Confessions of a Football Hater

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 9.48.06 AMI know a lot about football for a person who grew up loathing anything to do with the sport. Crack back, chop block, coffin corner – terms that might sound alarming to some people – we’re all part of a childhood that I swear was mostly idyllic.

To calm your fears I will use those terms in a sentence my father might have uttered during any fall weekend of my childhood. “The punter wouldn’t have gotten that chop block while kicking the ball into the coffin corner if a teammate had thrown a crack back.”

See, I told you. Nothing to worry about. I was just a Texas girl who was required to not only love football, but to be knowledgeable about the game. My problem is I didn’t love football. I faked it because what child doesn’t want to make her daddy and, let’s be real here, her state happy?

Truth be told I found football beyond boring and a liar. The game is supposed to last an hour. You’ve got four quarters of 15 minutes each, but what football game has ever been only 60 minutes? As a child I would be perched on aluminum bleachers watching Southwest Conference action sizzling like a deep-fried Twinkie in the grease fryer at the State Fair because September in Texas is not none for its autumnal chill and repeatedly look at the scoreboard and time clock checking my math. How did 15 x 4 = taking up most of my weekend?

You would thought once I got into high school I would finally embrace the whole Friday Night Lights of it all. Yeah, that didn’t happen. Think about it, who wants to spend their Friday evening sitting outside like an offering to the chigger and mosquito Gods and watch a bunch of kids a whole lot more popular than you parade around not only on the field, but field adjacent? In Texas once you hit 14 if you’re actually watching the game from the stands that spells one thing: l-o-s-e-r.

Anyone who’s anybody is either playing the game, a cheerleader, on the drill team (wearing some inappropriate, almost thigh high white patent leather go-go boots, I might add) or in the band. I, being a member of the NFL (not as awesome as it sounds because it stand for National Forensic League) and co recording secretary of the International Thespian Society didn’t exactly make the cool kid cut. My allergy to mums also proved to be an issue.

If you’re confused right now about what mums have to do with football you must not hail from a small town where the high school homecoming game is the pinnacle of the social season. For your edification the mum is the official flower of any event associated with football. At homecoming girls would get morbidly obese mum corsages from their dates that were in a word – horrific.

You know the platter you put your Thanksgiving turkey on? That’s how big these mums were and that’s not the worst part. Each mum would have plastic chotskies glued on to them like mini footballs and cheerleader megaphones. Then there were the ribbons. Yards and yards of thick, cheap ribbon was attached to each mum with sayings spelled out in glitter. Usually the ribbons would have the girl and her date’s name on it along with a bible verse because that’s what happens when you live in the buckle of the bible belt. Everything comes with a bible verse. I swear I think most kids first words were “John 3:16.”

Due to my mum allergy I couldn’t wear one. People surmised that my non mum wearing was a sign of anti-American leanings or worse, I wasn’t proud of my school’s football heritage. I was viciously mum shunned. After that there was no turning back. Football was dead to me until I fell in love.

Not just love, but the big LOVE. I’m talking the head over heels, everyday is magical kind of love. My boyfriend was almost perfect except for one flaw. He was obsessed with the Washington Redskins. His mania started in childhood and this meant he had a Redskin helmet, jersey, sheet set (yes he was over 18 with a Redskin sheets. I know this should have a been a deal breaker, but love is blind or at least vision impaired when it comes to decor choices) trading cards and on and on.

A normal, not in love person, would probably just have tolerated the addiction. I, made the ultimate sacrifice and did a Juliet for my Romeo. Yep, I become a Redskin fan. I knew all the words to the fight song. The player roster and could recite the bios of both Joe Theismann and John Riggins. I was all in – for years – because you see I married this crazy Redskin fan.

Say hello to vacations to D.C. planned around going to Redskin games. We were at RFK stadium in 1992 at the NFC Championship game between the Redskins and the Lions and my husband got so excited that the Skins were going to Superbowl he kissed his bleacher mate. No, not me, the other bleacher mate – some strange guy with a hog nose on. (Sigh.)

As much as I tried to quit football it just couldn’t quit me. Seriously, the harder I tried to push it out of my life it just came back with a vengeance even infiltrating my career. As a TV news reporter in Austin, Texas my knowledge of the game meant if someone was sick over in sports I was their go to. I was okay with that, sort of, until the game tried to kill me, yes kill me AND my unborn child.

Dateline: November 4, 1995, Texas Memorial Stadium, 8 p.m. (CST)  The Longhorns were playing Texas Tech. I was five months pregnant and covering the game from the field. The action had moved to the end zone because Texas was about to score. I was bored and hungry. Forget about college football all I could think about nachos. Don’t judge. What pregnant woman when given the choice between football and nachos wouldn’t choose cheesy, greasy, nachos?

As I was in a nacho fog when an almost 200 pound Texas running back comes barreling for the end zone. The problem was he was coming straight towards me! Bigger problem I just stood there like an inert tackling dummy. I remember people screaming at me to move, most especially my husband who was down on the field with me and attempting to pull me to safety.

Finally, it clicked. All the football facts, figures and statistics I had been immersed in my whole life kicked in. I did a roll out curl, then a cut back with a down and out, threw in a little hot dog veer and made it to safety. The crowd went wild. At first, I thought it was for me, but quickly learned it was because the running back scored a touchdown. Oh well. At least I made it on the ESPN highlight reel that night.

I took all this as a sign. It was time to admit I’m a football girl. I guess you can’t escape your destiny which leaves me with one final, profound thought to share. Go Baylor! (Sorry all you other teams out there. This B.U. alum is mighty proud of her Bears.)

* You know what a great thing to do is when you’re done watching football? Why read my latest book of course! Duh. You can purchase both of cover_1-3-21my Snarky books for just 99 cents! Talk about a savings touchdown.  Go ahead and buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read. I hope you like it! 🙂

 

 

Bridezilla – The Early Years

show-imageI confess to, on occasion, watching the trio of reality wedding shows that are on the TLC network. There’s Say Yes to the Dress, Say Yes to the Dress Bridesmaids and Four Weddings where brides attend and rate each other’s ceremony and reception. (Have I mentioned these are all on Friday night? That right there tells you a lot about my social calendar.) I usually sit on the couch, my mouth agape, thinking that none of the nonsense I’m seeing really happened. It must be sort of, kind of, scripted because it’s all too crazy.

For example, what bride gets two wedding dresses? And an even better question is why would a parent pay for two dresses? Where’s the mom saying, “Hey, there mentally unhinged daughter of mine, you don’t need a separate wedding gown for your ceremony and a different one for your reception.”

If you do the wedding math the bride is only going to wear her ceremony gown for, what, two hours, max? As for requiring a different dress for your reception – is your wedding really going to be such a throwdown that you need a back up?

I’m not a dolt. I know wedding receptions have changed, a lot, from back in my day and I have zero nostalgia for the weddings I attended as a young adult. I was a bride in the 1980’s and, trust me, no one misses wedding gowns inspired by the TV show Dynasty with puffed sleeves so ginormous they could do double duty as umbrellas and receptions held in the church fellowship hall with punch, cake and Jordan almonds. (Just why on the almonds? How did that ever become a wedding thing?)  Regardless, I’m still flabbergasted by the receptions I see on TV. There’s the cocktail hour where you pre-feed your guests a light buffet before the seven course, sit down dinner, followed by a post reception midnight breakfast. It’s like the witch in Hansel and Gretel is the wedding cater and she’s stuffing the guests so she can eat them later.

But, as of this week, all of the current wedding hoopla makes sense from the multiple dresses to the layering of the reception into three different events. You see I have found the birthplace of this foolishness. The primordial stew, if you will, from where all this festers and flows. It’s called high school homecoming. Yes, that’s right homecoming (not prom, people). A dance held in a gym, that is infused with the odor of a thousand sweat socks, is ground zero for the making of a bridezilla.

Confused? Hang on, I’m going to walk you through it. Having lived through my first homecoming as a parent of a girl here’s what I learned. A high school homecoming usually requires two outfits. A fancy-ish dress (with abundant accessories) for the dance and one for the after party which may or may not have a theme. The grooming ritual for the dance can include; spray tan, professional hair and makeup, mani/pedi and, at the very least, an eyebrow wax. Once again, lest you forgot, this is all for a dance in a gym.

The “Ho Co” activities are as follows: First, an outdoor photo session with the dinner group (which is at least a dozen kids). This can take upwards of an hour for the parents to get all the pictures their daughters are telling them they need. I have discovered that the picture-taking is THE most important part of homecoming. It’s all about the pictorial. Seriously, for most girls their dates are simply a conduit to a photo-op. Next up, is dinner at a restaurant, then the dance in the gym described as something to be “gotten out of the way” so the teens can head to the after party which, as previously stated, requires a change in outfits.

Now, if you have girls, as young as 14, being schooled in this crazy, the whole bridezilla epidemic makes perfect sense. Why wouldn’t you “demand” two dresses for your wedding if you had two for your flipping freshman homecoming dance?

This is why I felt I needed to take a firm-parenting stand. I figured it’s never to early to start waging a war against raising a bridezilla. So, I gave my daughter a two-figure homecoming budget and a Discount Shoe Warehouse coupon. Little does she know, that someday, her adult self will thank me or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

The Homecoming “Ask”

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There’s a social scourge plaguing high schools that calls for immediate eradication. I’m talking about the new(ish) ritual of asking a girl to homecoming. No longer can a boy walk up to a girl at lunch or after class and casually go, “Hey, do have a date for homecoming?”

No longer can the girl respond with a nonchalant, “No, not yet.”

No longer can the boy volley back, “So, like, maybe do you want to go together?”

(Excuse me while I get a bit misty eyed because this almost sounds like my husband’s marriage proposal.)

The simple, low-key, “Do you want to go to homecoming?” is no longer acceptable. A production has to made out of the “ask” and the more elaborate the better.

A guy can go lower tier and do a sign on a piece of poster board that has a cute saying, usually related to food, as in – “I do nut know what I’ll do if you don’t go to homecoming with me.” This sign, of course, must be accompanied by a dozen Krispy Kremes. (Don’t make the rookie mistake of getting grocery store doughnuts.)

The more impressive “ask” involves some sort of public male groveling. Like the sophomore who staked out the front of the school in police tape, did a chalk outline of his body, with a sign that read, “I can’t live without you for my homecoming date.”

Now, I know these two examples are just darling, right? And provided the girl with an Instagram opportunity where she can show off how she was asked to homecoming. But, I as a mother to both a teenage girl and boy, I’m here to tell you this is all wrong.

In fact, I was so curious about how asking a girl out became an event so photo-op worthy that you could make a coffee table book out of all the pictures, that I did some research. It appears, all of this started about 10 years with the “Promposal” and of course, in a surprise to no one, was fueled by the Internet. The better the promposal the more of a chance it might go viral.

And, I’m going to have point a finger at all the moms out there. This Broadway-esque production of asking a girl out would have not taken off without the help of mothers.

No boy would ever be able to pull any of this off, let alone think of an idea, without his mom doing all the heavy lifting. Because is there any life form lazier and more clueless about the world-at-large than a 14-year-old male? Seriously, they’re still formulating fart jokes. To expect a freshman boy to come up with a cutesy, lovey-dovey homecoming date “ask” falls under the category of never going to happen. In fact, most of the “signs” I see on Instagram are, without a doubt, written by women that were drilled in the ways of cursive handwriting back in the 1970’s.

The reasons I think this jacked up way of asking a girl out is fraught with peril is multi leveled. Primarily, it means fewer girls will get asked to homecoming or prom because most guys when it comes to dating are a combination of slackers and scaredy cats. What man, never mind teenaged boy, wants to risk doing a big la-di-da production and then get shot down. I mean, hello, that’s going to hurt. Who can blame them for staying home, eating Cheetos and playing Halo 3?

The long-term implication is that, I believe, it impedes the teaching of a life lesson all girls should master sooner than later – men, as a general rule, are not gifted romantics. Learn it and move on. Don’t be standing around waiting for Lance Romance to show up because you know what happens when you do that? Mr. Right just walks on by and you don’t even notice. Then you end up on the Bachelor looking for love and embarrassing your family by being topless in a hot tub, one millimeter away from full nipple exposure, making out with some sleazy dude on national television.

I have been married for multiple decades and I can honestly say my husband, the best of men, has only done something romantic maybe three times. And each time it scared me. I thought he was being all smoochy sweet because he had a head injury and was suffering massive brain trauma.

Now, to really take a walk on the unpopular side I will propose to you that the more romantic the man the less you should trust him. Because you know who was described as being a killer romantic? Ted Bundy. (And please, I beg of you, no emails telling me how romantic your husband, a non serial killer, is. I’m talking in general terms here. I know romance is out there, just not at my house.)

So let’s join together parents and urge our teenagers to kick it old school. Boys just ask a girl out and for you girls out there isn’t it more important to just to go to the game and dance than wait it out for an “Instagram worthy” ask?

Let me answer that for you. It’s yes.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂

 

 

Dear Snarky – My Daughter Doesn’t Have a Date for Homecoming

Dear Sdear_snarky_logonarky,

 I’m stressing out. My daughter doesn’t have a date yet to her high school’s homecoming and it’s getting awfully close to the event. What can I do to make her feel better if she doesn’t get asked?

 Signed,  Worried Mama

Dear Worried,

You’ve reached the point in your parenting career where you must tell your daughter the 3 Truths About the High School Male.

1) Guys could be intimidated to ask your daughter out because she’s so smart, so pretty, so funny or all the above

2) Guys are goobers and for the most part would rather hang out with their friends than undergoing the effort a taking shower, breaking out the AXE body wash and doing all the things required to escort a young lady to homecoming.

3) Most teenage girls are too good for any teenage boy.

Now, once you’ve completed that lesson it’s time to move on to your Homecoming Avoidance Strategy. This is when you make plans to maybe, quite possibly, be out-of-town for homecoming. You daughter could share with friends that she “might have a conflict” on that day or her family has “plans.” This doesn’t close the door to a guy asking her out BUT if it doesn’t happen she’s already laid the groundwork that her busy schedule just didn’t have room for such a trivial event like homecoming. Then be sure to take your daughter out and treat her to a fun family evening.

Trust me. This advice is timeless because it works. My mother used it on me back in the day.

If you require some help from Dear Snarky (21st Century Advice With An Attitude) email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or private message me on the Snarky in the Suburbs Facebook page.