If my parents had been able to foresee the future, I’m sure they would have done things differently. But back then how could they have possibly known that in 2022, on February 13, the date of my birth would collide with the annual Super Bowl?!?
I know that my mother, a very caring person, would have held on just a bit longer, or planned on having me a day or two sooner. She would be doing the proverbial flips in her grave if she knew she was the cause of an inconvenience. Fortunately, she has no knowledge of the turmoil in which my husband currently finds himself, forced to choose between honoring his wife’s birthday and football.
The dilemma came to light after my darling returned home from having lunch with a friend. Apparently, during the meal, the upcoming game was a subject of conversation. I believe he lost his appetite because he arrived home with a half-eaten sandwich and a very solemn expression. “Please sit down,” he said, pointing to the chairs reserved for only the most serious conversations. “We need to talk. It’s about your birthday.”
Somewhat relieved that he wasn’t about to tell me that he was running off with the attractive waitress at the diner, I queried “What about my birthday?” And so, the negotiation began.
“Let’s celebrate on Saturday night instead of Sunday. We can go out for a lovely dinner, perhaps invite some friends.”
“Hold on. Saturday is NOT my birthday. It’s other people’s birthday. In fact, February 12th happens to be Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. But no one celebrates his birthday on the proper date, either. It got swallowed up by President’s Week, just as mine is about to be devoured by a Super Bowl!”
“Then, instead of dinner, how about a nice lunch on Sunday?”
How can he even ask me that! Doesn’t he read my blog? “I don’t do lunch,” I remind him. (Note to self: refer him to essay entitled ‘Let’s Undo Lunch,’ published October, 2017.)
“Out of the question.”
“Perhaps a Happy Meal during half-time?”
To be perfectly honest, my attitude regarding this sport has definitely complicated the issue at hand. You see, unlike the vast majority of red-blooded Americans, I dislike football. In fact, I hate football. Otherwise, birthday or not, there would be no conflict. I would be sitting beside him on a sofa, in front of the big screen TV, either alone or munching nachos at a Super Bowl party. I would, like the others in the room watching the game, overtly demonstrate my joy or sorrow at critical moments.
Transfixed by the plays and the players, I would periodically fall back into the cushions of the couch and emit loud groans of disappointment if someone on “my” team fumbled the ball. Or, on cue, I would leap to my feet and let loose with ear piercing shouts of encouragement as the quarterback (or is it the fullback or the halfback? Maybe the running back?) made his dash for the goalpost.
The charm of football absolutely escapes me. I just don’t see the point. Two teams of brawny men in steel helmets charging at each other, then falling to the ground in a messy pile. Someone blows a whistle, they rise, and do the same thing all over again. Are they deliberately trying to hurt each other? If so, what a clever way for men to get rid of their aggression without going to jail for it.
Another reason for disliking football is that it messes up the timing of the TV shows I do actually like to watch. Take Sunday night for example. There’s a program I enjoy which, when it is not football season, comes on the air promptly at 7:00 PM. But from September to January, it’s anybody’s guess. Tell me, can you point to any other sport where a 15-minute quarter can last for two hours?
So how did the conversation about what do about my birthday conclude? Well, it didn’t. But there’s still time.
And just like the Super Bowl, you’ll have to wait until February 13th to find out who the winner is!
(This essay is dedicated to my special friend, Bonnie A., who, when I described the Super Bowl dilemma, said, “Susan, you have a blog post here!)