The Raphael Remedy Blog

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Well, here’s something I never thought I’d write about: The Super Bowl. My history with it has been uneven, at best. I used to see it as a great time to get out with my girlfriends. Restaurants and movie theatres were empty – the world was my oyster! Then I graduated to the Super Bowl party – the great post-holiday excuse to see friends, eat lots of junk, and break up the monotony of winter. Now it’s more sedate as my honey actually likes to watch the game and not be distracted by the party. My constant questions like “Are you rooting for the blue guys?” and “Why is everyone screaming?” are distractions enough.

I’m sorry. I’ve tried for years to understand football but I still don’t get it. To me it’s like looking at a sonogram…I know something important is happening on the screen but I can’t quite make out what.

Naturally, for most of us Super Bowl hostages watching the commercials is supposed to dull the pain. But I have to say, despite many funny ones, some years I’m just not too impressed. As a therapist I guess I’m always focused on the big picture and how those commercials influence our attitudes and reflect where we’re at as a society. This year though I was amazingly and pleasantly impressed with a recurring theme: positivity. But not just positivity, but positivity about something that for so long we’ve denigrated and relegated to uselessness: Dads…the wonderful, tender, and critical role of fathers.

I don’t want to get my hopes up too high, but I see this as a really optimistic sign. That finally, mercifully, we’re recognizing the greatness of dads and their importance in our lives. Instead of the macho, meathead image, the distant, aloof, devil-may-care playboy, or the well-meaning, henpecked screw-up we’ve all become so accustomed to laughing at, finally we’re catching on to the power of a sensitive, kind man who is involved with his kids, sheds a tear here or there, and gives his children the gift of confidence in themselves; that beautiful virtue of humility, so critical to the role of men who face so many challenges and struggles in the work world and so often at home.

Kudos to Toyota and Dove. Thank you. And while I’m at it…thank you Dodge for raising up the elderly to the status they deserve and sharing the wisdom they have that is born only of experience. In a world that increasingly sees the value of people based on their abilities and youthfulness, it’s refreshing to see the elderly given the respect they deserve.

If this Super Bowl trend keeps up, I might actually become a fan!

Allison Ricciardi, LMHC
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