on trading a coffee mug for a $3,000 coffee grinder or a food truck. (Grand Forks Herald)

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