We had a Super Bowl party here at Casa de Wacko yesterday. For those of you who are not in the USA, the Super Bowl is the culmination of a season long American Football orgy of running around clutching or throwing an oval-shaped object wrapped in pigskin. It also involves a lot of rolling around on the ground writhing in pain and having tantrums in the face of the cameramen.
Appropriate attire for this occasion is skin-tight pants, padding and helmets…for the players. For the fans, well we can pretty much dress however we like. We can paint our chest blue, or wear a giant wedge of plastic cheese on our head. I think there are some unspoken rules about this, but I’m not exactly sure what they are. I suspect the costume has to be vaguely related to the team you are rooting for.
Mr. Husband really out did himself cooking yummy scrumptious food. He started cooking on Saturday. We had chicken and white bean chili, and homemade guacamole with chips. And because the game was in New Orleans and it’s close to Mardi Gras we got a traditional King Cake with raspberry cream filling from the Whole Foods Market. Oh lawzy mercy, what a feast!
I personally am glad the opposing teams have to wear different colors. If they didn’t I would not even know who I am supposed to yell about or when. It doesn’t really help me that much though. I groan and wince when someone gets slammed face first into the ground under a pile of players, no matter which team they are on. Seriously, if a group of guys behaved like this in vegetable isle at the super market they would all to jail. If I had any say in the matter.
The fascination with football eludes me. Sometimes I wonder if it is a form of gentile pseudo warfare for the modern male couch potato. I guess it’s better than having them out every weekend erecting trebuchets and bombarding neighboring towns with boulders, but not by much. Maybe men just gotta do what men gotta do?
I must confess that I harbor a bit of jealousy because the only time I hear Mr. Husband screaming with wild abandon or groaning in agony is while he is watching a game. He never screams about or at ME like that! ***dabs a tear with a lace handkerchief***
Our house did look like the remains of a battle field when it was all over and we all had a good time. Overall it was a great day.
Brain chemistry is a strange bird. I’ve heard it said that life is pretty much what you make of it. I think life is what your brain chemistry says it is. Can I change my chemistry. I don’t know. It’s working fine today so I don’t want it to change. The damn thing changes of its own accord at inconvenient intervals. For today, walking down the sidewalk in New Orleans I look around at the gnarled old tree roots, feel the sun on my back and legs. Warm and caressing, not a care in the world.
Graffiti on the walls speaks of self-expression and mischief. Musty smells like this only happen in the deep south. Leaves, beer, Spanish moss, mildew, sassafras, smoked sausage, anisette, red beans. Wisps of music seeping from open windows and passing cars. This sidewalk walked by creative souls, lost souls, sinners, drunks, tourists and the soul-less alike.
In another frame of mind or in the middle of the night this same street could horrify me. God only knows what went on here only hours ago. Someone may have been murdered on this very spot. I wonder if Anne Rice cooked up her vampires walking on this very strip of ground. Late at night maybe, what a wicked and delicious thought. In the sunlight this innocent strip of sidewalk still has character. Cracked, scarred, uprooted by trees, carved by kids, chunked by cars skidding out of control, collapsed in spots, scraped by garbage cans. This sidewalk looks lived in. Well lived, terribly lived, passionate, squandered, reborn, repaved and destroyed again.
What thoughts walked down this street? The mundane, the inspired, those beyond madness. The old, the young, the in between. The know it alls , the clueless, those making statements, people throwing beads just for the fun of it. Who needs a Mardi Gras parade as an excuse. Yes, I do know what it means to miss New Orleans.
Since today is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, a friend asked what I am giving up for lent. I shot back without thinking “my job.” We cracked up laughing so hard we had to do the dance of trying not wet our pants. Any woman over 50 knows all about that.
But then I got to thinking about it seriously. Giving up coffee, candy, or alcohol is sort of the stereotypical thing people think of as Lent Catholic style. But, that’s the easy stuff. Changing a habit or doing something you don’t ordinarily do is much harder. One year I gave up the “F” word. It was incredibly hard and I didn’t realize I used it that much, or how much everyone else did either.
A group of Nuns I know had a mischievous priest and advisor who gave them each other as their Lenten penance. He meant that they had to treat each other with patience and loving kindness. All the time, no excuses. And if you think Nuns don’t get on each other’s nerves, think again. They are human too.
What I may try to give up this year is my tendency towards negative self talk. “You’re an air head, you’ll never get that done, nobody takes you seriously, you’re wasting your time, that’s not possible, you always start things you don’t finish, blah, blah, blah.” This little devil lives on my shoulder all the time. Sometimes I’m amazed that she isn’t visible to others. Maybe in a way she is. I think this negative talker let’s me off the hook too easy. “Well I told you that wasn’t possible, that you couldn’t do that.”
Mr. Husband and I have mini date to talk about this Lent challenge thing over tonight. He’s not Catholic so this is not the usual request for him. He’s already vowed to give up Mexican Food for 30 days. His nutritionist told him that, not his concience. Unfortunately, this probably means that I am giving up Mexican food too. I’ve asked him several times now to tell me what is the most annoying thing I say or do. I ask him so I can try to not say or do it. My sneaking suspicion is that he’s afraid to tell me. I just do not understand why. I am cool as a cucumber. Totally unflappable. I neeeevvveerr get upset by criticism.
I hereby for-with, do formally and unequivocally grant myself the right to be silly. Life is just too short. My days of jumping through hoops is about to come to a screeching halt. “What will people think?” has got to be the most insidious mind control twist ever. I don’t know what will people think? That I had a good time? That I’m certifiable, call the padded van? Don’t know, don’t care.
Who is this “they” that we all worry about. I think women especially are raised to have this internal sensor switched on in high gear. “Oh if you do that, people won’t think you’re a nice girl.” After 55 years hanging around the old planetary water cooler I have yet to hear even a second-hand tale of anyone who got any benefit from that kind of “niceness.” The nice that you are when you allow others to take credit for your accomplishments. This nice you are not when you refuse to do someone’s work for them while they goof off. Nice girls don’t get angry, Nice girls don’t stand up for themselves. If you were my friend you would…wash my car for me, babysit my cat for 3 months, drive in the middle of the night to come to my house and scratch my left eyebrow.
It’s amazing what people will expect you to do. And are shocked when you don’t go along with the plan. One time my daughter and I were on a train in Boston, chatting away, people watching and just in general having a good time. A woman who was financially endowed, shall we say, climbed on the train. She was fur clad, dripping with jewelry, hair shellacked into some kind of blond helmet. In each hand was huge handful of Neiman Marcus and Sax Fifth Avenue shopping bags. She looked around, walked down the aisle, stood over me and said “get up, I want your seat.” No please or anything. This woman was not much older than me and certainly not in the category of ‘be nice and give the elderly person your seat.’ Something about having my daughter with me made me think carefully about my answer. The last thing I wanted to do was set the example of a wishy washy scullery maid. Finally I looked at this woman, smiled a big smile and and “no, thank you.” She stomped her foot in an immature mini tantrum and walked off down the train. Maybe she bullied someone else out of their seat. I didn’t look to see. It was something about her sense of entitlement that just galled me.
When I travel I love to be open, ask dumb questions, pretend to not read the signs. There is no way you can pass yourself, as a local so why try? I talked at the JFK memorial and got scolded by a guard. I leaned too far over to see a Faberge Egg and set off the alarm. I lost my day pass at the Imperial Gardens in Tokyo and almost caused an international tourism incident. I laughed at the appetizer at a snooty hotel in Hong Kong. It was chunks of tofu with hotdog relish. Charging $20 for it didn’t make it a bit more sophisticated. I send my food back if it’s horrible. I climbed up the Statue of Liberty with a silly green crown hat on. I eat food from street vendors and don’t care if it dribbles on my clothes.
When I got older I’m going to enjoy that too. My walker will be metallic pink with racing stripes and a bicycle bell. I’m also going to refuse to wear a hearing aid but instead use an ear horn and crack up laughing at people trying to shout down it. I will still pretend to not understand and do as I please. Life is to be lived, loved and enjoyed. This is not a dress rehearsal, folks.