Ashley LodatoBy Ashley Lodato

Winthrop. First of all, let it be duly noted that last week Laurel Canan formally registered a complaint against my plan to attend only the halftime portion of our neighborhood Super Bowl party, claiming it would jinx the game for the Seahawks. So, how’d that jinxy cursey stuff work out for ya?

The host of the party, however, had pre-approved my halftime attendance application, so I attended, head held high, fully expecting to bear the burden of the Seahawks’ inevitably crushing defeat. When I arrived at the game party at three minutes before halftime, however, it was patently clear that (A) the Seahawks were so laughably leading that I need not feign interest in the actual game, and (B) that there were verifiably interesting conversations taking place with the game merely serving as a backdrop, so I simply decided to eavesdrop on the various exchanges and let what I heard lead to the randomness that is the rest of my column.

First, there were Julie Grialou and Seth Miles in the kitchen, performing what looked like a delayed synchronized modern dance routine, but was in reality a review and clarification of what the various NFL referee calls look like.

Not four feet away, two women shared the stories of their grandparents breaking free from Nazi Germany. I kid you not—while on the TV the pawns of the multi-billion dollar NFL industry plied their trade for the riveted millions, two women with an eavesdropping audience of one discussed their relatives’ narrow escape of the concentration camps. If this is not an ironic snapshot of American culture, I don’t know what is.

Then there was Liberty Bell science teacher Lisa Monahan, fresh off a professional development conference in Seattle, saying “Can you believe they’re teaching PCR (polymerase chain reaction)—[it has something to do with DNA amplification—yeah, I had to look it up too]—in high school biology now?” — in the same tone that one of the rest of us might say, “Can you believe they’re teaching the multiplication tables in kindergarten now?”

Jinx or no jinx, the Seahawks won the game and all the millions of twelfth men were ecstatic, relieved, and mostly stunned. But at the end of the day, we’re talking about no further gain for humankind. Is this really what we rally around? Couldn’t we actually accomplish something worthwhile with all that 12th Man energy?

A cause that we should rally around is the Room One Ski (Walk) for Women, which was held at the Winthrop Town Trailhead. The event was lightly but enthusiastically attended, with over-the-top costumes sported by three distinct groups of women in the valley: Midge Cross as the prima Swan Lake ballerina for the survivors in pink tutus, Roxie Miller leading a flock of ravens, and Lori Northcott commanding the blue-and-green feathered SeaGals. At the risk of sounding sexist, I’d argue that a bunch of great local birds really made this event take flight.