Parenting and family, served with a shot of vodka
I still remember the first day I felt like an outsider here. It was about five years ago and I had just moved from Louisville, Kentucky to the Boston suburbs.
A new mom, I was still adjusting to my new role, and to living in a new state where I didn’t know anyone other than my husband.
So, I was out running mundane errands with my little Superhero, who was about six months old at the time. He was all nestled in his infant seat, cooing and generally being a cute, smiling, squishy baby.
We walked into the post office to get some stamps. When it was time to pay, the friendly-ish post office worker took one look at my debit card and suddenly, his eyes narrowed to a glare.
“The Phillies?,” he grunted, referring to the sports logo that adorned my debit card. He swiped the card, then wildly flung it back to me in disgust.
Stunned, I tried to joke with him. “Hey, man. My husband grew up in Philadelphia and he chose the debit cards,” I said. “Take it up with him.”
You’d think he’d lighten up, right? I shit you not, this man didn’t make eye contact with me again; instead, he looked past me and began a conversation with the guy in line behind me while I was still standing there.
Really, dude? I don’t even give a rat’s ass about baseball. I wanted the freakin’ Hello Kitty debit card, but when I later went in to order it, our bank said you could only have one decorated card option per bank account. Lame!
Still, I chalked it up to him being the stereotypical grumpy postal worker and went about my life.
So, about three months after that, I was walking on the trail and bike path, a gorgeous and serene route enveloped by leafy trees, gaily singing birds and conservation land.
I was spacing out, enjoying the exercise on a spring day with my baby and two loyal pooches. A 50-something man wearing headphones and a Patriots sweatshirt was walking toward me on the opposite side of the trail.
Suddenly, as he got closer, the guy erupted in raucous laughter. It just kept rolling and rolling out of him. I figured he was on the phone, chatting with Chris Rock or Tina Fey or some other hilarious human being.
But as he walked past me, he looked down at the hoodie I was wearing and said, “SEAHAWKS? HAHAHAHAHA!” And then he kept muttering about the Seahawks as he walked past. This assclown had been laughing at ME the whole time!
Now, I do love football, so I had a vested interest in this guy’s ridiculousness. I mean, you can love the Patriots as much as you want, even quietly laugh to yourself if you think my team is inferior, but seriously. What a peace-disturbing douche.
I’ve now been here five years, and made lots of friends. Obviously, not everyone in New England is as rabid. But it is tough here if you don’t live and breathe the Patriots (and Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins).
When football comes up, I always feel like I have to explain that I grew up in Washington. The Seahawks are my home team. End of story.
I’ve never had to do that in the four other states in which I’ve lived. People just accepted your allegiances and didn’t give you grief about it.
And truth be told, I don’t dislike the Patriots. I mean, I live here now. I will always root for the Patriots New England unless, of course, they are playing the Seahawks. Which they are Sunday, in the biggest football match of the year.
So we’ll see how it goes… I’m going to a Superbowl party that will (obviously) be filled with Patriots fans. Even my kids are rooting for New England. And I can’t even get on their case because the Patriots are *their* home team, the only one they’ve ever known.
I’m either gonna be poppin’ bottles alone or hiding in a corner, deflecting trash-talk.
But one thing is for sure: I’ll never be a hater like those first two sports fans I encountered. Well, unless I see that guy from the walking trail again. Then I might have to say, “HAHAHAHA! How ya like the Seahawks now, jerk face? DEFENDING SUPER BOWL CHAMPS. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”