Bench warmer lessons….


So this is the year I learn to appreciate the great American sport of football.  Which is admittedly hard when I am watching the most boring game I think I’ve ever tried to watch.  Third quarter and our team is getting obliterated 61-0.  Yikes.

At least the band brought their A-game.  Which is after all the reason I’m being a bench warmer at a game I still barely understand.  Heaven help me, I keep trying.  But daughter is a high school freshman this year, and joined the marching band.  And I figure, if she’s gotta spend her Friday nights at the football game, then one of us should come too.  So far it’s been me, even though hubby knows both more about marching band drills and football.

However, this being the 3rd game of the season, and me being there for all of them so far, I’ve been learning some interesting lessons other than football.  I have a lot more fun watching the people more than the game, I confess.  It’s fascinating being flung back into the high school dynamics, and I’m learning a bit more about my town.  In fact, I’m learning a lot more about my town.

Like, I never realized that the local football game was kinda the place to be if you’re a highly involved parent or local muckety-muck.  I’ve run into more parents and teachers that have been a part of my kids lives over the years in these 3 football nights than probably a half dozen years of school functions combined.

The small city I live in has a very interesting six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon dynamic going on.  On the one hand, we’re part of the greater DC Metro area – which is huge, and busy, and rather anonymous.  On the other hand, my city is only maybe 10 square miles and we have our own school district (unlike the ones around us comprised by whole counties).  So that lends it this (sometimes) bizarre small-town feel.  The best description I ever got was from the owner of a local bookshop I frequent.  She suggested that my town is the sort where you don’t want to just shoot your mouth off at strangers, because you never know where they might turn up next.  Possibly as your child’s teacher, or your local councilman.  You get the idea.

Anyway, in my desperate need to find a new social niche after leaving the organized church, I never once considered attending the local football game.  But after 8 long (and lonely) years of having almost no local social circle, I may have found a place to finally make some new, if not yet friends, at least folks to hang out with.

Because now that I have done most of the hard work of picking apart my psyche and cleaning out the skeletons from my personal spiritual closet, I have been stumbling around trying to find my new “tribe”.  And I never expected I could jump start that process attending a game I don’t (yet) get.

Final score for our team- 64-0.  Ouch.

Final score for me?   Still being determined…..


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