I married a man who bleeds a very specific shade of blue and, if you ask him, it's the only shade of blue worth bleeding. For years, I pretended to care; I thought that it would earn me points if my livelihood was even a fraction as dependent on the success of the Tarheels as his is.
However, I'm not much of a bullshitter.
The truth is that I couldn't give two single shits about sports. Mind you, I love a good healthy competition and going to actual games is a ton of fun-- if only for the pre-game beer and consuming enough nachos with fluorescent cheese product and pickled jalapenos to fill my yearly quota-- but it would be a rather exhausting stretch to say that I care.
Obviously, this lack of enthusiasm has frequently become a point of contention within our marriage, specifically in March when the stakes are highest; not only is Joe counting on his beloved Tarheels going all the way but I also find him pacing the living room, praying to the Gods of College Basketball Rivalries for the doom of a certain team* that is not allowed to be spoken of in our house. (I'm not kidding, either. For someone who isn't superstitious, my husband is rather adamant that no Blue Devil juju get brought into this Tarheel haven.)
Not only do I not care about sports, but I also hate sports memorabilia. I'm the old lady who refuses to display it in or around our home which, I'm sure, breaks his spirit a little more each day. I find it tacky. When we moved into our new home, Joe immediately began laying not-so-subtle hints that he'd like to mount a flag on one of the columns of our front porch so that we could proudly announce to all of Charlotte where our allegiances firmly stand.
I may have possibly blacked out or hallucinated the question but I'm assuming that my response went something along the lines of, "Hmmm.... let me think. How about fahk no?"
Which brings me to the mat welcoming our guests outside of our kitchen door.
Joe and I are celebrating ten years of being in each others' lives this month** and if I've learned anything about relationships over the span of a decade, it's that 1) they're hard; 2) they're even harder if one or both of you is an asshole; and 3) solve as many disagreements with a friendly game of rock, paper, scissors; 4) if all else fails, figure out a compromise.
That welcome mat is me compromising.
If you listen very, very closely, it also sounds a little like hell freezing over.
Because nothing says romance like telling your spouse' mortal enemies to kindly fuck off.
*And because I take my responsibility of ruffling his feathers and making fun of his unhealthy obsession, I'd like it stated for the record that he and his entire family grew up fans of the aforementioned unmentionable team. Joe likes to refer to that portion of his life as the Dark Years. He's so lucky I'm here to never let him forget that, unfortunately, we all have a past we're not proud of and that it's important that he own up to his monumental mistakes. *insert devilish grin emojii* Pun intended.
**It's not our anniversary, per se. We only celebrate our wedding anniversary because we may have had a few breaks from each other before babies. We still believe that our time spent apart counts for something because it was all a part of the process that led us to where we are now, which is arguing about unhealthy collegiate dependencies and playing Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine whose turn it is to wipe Edie's dirty bum.
Also, by chance you, too, would like to earn Your Wife of the Year membership card, I got the 2x3 mat made custom here.