The windows are open in our house this evening because it was a really nice, somewhat warm and sunny day. I can hear the local high school football game announcer because we only live a half mile away from the field.
I’ve never seen the show "Friday Night Lights," which is apparently about football. The last football game I attended was in the fall of my first year at Miami University when I was in the marching band. In fact, the only other football games I attended were while I was in the high school marching band. Okay, there were also a few early attempts at socialization while I was in middle school that took place at Friday night high school football games.
I don’t watch football on TV, I don’t play football video games, and I’ve never had the experience or the urge to toss the ol’ pigskin around while growing up–even though I was somewhat of a tomboy. And even though I love quirky and eccentric consumer goods, I never wanted a free football phone with a paid subscription to Sports Illustrated. Would it surprise you to discover that I still don’t understand how the game works? Even though I’ve attended two or three Superbowl parties and even dated two different guys in high school who were on the football team?
(One dumped me as soon as he discovered that I wasn’t going to put out. I didn’t feel bad at all because he wrote me a break-up note and was clearly not even of average intelligence. The other was actually a Varsity soccer player whose only role on the team was Kicker. We were in the same circle of friends and I went to prom with him… then he graduated and we parted as friends.)
So hearing the sounds drift into my house this evening evokes different memories for me. When I hear the band play "Let’s Go Team" I smile and think about sitting with the other baritone and trombone players on the top bleacher in the band’s reserved section.
When I hear the announcer getting excited about some play, and the roar of applause follows, I think of laughing with my fellow band geeks and half-assedly playing a song or two and not caring at all about what’s happening on the field. When I hear the local band playing what must be their halftime show, I remember how incredible it felt to march in step in my crisp and scratchy white and red uniform with polished white Dinkles shoes; to stop in the middle of the field, tilt my silver marching baritone up in the air so it glittered in the bright lights; to place my lips on the suddenly freezing mouthpiece and blare my horn as mightily as I was able. It didn’t matter if I played the wrong notes here or there because it was a big band and I was there to have fun.
And then, after halftime, my band went back to the bleachers to play second fiddle to the "real" stars… the athletes. I bet none of the football players ever had a right pinky muscle built up like I did from holding that heavy hunk of an instrument, though! I also had a killer upper lip muscle.
I need to get my scanner back from Ben so I can start including more photos. The one I’d like to include here is a dorky-cute posed picture of me in my marching band uniform with my instrument. Well, the school’s instrument. There are occasions where I really miss playing low brass. I wasn’t ever a great player because I didn’t practice very much, but I was tolerably good. Huh. I really didn’t think I’d spend the evening reminiscing about high school.
Maybe I’m feeling chatty because of the cool music I’m listening to: the Life Aquatic soundtrack, with David Bowie songs translated into Portuguese and sung by Seu Jorge. I had a really crappy morning, but at least it’s ending well.