On Labor Day weekend, my family and I attended a college football game. Labor Day Weekend is the first official week of college football.
Is it? I don’t really know.
But each year, a few weeks before Labor Day, my husband gets that look in his eyes that I try to avoid at all costs.
Not the one you’re thinking about, ya pervs.
The one I’m talking about is the one where he gets all dewy eyed thinking about men crashing into each other wearing tight pants and big shoulder pads. The one where their masculinity is highlighted, as if anybody needs more of that nonsense. I don’t get it. If you’d like an idea about how much I don’t get it, see here. Or here. And here. Again.
Anyway, every year my husband makes a big deal about our whole family going to see a live college football game, and he fixes me with a different look, the one that implies that my life will be a living hell full of football talk and football tickets and sports bars and beer and football parties at our house just out of spite if I don’t agree to it just once IT’S JUST ONE GAME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD IS IT REALLY SO BAD?
Um, yes. It is that bad.
It’s that bad because I hate football, but also because we tailgate, which is just like camping, which really isn’t what I call a good time. I don’t like to spend much time outside anyway because of bugs and wind and rain and unpredictable weather patterns and unreliable weather forecasts but when you add packing up so much stuff to entertain yourself and eat that there is barely enough room in your car for four people, I get a little twitchy.
As my mother-in-law put it as we were readying the coolers (yes, coolerSSSSS) to transport all manner of food and drink and inventorying the grocery bags full of snacks and paper products and water for drinking and water for cleaning and rags and knives and kitchen utensils and condiments and special beer can holders and chairs and a tent and grill and propane and footballs and custom collegiate official tailgating beanbag game and tablecloths and OMG is there anything else a family of four could possibly need to take with them to a football game, “Isn’t this a lot of work just for a football game?”
I have never loved my mother-in-law as much as I did at that moment, when my husband was practically squeeing with excitement, completely lacking the realization that his wife would rather do anything other than attend a football event for twelve hours, not to mention we were doing all this work for said football event. My mother-in-law got that this was madness.
And I tucked this small validation into my back pocket, and away we went to the football game.
We set up our campsite (let’s call it what it is, shall we) and cooked and ate and drank, and two hours later we cleaned up and packed up the truck again to walk five miles to the stadium. When we got there, we took our seats with the hundred thousand fans around us, and my daughter, who had taken a Benadryl to combat the allergic reaction she had to a bug bite, promptly put her sweaty head in my sweaty lap for an antihistamine nap. When she came to, she and I left our seats and walked around the stadium for three hours and ate ice cream and put our heads close to the mister fans which served as our in-stadium entertainment until our hair was wet. We met the boys back at our seats at the end of the game where we learned that our team had lost. We walked back to the campsite where we unpacked the truck and re-set up camp and cooked and ate and drank again. Did I mention porta-potties?
And when we were finished, we cleaned up, packed up, and left. We unpacked once more when we got home.
And once we got there, it was MY turn to give the look. You know the one I mean.