Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Every four years, I develop an irrational 16-day crush on America’s man-fish, Michael Phelps.

Earlier this year, I indicated to my friend Kathryn that I wasn’t sure what this Olympics would bring; I was willing to entertain the notion that it was dreamboat Ryan Lochte’s turn in the spotlight, both in the pool and in my heart.

But the second Michael clinched that 19th medal, reacting and reflecting with a calm maturity that brought a mist to my eyes and a wistful sigh to my melodramatic lungs, I knew that my heart lay where it always had:  with the man with the abnormally floppy feet.  By the time he won his 22nd medal, the last of his career and a gold to boot, Michael Phelps had me – and rest of the world – feeling guilty we had ever looked at another swimmer…

Michael, however, has apparently not had any guilt about a roaming eye.  Now that he’s finished doing the honorable thing by the American public, winning his weight in medals for our country and giving us all a reason to celebrate the chlorine industry, he’s all like, “AH WAIT, I HAS A GRRRRRLFRIEND, Y’ALL.”  And because we’re only on Day 11 of my current 16-day crush cycle, from now until the Closing Ceremonies, I’m morally obligated to care.  (Afterward, I won’t care at all.  This is the magic of the Olympics.)

My problem here is this:  This woman is reminding the rest of us that Michael Phelps is human, and no one wants to think about Michael Phelps being human.  The dude spiraled into massive not-giving-a-fuck-ed-ness after Beijing, and he still managed to pull it together and do what no human on Earth has ever done before, or maybe will ever do again.  He’s part of a generation (my generation!) that has already been written off by the generations before us as lost and unproductive, but even at his lowest, he worked harder than most humans ever will at anything.  HE IS NOT LIKE THE REST OF US.

But his girlfriend, as witnessed by her Twitter feed, is.

“This probably will get lost in your tweets but since i cant text i miss you and cant wait to spend time with you for real xo."

What?  Can a bitch get some capital letters for the greatest Olympian of all time?!

Also [pausing for a moment to close my eyes, shake my head, and lift a hand to my forehead in feigned dismay], if he’s going to unveil a secret girlfriend, I just…I want it to be someone who’s different than those people who fill up my Facebook feed with cloying digital PDA directed at their patiently tolerant boyfriends.

No, the conclusion here is as inescapable as it is tragic:  Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete in history, really is just a 27-year-old boy.

The Olympics are awesome.  Twitter, not so much...


  1. "Can a bitch get some capital letters for the greatest Olympian of all time?!"

    I'll admit, I guffawed at that one!

    - Beej

    1. Heh. :D

      And I mean SERIOUSLY. There was another one where she was like, "I don't know how to direct message you, so I have to send you this good luck message publicly!" Dude. He is Michael Mother-effing Phelps and she makes it sound like he's her boyfriend from fifth period. OH THE ILLUSIONS THAT ARE BEING RUINED FOR ME...

  2. beky i like u blog lots!!!!1! u rite well and ur intelect shows in ur blags. u need 2 get on the tweeter too! twee! twee!

    1. Hahaha, this comment is easily better than the entry it's in response to.

      HATS OFF for this. ;D

  3. (Ok Ive been read all the time but on my ipad and it doesnt let me comment. So now im going to try and recreate all those comments that never worked and spam you!)

    Obviously, being Australian, Phelps is a threat. But this time I actually put money on him winning 3 gold medals and he DIDNT.. so.... disapointed.

    Whats he going to do now hes not swimming anymore?

    1. Sam! You're back!! And with tons of awesome comments!!!! YAY! :D

      Sorry you lost money on Phelps (he had a spectacular end of the meet, but the first few races were hard at times to watch...the silver to Le Clos in particular was heartbreaking!). :( And I don't know what he's going to do! He keeps saying he's going to travel, but as far as long-term? He really does have the rest of his life ahead of him. It'll be interesting to see what he does from here...