When I was in high school, Sundays were actually really great. Some days my parents and I would wake up around 10:00, throw on some clothes and hit the church. I seldom enjoyed the act of going to church, although I have always enjoyed the act of spirituality. Anyway, there was always two moments I liked about going to church, the moment when you get to say “peace be with you,” and shake the hands of strangers… I can’t help but have a smile on my face during this exchange… And the moment I was walking out the door on a cold kansas afternoon. Oh… not because church was so terrible, but the feeling of warm sun hitting my face and cold air hitting my lungs at the exact same time… There should be a Robert Frost poem about this occurrence… I guess I really miss the cold sometimes.
After church, my parents and I would proceed home, change out of our “nice” clothes ASAP (typically into sweat pants and sweatshirt) and proceed directly to the television where we would watch like nine hours of football…
Before the start of game 1 :: My father and I would start the fire, while my mother would marinate whatever meat we would be eating later that day.
First half, game 1 :: Cheering (Yelling and screaming) for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Halftime, game 1 :: My father and I would add some logs to the fire, I would peel potato’s for lunch, and my mother would cook the remainder of the meal.
Second half, game 1 :: I swear, the Sunday afternoon meals that my parents and I ate on those afternoons were some of the most strangely special in my life. For some reason, ranting and raving about how great the food tasted gave us a strange bond. When I think back on these moments with my parents I start to realize that I am growing up, and I get so sad that these moments may be lost forever… The house is gone… My parents are at the top of a mountain in Virginia… And maybe we are all different people. Maybe not.
Between games 1 and 2 :: Discussion begins on strengths and weaknesses of both teams we were about ready to watch. My mother was always really good at this. It was so much fun hating the same teams as her. We both hated the Dallas Cowboys with the fire of three hells. As a matter of fact, we liked all the same teams, and hated all the same teams… This is why politics are so hard to talk about with her in the last few years… Part of me just wants to be rooting for the same teams like we used to. Each one of us thinks the other is rooting for the Cowboys, and neither one can figure out why.
First half, of game 2 :: More cheering (yelling)
Halftime, game 2 :: Desert. My mother would bake some sort of amazing chocolate concoction. Brownies, cake or cookies were the usual. Hot out of the oven was the way that we all liked it. If the chocolate did not feel just a little uncomfortably hot in your mouth, we would microwave it till it did… Ice cream would accompany whatever baked item was on the menu that day.
Second half, game 2 :: By this point, we had been eating and cheering (yelling) for something like five hours solid… Like a toddler who has been awake for too long, we all three fell asleep at this time every Sunday, my parents on their plaid reclining couch, me on the reclining chair, all with individual quilts pulled up to our chins… Occasionally one of my parents would emit a loud snore, waking me from my football snooze. I remember on several occasions looking over at them and smiling, almost to the point of laughter… Overcome with joy and love… Wow, it really was fun watching football with my parents.
Between games 2 and 3 :: Watch highlights from the days games (that we had already seen 6 time before).
First half, game 3 :: The horrors of school the next day, and the homework that I had forgotten, start to creep into my head. “Don’t think about it,” I would say to myself… “I can to it later.”
Halftime, game 3 :: My father would throw a log onto the fire, kiss my mom (who had moved to the sewing machine by now) goodnight, tell me to “be good” (I knew it meant “I love you”), and went go to bed.
Second half, game 3 :: Try my hand at homework (or not) in front of the game. I could not have given less of a shit about homework at that point in my life… Most of the time, I did whatever I needed to do to get by.
After the game :: Call whatever girl I was seeing at the time… Sometime I will go over the teenage pains of calling a girl for the first time… Guys, you know what I mean.
The question for me was never, “are you ready for some football?”… But, “are you ready for some Howard and Linda?”
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This is a picture of me drinking a HUGE milkshake… I think Jamie is trying to fatten me up for Thanksgiving.