One of the last brief comments I had with one of the other people who did a lot of officiating (and some playing, something I was unable to do with my poor hobbled feet), was that “Everything is square.” By this he presumably meant that all the items were accounted for (which I had just heard from the custodian for the school where today’s athletic events were ) and that there was nothing else that needed to be done. I cannot help, when thinking about this sort of issue, if saying that everything is square has a larger significance. There are people who do not seem to say much, but whose statements are sufficiently meaningful that great meaning is implied in what they happen to say, particularly given a larger context, and with me there is almost always a larger context.
I do not know if I will long remember just how painful today was. Mostly, for me at least, this pain was physical, and mostly concentrated in my longsuffering feet. After last night’s dancing, today I was on my feet for almost six hours straight serving as a line judge, down ref, and mostly main ref for a variety of games. This involved being at risk for getting hit by stray volleyballs, which happened a few times, including on the hehad from behind. At times, it seems as if the games I was reffing seemed designed to place me around certain people over and over again. Allowing for different skill levels, I worked hard to call fairly tight games, which the teens accepted easily but which the adults bristled at a bit. Some of them needed to be told about the various nuances of the rules, and at least one person asked if I was a professional referee and commented that I refereed a little bit like boot camp in a very formal and regimented fashion. I chose to take that as a compliment to the orderly and professional way I go about such tasks, which was all the more necessary given that it was the only way the task could be done well given the personal feelings involved in serving the people I did.
I cannot say that I made any new friends today. I certainly was able to chat a bit with plenty of people I knew a bit, and a bit with people I did not know, but standing on a stepladder and hanging on to the pole like it was the mast of a pirate ship , as I was doing for most of the day, is not the best way to meet people. In addition, being a referee, besides being hard on the feet, is also hard on socializing, especially since I hardly had any time to eat until I was on my way home and picking up groceries, as is my custom on this day. Perhaps the short snatches of conversation I had with people will be taken well, and perhaps others will have some fond memories of games played and friends made. As for me, I am not sure what I will remember the most about today, if anything at all. It was a day which put me frequently in an uncomfortable position, in which little relief could be found and where complaint was pointless, for it was not clear whether anyone else was enjoying it either, but all of us were resolved to be as professional about it as possible. Sometimes that is all that can be done, and giving yourself foot massages to help it hurt a little less.