The countdown to my "happy place" is on. September 1st is circled in big, bold, purple and gold colors on my mental calendar, and I've got my first pumpkin candle on hand just waiting to take its proper place on the end table beside my couch.
It's true that opposites attract. Cody and I are so different in so many ways. He lives and breathes for hunting season... I shuddered when I came home one day and saw bloody, dead ducks filling up my garage after one of his hunting excursions. I know nothing about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers history, but I can do more than just hold my own when discussing why they should go for it on 4th and 1 rather than settle for a punt. He could watch the same movie 100 times... I prefer reality TV and a new book on my Nook. We actually rejoice when we find a television show that we both enjoy watching. (Parenthood, Grey's Anatomy, Big Brother, Modern Family and the highly-missed Friday Night Lights).
But there is a huge part of our lives that we connect on... it's the season in which we started dating and the passions which brought us together. We love Fall... and we love our football. And the fact that the two go together like peanut butter and jelly? ...It's like the cherry on top of our Sunday night chocolate shakes.
Football is in my blood. It was part of my upbringing. I never played it... but I get it. I know that there is nothing more exciting than the first kickoff of the season... that nothing smells better than a cool Fall afternoon and a cheesy dip in the crockpot, that nothing looks sweeter than the site of a full parking lot full of tailgaters, that nothing feels better than putting on your favorite jersey or hoodie and a cheek tattoo... and that nothing sounds better than the contact of a well-executed tackle and stadium full of fans clapping to the Fight Song. When I was younger, I chose staying home on a Sunday afternoon to watch Dedric Ward play for the Jets... over going to a movie at the mall with my friends. One of my all-time favorite memories of traveling is from a cold night on the football field at the Texas State stadium... not that time I stood outside Buckingham Palace. (Although that was pretty cool, too). And since Cody played football, coached it... and is a true expert on the sport... and since his work is much more enjoyable when temperatures aren't 100 degrees outside... we bond over the anticipation of September 1st, kickoff, cooler temps. and weekends spent watching The Boys of Fall.
It's true that our very first date... was to a football game. It's true that as a college student in my senior year... I spent my Friday nights attending high school football games 30 minutes away... just for the chance to watch him coach and be able to talk to him for five minutes after the game before he'd run off to watch film and discuss strategy for the next week. It's true that I started falling in love with him while watching him mentor young kids on the field under the tutelage of the late and great Ed Thomas. The football field is home to both of us. And since we have the NFL Sunday ticket this year and will be able to watch the Bucs from the comfort of our own home and my Sunday sweats... I'm going to try really hard to fall in love with his team almost as much as I love my own.
Sports brought my parents together. Football brought Cody and I together. And that's why I eagerly countdown to my happy place. That is why today during my noon hour, I ventured out to Hobby Lobby where I could fill my senses with the colors of Harvest garland, the scents of Pumpkin Spice... and the thrill of a 40% off sign in every aisle! I purchased that pretty white-lighted pumpkin I've had my eye on, and for 30 minutes... I returned to my happy place. Until we meet again, that is. (In just one month!)
Now I just have to dig through the boys' closet and make sure last year's football jerseys still fit!