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Fight or Flight

January 22, 2011

I’ve heard mention that there’s a football game going on here this weekend. Actually, not a football game; the football game. The Chicago Bears are playing their archrivals, the Green Bay Packers, at home for the division championship. This is apparently a Big Deal. Kids’ basketball games have been cancelled to accommodate game-watching. The entire staff of the Mart of Wall was dressed in football jerseys yesterday and the manager was panicking that their shipment of T-shirts hadn’t come in yet. Blue and orange Bears flags are competing with green and yellow for a piece of the sky on most area streets.

Although we think of ourselves as Chicago suburbanites (we are, after all, on a commuter line), Spy Headquarters is located much closer to the Wisconsin border than to the city of Chicago. So out here, there are divided loyalties. When we first toured what is now our house with our real estate agent, the family room was covered in Packers paraphernalia, and let me tell you, it was almost a deal breaker (For Mr. Spy, that is. I couldn’t care less.). Mr. Spy and AJ are lifelong Bears fans as are, I would venture to say, the majority of our neighbors.

And to point out just how far this Bears fanage goes, they will barely speak to Packers fans this weekend. And Mr. Spy was seriously concerned that the fact that AJ’s Pinewood Derby car is painted like a piece of cheese might misrepresent his loyalties (for those who are as excited about football as I, that’s because the Packers are also known to Bears fans as the Cheeseheads, a nod to Wisconsin’s dairy industry).

Yesterday all the kids at AJ’s school were supposed to wear Bears or Packers jerseys. And at last night’s Cub Scout pack meeting, most of the non-scouts were wearing jerseys too, not out of any obligation, but because that’s all anyone’s thinking about out here at the moment. The vast majority of them were in Bears jerseys, which conveniently come in Cub Scout blue. The father of one of the boys in AJ’s den was, however, wearing a Packers jersey and he got called out and booed in front of the entire pack. It appeared friendly enough, but it’s only a matter of time before this escalates to pitchforks and torches.

I have been trying not to think about football. In truth, this is not that difficult a job. All it requires is a pair of headphones. Instead, I have been:

• Tearing my newly-coifed hair out over the dissertation. Duh.

• Feeding my Sleater-Kinney induced girl crush on Carrie Brownstein by watching Portlandia

• Buying eye shadow for the first time since before my wedding ten years ago and coming home looking like a drag queen (Question: Is it possible to buy eyeshadow outside of a drugstore and NOT come home looking like a drag queen?)

• Discussing finger-picking techniques with my friend L (the one who started the Lutheran rock band camp)

• Trying to find a decent thrift store. The one near me seems to traffic in polyester double knit.

• Wondering how my brain works that I go to sleep listening to Jim White and Aimee Mann singing “Static on the Radio” and wake up with Jefferson Starship’s harmonically similar “Miracles” stuck in my head, despite the fact that I hadn’t heard the latter song in probably 25 years.

• Fielding psychic emails from my friend DJ about jewelry and consulting with our mutual friend (and slacker blogger, although with 3 kids under age 6, I don’t think she can really be called a slacker in any sense of the imagination) peppy about the creation thereof.

Much of this sounds rather girly and frivolous. Such girliness is a bit out of character for me. It’s a self-defense response to the testosterone-fueled land of football I am currently living in. I choose fight over flight. I assume I will return to my gender neutral sense of ennui on Monday.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2011 10:48 am

    You have just explained a lot of chatter I’ve overheard but not understood lately. I’m completely clueless about both football and eye shadow.

  2. freshhell permalink
    January 22, 2011 10:51 am

    Oy. I feel for you. I am so very glad I did not grow up in a sports household. My dad likes to watch baseball and that’s about it. My husband has zero interest in sports. Around here, for some reason, I am surrounded by Steelers fans. I don’t quite understand it except that they all must be transplants. I understand the Wash Redskins suck too much and, much like the Cubs (who I do realize play a different sport), are loved BECAUSE they suck. But, other than that, it’s all white noise. I’m planning to watch Downton Abbey tomorrow night so no football will intrude into my world.

  3. freshhell permalink
    January 22, 2011 10:51 am

    Cubs? Is that right? I don’t know. Forget I said anything.

  4. January 22, 2011 10:54 am

    Cubs is right. I only know about them because my house likes the White Sox and therefore hates the Cubs. The Cubs last won the World Series in 1908 and are one of the losingest teams in baseball.

  5. January 22, 2011 12:06 pm

    Oh yeah- sports. I hear about them now and again. If they aren’t Braves baseball, I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing. And I like it that way. (Little League exception here. Evaluations are today and teams get going in four weeks!)

  6. January 22, 2011 4:40 pm

    Since we’re IL transplants up here in WI, I feel obligated to display my love of the Bears out of state loyalty. Although, if we win tomorrow, I may be afraid to park my car with it’s IL plates at the grocery store and leave it to go in! LOL Now, I’m not a die hard Bears fan who watches every game, but I completely understand the cheese derby car misrepresentation. I gasped and said, “Oh no!” when you mentioned it. I even sent my son to school in a blue and orange sweatshirt without a Bears logo this week. We will definitely be watching the game up here and cheering when everyone else is booing!

    Also, I love eye shadow and now I want to go get some — & mascara too.

  7. January 22, 2011 6:23 pm

    It’s nice to know that there’s support on the other side of the border too, Jennifer!

  8. January 22, 2011 6:25 pm

    I’m with Mr. Spy on both the Bears and the Sox, so I understand. I can’t imagine talking to a Packers fan anytime, let alone this week. 🙂

  9. January 23, 2011 9:51 am

    I only care when it’s a big game. Like today. 🙂

  10. January 23, 2011 9:53 am

    DJ, you and Mr. Spy understand each other perfectly. Lass, me too. I will probably be watching at least some of it.

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