Well that purely American holiday, known simply as “Super Bowl”, has come and gone, taking with it promises of fame, fortune, the pursuit of buffalo wings, and the perfect beer commercial. I am one of 5 people in the entire country that didn’t watch the event. There was a time, long ago, when I still cared. But alas, I am a football fan in mourning. I was still in training bras the last time my team made the Super Bowl. And so, I am boycotting the sport as a whole! It may be the wrong way to deal with my grief, but so be it.
This year, I was more excited about a family get together and good food than a bunch of overgrown boys in spandex grappling for a small section of what used to be a cloven-hoofed barnyard resident. How good said boys happen to look in aforementioned spandex is of course, completely irrelevant.
As is customary at our family functions, we ate ourselves silly first thing. This was followed by taking the dogs for a walk to work off some of our gluttony, and when we got back to the house, a rousing game of Boggle was in order!
For reasons unbeknownst, probably to any of us, we always fail to peruse the directions before playing. This results in rules being made up as the game progresses which, in theory sounds plausible, but in actual application, doesn’t work well at all.
Spirited altercations break out over issues such as whether or not names, abbreviations, or slang are admissible. At least one party insisted phonetic spellings and/or ebonics should be allowed. This assertion was followed rapidly by the adamant protestations of others involved, that rules and dictionaries exist for a reason. Harsh words and red hot candies were flung across the table. Since it was becoming obvious that Boggle was hurtling us at an alarming rate towards physical violence, the decision was made to switch games to Taboo.
My 2 sisters in law were on a team, and I was paired with my brother in law. From the outset, it was apparent, the girls had an unfair advantage…
When you grow up together, you have shared experiences of random events and persons that the rest of the world is oblivious to. Example: Their word was “Baskin Robbins”. The clue she gave went something to the effect of “In the 2nd grade, your best friend’s 3rd cousin twice removed, owned one of these”. At her partner’s rapid-fire answer, exhibiting not a whit of hesitation, my brother in law and I stared at one another in mute horror. This was bad….very….very.…bad! To make matters worse, for some reason, whenever my frantic eyes stared at those forbidden “Taboo” words on the back of the card, my vocabulary shriveled to contain only them. Combine that with the time factor, and it made for a rolicking party!
At first, my comrade and I acquiesced defeat before we had even begun. But somewhere along the way, we were struck by a fiendish desire to win. After all, others had triumphed over greater obstacles than the bonds of sisterhood. By golly, we wouldn’t be going down without a fight! Aside from his feverish clutching of the penalty buzzer as he hunched menacingly over my sister in laws shoulder, and my gleeful shouting of “You’re out of time so it doesn’t matter!!!” as the last remnants of sand trickled to oblivion in the base of the timer, I think we handled the whole thing with dignified class and stellar sportsmanship. The priority is to have fun you know. The final installment in our day of shenanigans was my sister in laws to-die-for cupcakes with homemade frosting. When it comes to her frosting, the cupcake is merely a tool to facilitate its transport to your mouth!
Later that night, as my honey and I loaded the dogs into the Jeep to head home, I couldn’t help but feel blessed. Life gets crazy, scary, confusing, stressful, overwhelming, and on occasion, downright depressing, but I am frequently reminded to count my blessings. At the end of the day, I get to sleep every night beside the love of my life, my family, both the one I was born into, and the one I acquired by marriage, is always there for me, my friends are few but dear, and no matter how questionable my character may become, my dog thinks I can walk on water!