Listen. I really do try not to overdo the football talk in the fall. I really do. After all, I can recognize that the majority of you probably don’t care that much about college football, and even if you do care about college football, odds are that you don’t care a whole lot about Mississippi State. That’s why I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time talking and texting with Sister, Emma Kate, and Daphne over the last few weeks as opposed to continually blogging about this year’s football season. Because they not only understand my Bulldog crazy – they encourage it.
But now that we’re 7-0? COME ON, PEOPLE. I have to write about it.
IT IS VERY EXCITING.
And don’t worry. I’m not looking at the world through maroon-colored glasses. Well, not completely, anyway. I get that our next game is against Alabama, the defending national champion and the #1 team in the country. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but they are pretty good. Even still, it is huge for the Bulldogs to be able to play in a game like the one coming up, and it is almost unheard of for us to be undefeated (seriously. it’s happened one other time in my life.) at this point in the season. So my point is that I have every intention of soaking up this fun football atmosphere and enjoying the pre-game back-and-forth and hoping for the best while trying to remain realistic.
It’s a tricky balance. I’m not gonna lie.
We have had plans for a sweet forever to drive over for the State / Bama game with our friend Leslie and some friends who will be here from Texas, but last week, when ESPN announced that the game was going to be at 7:30, D and I had to have A Discussion. You see, Papaw typically doesn’t like to be up past 10, which is such a coincidence since I don’t like to sit in a stadium and listen to him yawn for the last two hours of a football game (I mean that in ALL LOVE, but after fifteen years of marriage, you can be brutally honest about this sort of thing). The biggest piece of the puzzle was trying to find a babysitter who’d be willing to stay with the little man until 1:00 or 1:30 in the morning (traffic is TERRIBLE – TURRRRRRRRRIBLE – between Tuscaloosa and Birmingham after a football game), and after weighing all the pros and cons and optimal sleeping schedules, we finally decided that it would be better for D to stay home and for Sister to go to the game with me.
Now if you’ve ever made it to the end of one of my posts about football, you know that Sister and I LOVE to go to the State games together. Week before last we went to the Tennessee game in Starkville, and after we parked the car in our favorite lot, we started walking at a pretty fast pace so that I could deliver some tickets to a friend of a friend in The Junction. We hadn’t walked more than 50 yards when a cute, young girl on a golf cart pulled up next to us and said, “Would y’all like a ride?” Since I’d read on the State website that they were planning to have more golf carts in service that weekend, Sister and I yelled “SURE!” as the girl turned her cart around and came back down the street to pick us up.
While we were crossing the street to meet the driver, it dawned on me that the carts might not be for everyone, that they might be designated for people who have trouble making it from one part of campus to another. I looked at Sister and said, “Hey, do you think that she thinks we’re old or something?” But then we both got tickled because CLEARLY THAT WAS RIDICULOUS. A few seconds later we climbed in the cart, and as we were moving up the hill by the coliseum, Sister turned to the girl who was driving and said, “Yeah, we laughed because we wondered if you thought we were old.” And without missing a beat, the sweet girl said, “Well, ma’am, we are supposed to stick to the criteria of only picking up the handicapped or the elderly.”
Well. I just. Wasn’t really expecting. That particular response. My goodness.
By that point we were flying down the road on the way to The Junction, and I didn’t know if it was better to ask her to stop the cart because HEY, NOT ELDERLY YET or just keep riding and chalk it up to the fact that when you’re 19, everybody over 35 looks comparatively ancient. Sister ‘fessed up and told her that we didn’t really qualify for the golf cart ride based on the criteria, and the driver was so embarrassed and so apologetic that it would’ve restored your faith in humanity if you had heard her. After we got everybody’s respective season of life squared away, the girl told us again that she was so sorry for her mistake, and then she dropped us off at the bookstore.
I have never wished for a cane more than I did in that moment. I think it would have made the driver feel better if I had confirmed her initial assessment of my age by gently hobbling to the bookstore entrance and then maybe popping out some dentures for good measure.
Sister and I managed to find our seats at the game without breaking any hips, and after the game we hung out by the stadium and visited with some friends for 30 or 45 minutes. It was after midnight when we finally started walking back to the car, and we were probably 200 yards from the parking lot when a man drove by on a golf cart, slowed down, and said, “Ladies? Do you need a ride to your car?”
Clearly I need some new concealer and also maybe a light face lift.
Anyway, Sister and I told him that we were happy to walk to the parking lot, and once we got in the car, we HEE-HAW’D. I really am so glad that our alma mater is offering the golf cart service for people who need it, and if one of the drivers thinks I’m 70 (which, for the record, seems younger to me every year), that really is fine by me. At least they’re kind enough to stop and ask.
Plus, my bursitis always appreciates it when I can sit down and rest for a little while.
So all that to say: Sister and I are headed to T-town this Saturday. We’ll even get to sit with my friend Daph and her older son during the game. I don’t have any idea what the outcome will be – nor do I know if we’ll be offered some sort of over-65 assistance – but I’d be willing to bet that when we finally get home in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I’ll find that Papaw tried to wait up for us but fell asleep in his recliner.
See? It all works out.
Hail State. Go ‘Dogs. Beat Bama.