Sunday, September 30, 2007

A House Divided

The story of how we met is another subject for another page. But the fact is, we both married the enemy. What am I referring to? Rival football teams! In the state of Alabama, when you are asked to declare your allegiance, it’s not to your religion, but rather are you an Alabama fan or an Auburn fan. We have an agreement—we don’t watch the big game together. Except for the horrible birthday party that we couldn’t get out of—our relatives’ Mom was turning 65 and every other family member refused to come because the party was set at the time of the big game. So—sigh—we ended up at the party glued to the little TV (we had just purchased a huge TV for our lovely basement room that same year) and yet we found ourselves sitting next to each other watching the game on a bad TV in a room full of relatives from out of state who clearly just didn’t get it and insisted on carrying on with the party. Our thoughts? Couldn’t you have been born on another day? But I digress. How has this rivalry influenced our marriage? This story has two sides:

He says: I had a roommate at Alabama. My roommate and I married a pair of Auburn sisters.

She says: My sister and I were roommates. We married two roommates from Alabama.

He says: Alabama has the better football record over all.

She says: Quit living in the distant past. The really bad fans (not my precious husband) keep propping up Bear Bryant who died a long time ago. Auburn has won the last 5 games.

He says: Auburn fans have a “poor me” attitude that got old a long time ago. They pretend to be shocked when they win.

She says: Alabama fans expect to win. They ARE shocked when they win. And yes, I am surprised when Auburn wins. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop!

He says: I do root for Auburn when they are not playing Alabama.

She says: I do root for Alabama when they are not playing for Auburn. My precious husband even said that when Auburn was close to a national championship that he didn’t mind if they beat Alabama. He is the kindest person I know.

He says: We do not watch the game together. It is just not fun. I do know that the year we went to Mt. Zion we couldn’t watch the game together. Sharon kept coming out of the restroom with a big grin on her face. Boy, they must have really good restrooms there.

She says: We do not watch the game together. It is just not fun. However, a few years ago we were at Mt. Zion so we couldn’t watch the game together. However, there wasn’t a rule that I couldn’t go into the restroom and text message our daughter who was in the stadium and find out the score. We won.

He says: My worst memory? 17-16. I was at Alabama working on my car. Auburn won in the last 30 seconds. Couldn’t believe it. Everyone our age knows exactly what game I am referring to just by mentioning that score.

She says: I keep hearing the voice of one of our rabid Alabama fans. He says AH LA BAHMA in this most irritating voice that John likes to imitate because he knows it makes my skin crawl…Oh, and did I mention that John’s relatives put on a game at the Thanksgiving family party and played the game over and over again? That was the year Auburn lost. Come to think of it, they haven’t done it for the last FIVE years.

He says: My best memory? It was fun while Bear Bryant was alive.

She says: See what I mean? Living in the past. But if we are going to go back, 17-16 was so exciting. I had a bad date, but the game had a great score.

He says: Superstitions? Nah, don’t believe in them.

She says: One day when Auburn was winning, I was upstairs watching the game on the little TV in the kitchen. John came upstairs from watching the game on the big TV and said, “You’re doing laundry. I’m going to do laundry.” Everything got washed that day. Maybe I should do toilets during the next game…

He says: Sharon takes Auburn losses very personally and hates to see the Sunday paper the next day. It affects her mood for a day. Fortunately she has a bad memory for sports scores and gets over it quickly. What she does hold on to are all the little slights that happen over the years.

She says: John keeps the losses in perspective and realizes that he can’t control the games. He doesn’t get emotionally invested. I admire that…I should mentioned that he attended all the home games when Casey started at Auburn. It was hot as Hades but he endured the games to see Casey! I do remember that he refused to say “War Eagle.”

He says: They make great women at Auburn. Sharon graduated from there and Casey is still a student there.

She says: My sister and I agree: they make great men at Alabama. I got the coolest husband from there. And did I mention that he is precious?

When our daughter was trying to decide where to go to college, we truly didn’t mind which college she attended. Alabama is closer which would have been great for those times we go to campus to see her. I am down there a lot (I teach on five faculties for Alabama). But I am glad that she chose Auburn.

PS: The relatives who continued to play the game where Auburn lost all during the Thanksgiving family party have gotten their just reward. Their daughter fell in love with the grandson of Hare (Jordan-Hare is the name of the stadium at Auburn). Their daughter got married in Auburn (that was a pretty good day seeing all those Alabama fans on Auburn soil). The funniest moment was when the Alabama mascot, Big Al, showed up at the reception. Those rabid Alabama fans are now at Auburn all the time because their grandbabies are being born there! I love a happy ending!!


Renee said...

This is too funny. I just have one thing to say...Roll Tide!

Anonymous said...

This is too cute! War Eagle!!!

Tracy Perry

Christine said...

Too funny! Love this dialog. What a cute idea. I hope that this is a scrapbook page. Ahh, football season. It certainly brings out the best in people. All I can say is people from Alabama are crazy about football. Go Gators! Go USF! (My alumni)

Anonymous said...

About 33 years ago, my Brother In Law, Pete, a rabid Alabama fan let me come over for Game Day. Apparently I, the only Auburn fan, snickered and grinned too much, as Auburn flew down the field. Alabama lost and somehow it was my doings. Hehehe!

I've never been invited back to watch THE GAME. But each year I call and ask to come and each year, Pete politely tells me NO! In good fun we've made a rival joke but I do know it's not a joke when he says,"Jane, sorry but NO."

Jane Pratte