I'm gonna be the Queen of DeNile yet again today and not write about what is really plaguing me. I made a comment on another blog* this morning which stayed in my mind... and parlayed it into a little post... I'm considering doing a whole series of little football vignettes...
I grew up watching football. As a two and three year old, I had an imaginary friend I called Chandler. My folks figured out I had taken the name from Don Chandler who played twelve years with the New York Giants, when I would point at the TV and say his name. After moving to California we embraced the 49ers. My brother played highschool ball. I matriculated in the PacTen. Sugar Cookie was a rah-rah, quotes stats better than Michaels and Madden combined, and has a buddy who quarterbacks in the NFL. Little Missy starred in futbol....but crossed into football as kicker for the boys' team. The Bear Cub was born to play football, but had to give it up. The only birthday party I have allowed in a decade was a football theme. I like the game.
A few years ago I had two kids playing high school football at the same time. The Bear Cub was a natural born Center. As a sophomore he was called up to Varsity...which he ultimately rejected as his sister Little Missy found herself recruited to be the Varsity kicker her senior year.
Players on two teams meant two games every Saturday and two player/family dinners just about every Friday night. You end up spending a lot of time with these people. A fairly accurate cross segment of the Santa Cruz demographic these were not stereotypical "friday night lights" football parents. They were surfers and cyclists and a couple silicon valley geeks who never saw a game till their son played.
As usual, many of these kids had divorced parents. The large majority of which were remarried...some in same sex domestic partnerships. It was an interesting combination of parents, grandparents, and step parents. Two single moms. Twelve single dads. (smile)
The Friday dinners were geared to carb up the kids. Dozens of highschool males consume a frightening amount of spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread. You can't imagine the pounds of pasta and meat sauce we would go through...in about half an hour. Once they were finished eating...they gave us hugs...and they were gone. It was Friday night after all...they had better places to be.
After they skedaddled the adults would group up...savor our meals...sit around praising each other's offspring. After the first week we started bringing wine and adult desserts... before long it became a real social event.
There was one father, Jim, who kinda had a thing for me. We hadn't formally met until that football season, but we had mutual friends outside of the highschool group. We had been at the same 4th of July barbeque, and seen each other at a birthday party or two.
One Saturday well into the season, after the games Jim caught me in the parking lot and asked me if I wanted to go grab dinner. It was fun enough...just a casual dinner...nothing to write home about.
The next Friday evening while waiting for the feasting to begin...he asked me out again. It was pretty private...but my exso (ex significant other) overheard...and later came over all territorial.
Now I will tell you that my exso is....um....quite the ladies man. (cue the music.) At this point, we hadn't been together for years. Most of the time we get along just fine. Each of us have dated people who didn't like the other...and vice versa. But my exso knew this guy...had known him for decades. Not to mention the fact he actively dated from the "mom-pool" of other mothers at the highschool. Not all of them single. Still he was objecting in hushed tones. I wasn't really interested in the lecture, so my crossed arms and eye daggers were probably what summoned my backup.
Little Missy comes over all raised eyebrows and say's "so...whatsup?" Her dad blurts "kat went out with Jamie and Randy's dad."
"Yeah, we know" She nods slowly with a smirk on her face. Both her dad and I speak at once. I'm wondering how. He's demanding to know why she didn't tell him. Turns out Jamie had told her. Oh.Good.Lord. Jim tells his son...and his son tells Little Missy.
I say to her, "men are far bigger gossips than women" she gives her dad a "whatever" and we head over to eat.
The next morning is Saturday...Little Missy and I are standing on the edge of the field waiting for The Cub's game to begin.
Now, Jim's exwife was a team mom...her and I were friendly. Since they had a player on both teams as well...we would commiserate the long Saturday schedule, and work the snack shack together...et cetera.
She comes up to us and says to Little Missy, "Hey can I talk to your Mom for a minute?" Little Missy damn near snorts coke out her nose (the liquid...soft drink variety) She just knows what this is about...and saunters toward the bleachers. Traitor.
I am totally prepping for this woman to give what she perceives as wise counsel on why I shouldn't date her ex. So I was stunned when she asked my permission to date my ex. Praise God for the sunglasses masking my expression. I was incredulous. Not so much that he had asked her out...but that she was coming to me to see I was okay with it.
I assured her that it was fine...I had no problem with her going out with my ex. I reassured her again. I contained the instinct-bitch response of "ya know he's just asking you cause I had dinner with Jim."
But the third time she asked if I was sure, I turned toward grandstand and nodded at the crowd gathering.
"I may have been the first...but there are no fewer than eight of us here who have gone out with him. We're thinking about getting jackets."
I smiled and walked away.
I never dated from the dad-pool again.
DadsHouse is a very funny and insightful glimpse into the life of an actively dating single father.