Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sally

During the first autumn of our relationship, Sally was startled at my obsession with Notre Dame football. The poor girl, you see, grew up in a home unaccustomed to the ritual of watching college or pro football. Then, later that year, she was surprised by my interest in watching every televised Notre Dame basketball game. Once, when I happened to be channel-surfing past a soccer game, she noticed and said, "you CANNOT TELL ME that you watch Notre Dame play soccer, too."

As any fanatical follower of a team can tell you, losses are painful, sometimes nauseating. In that first fall with Sally, though, I noticed something different about my fanaticism. Losses stopped bothering me as much. The Irish opened 0-3 to start the year, and lost to terrible Stanford and Boston College teams. After each disturbing game, I would look at Sally and remember that life was good.

I told her, "I love you to such a degree that I don't mind as much when Notre Dame loses." Profound, I thought, but I don't think she understood the depth of the statement at the time. It's even truer now, as I am reminded by the 2007 Notre Dame Football Ticket Lottery. Once again, I've been shut out. I sent them a big check and asked to be considered for attendance at five of their games. They said no, no, no, no, and no. This was not a loss by Notre Dame as much as a personal loss, and yet, I still feel the warm sun on my face and know that my sweet wife is at home loving me.

Today is her birthday, and I'm going to go home now. Then we're going to put frosting on the cupcakes that Francis made for her. And then we're going to put the kids down and go have an adult dinner to talk about the state of Notre Dame football recruiting.

Happy birthday, Sally. I love you more than the Irish.

1 comment:

Drew, Amber and Megan said...

Happy Birthday Buddy! I love you, you don't look a day over 18!!!!