Similarly to prom and Presidential elections, some things Americans do are endlessly bizarre and completely impossible to explain to foreigners.
Surprisingly, A did the whole nine yards for prom. Unlike me, who was asked to junior prom one week before the event and had her father pick out a last-minute dress. Not to be outdone by chugging to senior prom in a dusty, yet fabulous Jeep Wrangler.
He cannot vote, so instead he watches that from the sidelines, bewildered and smug … no need for explanations about a man who is, honestly, named Newt.
However one SACRED TRADITION for me is an event occurring this weekend: THE Superbowl.
And this is one more thing that gets thrown into an interesting perspective in my multi-cultural household.
I cannot recall a championship game I have not watched. When I was a young pup in Wisconsin, we had one family that we would always spend Superbowl Sunday with. We never saw that family any other time during the year, except for that Sunday, when they trekked the 45 minutes to our house, or we, theirs. I’m not sure why we did that, but it was especially hard during those years that those diabolical Packers kept winning.
I remember the food probably most of all. Before I was particularly interested in football, I was deeply committed to mini-wieners, Doritos and, one year, the jello mold football helmets my mother made. MAGIC.
When A and I started dating, I had to mostly drag him along for Superbowl festivities. He DIDN’T EVEN WATCH THE GAME the first year we were dating. (shudder.) This is our second Superbowl celebrated together, including last year’s when we lived in Wisconsin and attempted to drive home while dodging drunken revelers that were lurching into the street clutching their Cheeseheads in victory.
He is still pretty cantankerous about the whole thing.
A snippet of our conversation from earlier:
*WARNING. HUSBAND IS KNOWN TO USE SOME FOUL LANGUAGE.*
C: “So who are you rooting for today, honey?”
A: “The Patriots. I like Peyton Manning.”
(five minutes later)
C: So what do you think about the whole hubbub surrounding the Superbowl?
A: It is such a cop-out. I mean, they call themselves “World Champions” …. OF AMERICA. Seriously, you cannot be a world champion of something that is only played in your country. Now, the Rugby World Cup, that’s a real world championship, which the All Blacks won BY THE WAY. And no one slaps each other’s butts and there’s a lot more blood-spewing.
C: Well, there was such thing as NFL Europe.
A: So, they were able to include international teams, but didn’t let them compete for the championship, making them actual world champions.
C: Well …. yes. BUT!
A: You can’t be the world champion …. of America.
C: …. how about those commercials, right???
When trying to explain the Superbowl and its importance in my life to my non-American husband, I often feel like this is one more, stereotypically American tradition: loud, obnoxious and gluttonous. But it also celebrates personal triumph, slowly fossilizing halftime performers and mini-wieners.
And I think the hubs is catching on.
A: “I feel like I should be loaded already.”