Actually, the first several times I heard "ultimate" used as a noun, I thought the offenders were just a little gramatically addled and I let it slide. Who am I to judge, right? After a while, though, I realized there was something more going on, so I started asking questions. The conversation invariably took on a Who's On First? sort of bent:
"What is Ultimate, anyway?"
"Oh my gawd, it's just the best! It's so much fun! I just love it!"
Then they'd go all starry-eyed and gaze grinning off into space, and that would be it for my explanation. I surmised Ultimate was some form of recreational drug that I was too old to have dabbled in.
But there remained a nagging sense that, no - these people were all pretty Church of Latter-Day Health Freak, and mostly my age or younger, so I pressed on and eventually gleaned that Ultimate is shorthand for Ultimate Frisbee, which is a sport. Enlightenment! A little online sleuthing rounded out my search for the details, which go something like this: if you could take the top seventeen or so most dreaded activities for an overweight, undercoordinated person who could never quite get the hang of any team sport, ever, and cross-breed them all together into one great, jocky hydra, Ultimate would be that beast.
*shudder* Terrifying, isn't it? And just in time for Halloween!
But let's not dwell on what kind of nutballs get all twitterpated over extreme sports. Let's talk about how inadequate it makes me feel that people can actually enjoy that kind of crap when I've managed to slob my fat ass to my local Curves once in the past six months.
And it was closed early for a staff meeting.
So I went home.
And ate a bag of cookies.
Oh my gawd, I'm pathetic.
But if I've learned anything from my mother it's how to rationalize shoe purchases, which is a skill that lends itself surprisingly well to many aspects of life if you only try hard enough. So to all you wonderful moms out there who are already paddling like hell without adding supreme athleticism to your To-Accomplish list, come take a ride on Rationalization Rail with me and let's talk ourselves out of this Ultimate morale slump, shall we?
The following is pretty standard fare, but feel free to customize it to suit your rationalization needs:
Okay, so I'm not athletic, or maybe I used to be long ago and far away but just can't find the time for it anymore, but that doesn't make me an underachiever. My house is reasonably clean. My kids, spouse, family, employers, neighbours, dentist, doctor and bank are all reasonably happy. I've managed to maintain a reasonably good relationship with my breasts, despite our increasingly long-distance link. I've perfected the pie crust. I could probably make the Guinness Book for most times singing the ABC's in one year. I could take gold in every Olympic diapering event from Pile of Limp Spaghetti to Angry Greased Pig, while singing the ABC's, and not break a sweat. In short, I've got a lot on my plate, and I don't just mean burgers, and I don't need any other obligations - real or imagined - so just piss off already with the Ultimate.
A toast to you, O Herculean Homemakers! Keep up the stellar work.