Monday, February 2, 2009

Game Day


Sometime last night, probably in the space between holding court on the complete inanity of challenges and instant replay and -- cream cheese on a ritz, awarding another challenge if you win your first two? When the fuck did pro football turn into Price is Right? and and oh, yeah, between that and wondering why my team couldn't punch in a ball from first and goal . . . in EIGHT tries, I remembered I wrote some despairing post last year as my team wilted in the playoffs. Look, right here, I did. Sad.

And there I was, about to throw up two bowls of chili, two beers, and a car bomb cupcake, suddenly jumping off the couch throwing high fives, tiptoeing through my neighbor's living room.

I'm genetically a Steeler's Fan. My family, both sides, extended, derive from the Pittsburgh region. My father hung on to USX stock (the real macoy printed on paper) even as it plummeted into junk, out of some nostalgia because his father had worked there. I had great grandmothers and aunts who listened to pre-season Pirates games, and in the 80s remembered line-ups from the early 60s. I grew up in a state (ironically, home of the other team in his year's big bowl extravaganza) at a time when there were no other pro sports teams there save for the Suns. (I tell ya, I'm OLD people. Old.) Ergo, Steelers, Pirates, Penguins, and Suns. It makes perfect sense in my head.

My dad taught me about football, and my family about loyalty. As in, you will be kicked out of wills.

Twenty odd years ago on a warm Sunday afternoon in late August, a few days fresh to New York City, I found myself alone in a dorm tv lounge, and flipped through the channels and found . . . pre-season. Steelers/Giants.

"Who's winning?" said a voice from the doorway. "Not the Steelers," I said with a snort. The kid wanted to know why on earth a girl -- er, young woman -- from Arizona was a Steelers fan? And more to the point, why a young woman would be watching football, preseason football, voluntarily? By herself?

Kid was nice. Kid was cute.

Kid became my husband.

In some strange universe, I owe my life as it is, good bad and ugly, to these guys who run around in black and gold tights on Sunday afternoons between September and February. Mr. ABF is an Eagles fan, and for a long time we bought Bella both jerseys and swapped them depending on who was playing when, and who had won the last head-to-head game. I've kinda relinquished the fact that she is growing up here, and the Eagles will be her team. And I'm thrilled it's not only in her neighborhood, but her bloodstream.

I believe far more in luck (and bad luck at that) than fate, and certainly a string of it brought us together, and placed us here, and delivered us (eventually) Bella and then Maddy.

She's never far from my thoughts during all these seemingly shallow and insipid moments. Last year I felt the world was conspiring to make my winter as wretched as possible, reminding me metaphorically in a blown third down call that life can be going along swimmingly and suddenly go all to shit. This year there is the slightest of springs in my step as I stare down the precipice of February. It's all luck, the meeting, the living, the dying, the missed tackles and toes dragging in bounds with mere seconds left. And that will somehow have to carry me through the next few weeks, the crazy that got me here and and will eventually see me through.


Hope's Mama said...

you're so right tash, luck is it. and i gotta get me one of those cupcakes. i think i have just found a way to fill in my spare afternoon!

Beautiful Mess said...

Your step may have the slightest spring to it, but it IS a spring. Thinking about you.

luna said...

just LOVE the pic of you and bella. thanks for sharing it here.

CLC said...

Cute picture! And congrats on your team winning! It was a truly exciting game.

sweetsalty kate said...

what a cool post, tash, and I absolutely love the photo. It's so nice to see you.

loribeth said...

Great photo! Sorry, I could care less about NFL football (although I do manage to muster up some nostalgia-tinged enthusiasm for the Canadian Football League and its Grey Cup championship).

But my dh was a big Steelers fans in the 1970s. He claims he's not interested anymore, but the TV was on the game for most of Sunday night. ; )

G$ said...

For the love of CUPCAKES! OMG...

I mean, YAY for your steelers! And YAY for Bella and Tash, you are both so, so beautiful, even in the black and gold (blek!)

Anonymous said...

Isn't it interesting that the most mundane life moments are the ones that we miss with our babe's the most? The sharing of regular life.

Congrats on the win. Myself, if my team isn't in it, I do pull for the underdog. But you couldn't have asked for a more exciting superbowl!

k@lakly said...

I can never settle on which idea scares me more. The one where there is a grand plan and all this shit happened on purpose for some greater good or the one where there is no plan and all this shit happens for no fucking reason at all. Either way you look at it, it sucks and I don't like the cards I got dealt.

I'm sorry Puxy Phil couldn't produce Spring a little sooner so all this cold and darkness would be gone.
Thinking of you and hoping these days aren't as unbearable as I know they will be.

Bella is beautiful...and so is her mom:)

Michele said...

I'm a Giants fan. I watched the super bowl last year as I hung on for dear life to Sophia and watched her brother, Nicholas, slip away. We weren't football watchers, but we are now. It holds that memory. This weekend, we rooted for Pittsburgh. We're living in "Eagles" country, but in PA, we'd go for Pitt anyday. But the Giants are first, of course. :)

Alice said...

How lovely to see a photograph of you. I wish I could meet you in person. That's such a lovely photo. Alice

Megan said...

I'm so glad for you, Tash. And I love the picture of you and Bella.

Bon said...

i loved this. maybe especially because it sounded a little bit like maybe you're catching a glimpse of lightness you haven't seen in a long time.

i hope so. i hope that for you. and while Dave was cheering for the underdogs i was wondering if you three were glued to the screen cheering for the Steelers, and it made me happy. i guess i didn't factor in Mr. ABF's Eagle's wrongheadedness. ;)

debbie said...

as a die hard ravens fan, i'm sure you understand how hard this is for me to say, but what an adorable pic. black and gold included.

really, though, what a beautiful pic. it is so, so nice to see that beautiful smile on bella's face!!

Dalene said...

I'm an exiled Pittsburgher living in New England and wore my black and gold proudly on Sunday...all the while thinking about the cute Steelers onesies and matching socks neatly folded upstairs that my son should have been wearing.

loribeth said...

Tash -- I was tagged with an award today & I would like to pass it along to you. Come by my place for the details. : )

Sue said...

So glad to hear of the very slightest spring in your step.

I have nothing wise to say, except that we will all be here, abiding, as you get through the next few difficult weeks.

That is a gorgeous picture of you and Bella. Thank you for sharing it.

Lisa b said...

the toes in the dying moments of the game were unbelievable.
I was thinking the same thing. Luck.
It so often seems that it was just predestined.

charmedgirl said...

i love this picture. i keep coming back to it.

you know, it's (in large part) in thinking about the family as a whole- traditions, siblings, dynamics, etc- that makes me want another. sure, there's the whole *fix me* thing, but really, it's just the whole picture.

predestination...nah. the events of the past shape the events of the future, not the other way around.

MsPrufrock said...

What a great photo! Funny, Bella doesn't look 26, but then again, my stroppy toddler doesn't look 13 either.

My Mom's family are from around the Pittsburgh area too. I'm curious where yours are from, as I have had some weird "small world" moments in connection with that region, though it's not heavily populated.