Good Plan, Great Intentions

jcp-reallyFor the record, I had a good plan and great intentions. Unfortunately, my weekend ended up a colossal Hindenburg type fail. In fact, train wrecks have gone better. I’m talking a Michael Dukakis run for president kind of weekend here.

You see, I like football. My daughter likes shoes and beach balls. That’s about as close to football as she gets. I suppose if you get all funky with the spelling, remove the helmets, and hand out yellow cards instead of flags, you could say she likes futbol, but I call that soccer. Truthfully, I don’t know how this happened. I have always watched football. My wife even likes to watch it. Our daughter would rather color or play with Barbies or walk across a bed of hot coals with her bare feet.

I am determined to fix this problem, so I’ve been talking up the old college team. I pointed out the band. I pointed out the Jumbotron. I pointed out the cheerleaders, dance team, and halftime show. She said, and I quote, “Yeah,” with narrowed eyes and a long deliberate pause well beyond her years, “but they still play football at the football game, don’t they?”

“Well, yes,” I answered.

She simply replied, “No thanks,” and went back to her chicken and mushroom quesadilla.

Now, a lesser man, or one more daunted by abject, unemotional rejection, might have quit then and there. I found a solution. The old home team was holding an open practice last weekend. That was perfect. I’d feed her baby steps. My wife was on board, she’s up for any game, unless it’s raining. She hates rain. My daughter, I would bribe. First, we’d eat a good meal out. Then we go to the short practice. I emphasized its abbreviated length. I also promised any snacks she wanted. This brought a raised eyebrow, and I knew I had her hooked. Next thing I knew, we were off to watch some football. That’s when it all went up in smoke.

I decided to use a gift card at a restaurant on the way. The meal was, in a word, awful. The portions were created for Lilliputians and the quality was something between Siberian prison food and something you’d feed a dogsled team. In fact, my daughter’s steak medallions were very similar to kibble. The evening was not off to a good start.

We parked and walked to the stadium. To my relief, the girls seemed to be getting more interested. Next came snacks and a good seat. I was going to be a hero despite the slow start. Then it started raining.

“Didn’t you check the weather?” the nine year old says. I was speechless, but that was okay. She wasn’t done talking. “You know I don’t like the rain, and look at Mom. She’s miserable.” She had a point. My wife looked like a wet puppy, a very angry, miserable, unforgiving wet puppy.

“And, in case you forgot, my ear was hurting. Do you think the rain is good for that?”

“Well, uh,” I stammered.

“I’ll answer it for you,” she continued. “No. No it is not. So here I am with an earache watching football in the rain. I don’t even know what they’re doing out there. Yeah, this is fun. And to top it all off, my popcorn is soggy. Soggy popcorn and football, hmmm,” she grunted.

Yeah, that definitely did not go as planned. I think next time I’ll try an umbrella, dry popcorn, and the promise of a new pair of shoes. Come to think of it, once my wife dries off, I’ll probably need to buy her some shoes as well.

Source: David Swann