Crisis of Fandom: Tiger or Tide

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Train up a fan in the way she should roll, and when she is old she will not depart from it…

I Hesitations 17

I’ve had a crisis of fandom recently.  And it’s time I opened up about it.  Trigger warning: if you are not from the SEC, you may not understand.

See, I remember hearing someone once say: In the north, football is a sport; in the Midwest, it’s a pastime; but in the south, it’s a religion.  So I’m sharing my testimony.

I was raised in a Crimson Tide family.  My father is a Tide fan and a former student, my mother is a tide fan and former student, and my grandfather was a tide Fan and former student.  My dad was a GTA at the same time Wimp Sanderson was in grad school, and they were friends (maybe that explains my father’s horrible plaid pant phase…).  In fact, my mother grew up in Tuscaloosa, and she says she didn’t know there was another school in Alabama until she was ten (smile).  My brother attended The University for a while, and I even worked on a PhD there.  You might say I am the Bama equivalent of a preacher’s kid.  I grew up saying roll tide, loving read and hound’s-tooth, and went to every home game when I was a student.  I knew how many wins Bear Bryant had, and I had a soft spot for Lyke’s hot dog loving Gene Stallings.

I was a faithful follower of the Crimson Tide

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Then I changed.  I’ll chalk it up to peer pressure.  You see, I lived in Auburn for 10 years.  It’s a great town with great people.  I taught elementary school there, and living in a sea of orange and blue….well, it’s no fun living in a sea of orange and blue and trying to wear crimson.  Kinda like being the only one with no Zima at that high school party.  And so I eased over into Tigerdom.  I bought the shirts, I waved the pompoms, I shouted War Eagle.  I even rolled my eyes at that vein of more obnoxious Bama fans.

I was a zealous convert.

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Yes, forgive me Saban, for I have sinned.  It has been 16 years since my last wearing of hound’s-tooth.

Say ten Roll Tides, my child, and attend a ballgame party, and I shall absolve thee.

So now that I’m back in my home town, and my life has changed somewhat, and I am, after all connected to The University, at least tangentially, every day, it is time.  Time to change.  Time to return to my roots and my raising.  Time to bleed crimson anew.

I called my mom last week and told her I was probably going to become a Bama fan again. I could hear her smiling through the phone.

“Your father will be so proud!”

Roll Tide!

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Behind the Defiance

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Behind the defiance, a cold, empty space;

And I see it under the sneer on your face.

You say I’m irrelevant, dust on a shelf,

But with every word, you’re indicting yourself.

You rail you’re in charge and yourself you control,

But inside, you desperately long to be whole.

You veil with dismissal, and flip disrespect,

But your words reveal discontent you reflect.

While treating what’s good with eye rolls and disdain,

I see you attempting to hide from your pain.

The mocking, the sideways remarks made with glee –

But I know the target is not really me.

I’m not the real problem; I just play a part.

I’m merely a mirror reflecting your heart.

And it is not judgment that creates these rhymes

It’s sad resignation that these are the times.

And while the throng cheers at this upside-down world,

I’ll gladly take all of the insults when hurled.

It’s not condescension that creates this verse;

It’s fear of the truth that’s behind every curse.

For anger and apathy oftentimes hides

The emptiness that in a cold heart resides.

So I’ll take the bruises and every harsh blow

Because in the end there’s a comfort I know.

That even though now we may call darkness light,

The story’s not over, and truth wins the fight.

Yes, I’ll be a scapegoat if that’s what you need,

And inside I’ll pray that someday you’ll be freed.

Anatomy of a Thunderstorm – A Metaphor

Heavy, humid air

The weight of the impending storm

Pressing down, drawing out

The sky yearning for relief

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Darkened, thick clouds approaching

Rich and deep, with the promise of rain

Rumbling in anticipation

Bearing down in preparation

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And then…

The first flash

The initial burst that opens the sky

Electrifying the laden atmosphere

And lighting the way for what is to come

Fork lightning striking down during summer storm

Drop

By tentative drop

Sliding slowly down a window

Hesitant at first, each patter creating ripples

That flow into one another

Gradually increasing in tempo

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Until the comforting steadiness

Begins to pick up speed

Constant, bouncing off each surface

Soaking the thirsty ground with increasing intensity

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Until the lightning

Banging thunder

Pounding rain

Assault the senses and threaten to flood over

Pressing on and on, louder and louder, stronger and stronger

With blinding flashes and earth-shaking explosions

Overwhelming the earth

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And then…the light

Breathing through the receding rain

Edging away the softening thunder

Quieting the rioting sky

Slowly, softly, gently

Peace

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That Kind of Girl

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That Kind of Girl

 

She’s the kind of girl

Who loves the color pink and twirly skirts, even if it’s cliché

Who Has a set of hot curlers in the cabinet under her bathroom sink…and still uses them from time to time

Who is waiting for hats to come back into fashion

Who still looks around when she puts on white after Labor Day to see if her mom is watching

 

She’s the kind of girl

Who likes her jeans comfy, faded, and sitting just below the waist

Who has too many beloved t-shirts, but she can’t bear to get rid of them

Who takes off her shoes the minute she gets home

Who likes her Auburn sweatshirts too big

 

She’s the kind of girl

Whose favorite book is Jane Eyre

Who knows when Mozart was born and died

Who wishes for a chance to use her antique teacup collection

Who would love to dress up and see a musical on Broadway

 

She’s the kind of girl

Who still cries every time she watched Steele Magnolias

Who forgets everything her voice teacher taught her when she belts Carrie Underwood

Whose grammar gets worse the more riled up she gets

Who likes calloused hands better than smooth ones

 

She’s the kind of girl

Who practices ladylike grace in public

But who likes to be loud with her friends

Who loves a good long hug when she sees an old friend

And who won’t tell who she is when the doors close…because most people probably wouldn’t believe her (smile)

 

Yeah…. she that kind of girl

 

So Many Blessings

Feeling a little more pensive today…

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At times I sail through golden days

Soaking in the joyful ways

Music flowing out of me

And smiling over what could be

 

An easy laugh, a clever word

Flitting like a hummingbird

Creative and connected and heart-free

 

But the lonely night, they always come

And reminders of where grief comes from

The aching arms, the empty soul

And the fear I’ll never become whole

 

Then as tears fall, I reach for what I know

And in sorrow, reminders start to grow

And though I may not have the what or who I think I need

I can count so many blessings till my heavy heart is freed

So many blessings

 

Sometimes the memories are dark

And I can’t find a single spark

Invisible I take each breath

At times it seems a living death

 

But when I look beyond the veil

I realize even when I fail

My life is worth to be lived

And there is love that’s left to give

 

Then as tears fall, I reach for what I know

And in sorrow, reminders start to grow

And though I may not have the what or who I think I need

I can count so many blessings till my heavy heart is freed

So many blessings

Belonging as described by Chris Janson

I blogged awhile back about love and belonging.  I just found/heard one of the best definitions of belonging and love when they are intertwined:

“And when I’m holdin’ her
It’s like peace on earth
Where time stands still
Love’s the only thing, yeah that I feel
When she’s in my arms
No matter where we are
You know I’m right at home when I’m holdin’ her”

Thank you, Chris Janson, for singing, “When I’m Holding Her”

Simple Fantasy

More music from this new side of my brain…

Playful woman with lollipop

Like marrying a superstar or learning how to fly

Like winning Miss America or having skinny thigs

Though it’ll never happen, no it’ll never be

There’s nothing wrong with having just a simple fantasy

 

So if you figured what I’m thinking, baby don’t you fret

Cause a good imagination hasn’t killed nobody yet

And though I know I’m never gonna win your lottery

Just look the other way, it’s just a simple fantasy

 

Every woman I know has a simple fantasy

A little secret dream that she knows will never be

A wicked little notion that nobody ever sees

No need to worry ‘bout a simple fantasy

 

Now life gets lonely when your living on your own

And the years are passing and the oats have all been sown

And the path that you followed wasn’t everything it seemed

So you let your mind wander and you have a little dream

 

Now maybe it surprises you to have a secret fan

But baby it shouldn’t cause, damn, you’re such a man

And don’t worry, I know that you don’t belong to me

Just look the other way from my simple fantasy

 

Every woman I know has a simple fantasy

A little secret dream that she knows will never be

A wicked little notion that nobody ever sees

No need to worry ‘bout a simple fantasy