It Wasn’t Pretty, But It Was Fun

I’ll go ahead and warn you that I’ve started this post about six times and have either dozed off or lost interest every single time.

This probably doesn’t bode well.

But for whatever reason, I’ve spent most of the day wondering how in the world I didn’t notice that someone was flogging me with wet towels last night while I slept. I woke up with a right eye that was almost completely swollen shut (silly allergies) and have been achy and sore and sinus-y and drowsy all day long. So basically I’ve been a joy and a delight. A ray of sunshine, if you will.

So. On to happy things!

Saturday we drove over to Starkville to see the Bulldogs play, and a fine time was had by all. Mississippi State has really thrown down the game day gauntlet over the last two or three years, and it is SUCH a fun environment – laid-back and festive all at the same time. It’s a little bit like being at a huge family picnic with 50,000 people, but because of the way the tailgating is laid out, it never feels overwhelming or overly crowded. We love it so much. At one point Saturday I looked to my left and saw big inflatables for the kids, looked to my right and saw a blues duo singing and playing guitars underneath a big oak tree, looked straight ahead and saw tailgating tents that trailed way off into the distance – and I thought, “Well, this is just home.”

And it is. It’s our home away from home.

We walked over to the front of the stadium about an hour before Dawg Walk (when the players walk through the crowd on their way into the stadium), and while we were waiting for the festivities to start I got a little tickled looking at some of the day’s ambitious Homecoming fashion choices. I for one cannot throw stones because when I was a sophomore at State I wore an all-wool ensemble to a game where the temperatures hovered in the 70s, so more than anything I just sat there and felt great empathy for the girls who had decided that the football game was the perfect place to break in their boots with four-inch heels and their sweater coats. Several of the girls had opted for shorter dresses since it was warm outside, but the wind was unkind, and I watched more than one girl walk across The Junction while holding onto her hemline for dear life. Sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate with our fashion goals.

We had a big time at Dawg Walk, and the highlight was right at the end when I saw a familiar face coming toward us. A family friend of ours walked on to the football team at the beginning of the semester, and it had never occurred to me that he’d be participating in Dawg Walk and all the pre-game revelry. But there he was, walking toward the stadium with the rest of the team, and when Alex saw him he started to wave and jump up and down. Our friend spotted him and made a point to stop and give him a big hug – and it was about the sweetest part of our day. Alex thought he was the luckiest seven year-old alive. Such a great moment.

The little guy also got to hang out with a very big Bulldog.

Afterwards we headed over to the spot where my friend Daphne and her family tailgate, and it was fun – as always – just to sit around and visit and solve the world’s problems. Alex adores Daphne – ADORES HER – and as a result of that the tailgate tent is one of his favorite places on earth. This may be in part because Daph fixes him plates of pigs in a blanket and sausage balls and Little Debbie Fudge Rounds, but I think it’s mostly because he knows that Daphne loves him and he just loves her right back. Makes me smile.

At the game we sat with our sweet friends The Hales, and I will confess that by the end of the first quarter I was ill as a hornet. We weren’t playing well, the game was boring, and I was afraid that we were in for a big ole letdown. Right before halftime Emma Kate walked down to our seats, and we tried really, really hard to be optimistic about our chances. Plus, every time I would say something about our defense giving up big plays or our offense not being very productive, the seven year-old sitting next to me would say something like, “Mama! They’re doing the best they can!” or “Mama! Be glad that they got a first down!” I wanted to tell him that his mama has a looooong history of watching Mississippi State football games that End Badly, but his enthusiasm got the better of me.

So we cheered and clapped and rang our cowbell, and what do you know – the Bulldogs won the game. They’re bowl eligible for the first time in three years, and we’re just as proud as we can be.

[insert ringing cowbell sound here]

[you’ll just have to pretend]

[I don’t have a recording of a cowbell handy]

More than anything, it was a great day with family and friends (I got to see Wendi, Elise and Tracey, too!). We had a blast (thanks, Barb!). And even though I’m a wee bit worse for the wear (thanks, sinuses!), my heart is full and happy.

So if you’ll excuse me, my full, happy heart and I are going to bed. After all, it’s been three whole hours since we’ve had a nap.

Go ‘Dogs.

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Comments

  1. Oh BooMama, I just found you and love your blog. You are so funny. You even made having allergies funny….(I don’t not normally find allergies funny).
    Glad you have fun at the game. Go SEC!

  2. Whatever’s blowing in the wind down there is doing it’s thang here, too. And it started on our anniversary getaway. Can’t have better timing than that. Glad your boys won. Nothing like a bid to a bowl game to make the whole rollercoaster ride worth it. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. *its thang. Not it’s. I know the difference, I promise. I’m actually teaching my third grader your/you’re, its/it’s and there/their/they’re right now. So I really do know better. Sorry.

  4. Alex is such a sweet optimist. Looks like his attitude pulled the game out for them. He is such a cutie!
    Sorry to hear about your allergies acting up. They are in full swing here too.

  5. OH, I’M SO JEALOUS!!! Wish I could have been there!! You girls didn’t make it over to our old living quarters, did you?

  6. Sophie,
    I think you may have met my husband at the game. He and my son went for snacks right before halftime and returned to find EK in their seats. He told me EK was visiting a college friend and he gave her a hard time. I wondered if it might have been you. My daughter and I were in another section. Can’t belive he sat by you when I would have appreciated it. (and seeing EK too–don’t visit with her often enough!)

  7. Oh how I miss going to football games! We are hoping my hubby gets a job at a Southern college so we can soak it all up again :).

    Your family friend sounds like quite the gentleman too, so sweet of him to make Alex’s day!

  8. Love this whole post. I try to keep your son’s cheerful optimism while I watch my favorite team too, but it is hard. Our head coach was just fired this past week. It is sad, especially since this season has been epic in injuries (we’re on our 4th string quarterback!), but it was time for him to go. We open a new stadium next year and need some kind of something to get people excited after 6 wins in the last four years.

  9. Mary Kat's Mom says:

    I am thrilled that the Bulldogs won! I was keeping up with it at intermission during the high school play and then afterwards was so happy to find out they won! They are my new favorite team! So glad you had such fun and I hope I will be spending some Saturdays there in the next few years.

  10. Strawberryrose says:

    Glad you got to go to the game and that they won!

  11. That was one of the ugliest and most boring wins that I’ve sat through in 28 years of being a Bulldog fan. Although, Aaron Feld proposing to his girlfriend on the field after the game was pretty great!

  12. Jennifer Tucker says:

    Well !!! LSU was not too much and look who is sitting right smack on #1. At least for a week! Have already checked out Delta prices to Glendale, AZ so naturally I have cursed my Tigers! Oh it feels great to an Auburn Tiger. Hope those Rebels are not too much !

  13. So sorry you’re feeling badly! Loved that your bulldogs won again! WOW! But, I am more excited about my TIGERS being number 1…at least for this week! Who knows with college football, but I love it!

  14. Lea Margaret says:

    this made me smile!!!

  15. I love reading your blog – I discovered it through ‘Big Mama’. My daughter insists that she is going to attend State when she’s old enough. I thought it would be a passing fancy, but she told us when she was eight that she would go to college there and is still telling us the same thing 2 1/2 years later. Funny thing is we live in Colorado. My in-laws live in MS. Time will only tell, but she is completely sold on anything that has to do with State – including water bottle, shirt, pennant, hat, and scarf. So I guess I should wholeheartedly say ‘Go State!’

  16. Well, don’t think for one second I wasn’t thinking of you when the game got a little too close for comfort. I told Jim, “I’m afraid tomorrow’s forecast may call for fairweather. sigh.”

    And speaking of football game fashion… My dear friend, Vanessa, and I were talking about how much we don’t like Bama (she’s a GA bulldog), and she said, “You know, and what’s even worse is that they all had to go and ruin a perfectly good fabric like houndstooth for all the rest of us!”

    Indeed.

  17. Is your eye back to normal? My little one had that happen earlier this year and they ended up admitting him to the hospital for intravenous antibiotics. They said it was orbital cellulitis and it has to be treated quickly so that the eye doesn’t get infected and cause vision problems. There’s a picture of his swollen eye on this post so that you can compare: http://lesliemaddox.com/2010/02/a-mother-is-a-warrior/. So be careful with that eye! I hope it’s all better.