When I was a kid, football was a weekly ritual. For some reason I couldn’t quite fathom, my parents LOVED football. My sister was OBSESSED, especially with Joe Montana, whose picture hung above her bed and which she kissed every night before she went to sleep.
Every Sunday (and eventually Monday… and Saturday…), we’d cozy up around the TV, volume cranked way up, drinking warm drinks and nibbling on snacks. There would be yelling, jumping, screaming…
…from everyone but me.
I HATED football! I hated it with a passion. I just didn’t get it… what was the big deal? It was just a game. Why did my sister end up in tears, and why did all of the members of my family jump to their feet and cheer? And why was the game so unbelievably LONG?
Of course, not being with my family for this important weekend ritual was unthinkable. So, I coped as best I could. I read a book until my family said I was not participating in family football day. Then, I admired the football players’ butts in their tight white pants. I decided the Packers were my favorite because they jumped in the stands and the fans all patted them. I asked a few questions about the game, but hit some threshold of information and couldn’t absorb any more. After that, I did crafts while “watching” the game. I made friendship bracelets of embroidery floss and wove lanyards out of plastic cord. I started a cross-stitch that I never finished. I got a bead loom and painstakingly made bookmarks for my family members.
Clearly, I was a weird, very un-cool kid… and once I left home for college, you couldn’t make me watch football if you tried!
This morning, as I was curled up in bed reading a great book about (coincidence?) an awkward teenage girl, I got a text from my sister saying simply, “Seattle going nuts?” Ah, yes… football!
So, today, I decided to “watch” the game. It is a big deal, after all… the Seahawks are in the playoffs. So here I am, drinking coffee and eating some homemade biscotti, doing laundry and idly watching and not-watching the game. And you know what? It feels good.
It feels like home.