Rebecca called last week to say she was coming into town on business.
I said, “Fabulous! You’ll be just in time to catch the Snapper’s Senior Night game!”
Senior Night is the game where all of the senior football players and their parents are honored during a half-time ceremony.
Rebecca said, “Will it be like Glee?” and I said I didn’t know if this team would be able to do “All the Single Ladies” as well as Glee’s football team. Glee is the new dramedy on Fox and Rebecca and I are obsessed with it. The show is ostensibly about kids in high school but it’s the adults on it who make it worth watching, especially Jane Lynch.
I said, “There are some football player parents who create as much drama as the characters on the show,” and Rebecca was thrilled. She said if they could only do a song and dance number too, it would be worth the whole trip.
Oh, did she get her money’s worth!
Two days before the game I emailed all the parents to ask who would be walking who out. This is an important question as the blended families outnumber the unblended families at the Snapper’s school. Everyone was diplomatic in their response except the woman whose son is the quarterback. She is also the step-mother of the place-kicker, a position she inherited when she screwed the father of the kicker. Her husband threw her out of the game so she married the kicker’s father.
The night before the big event, I came home from a very long day at work to find several imperious emails from the quarterback’s mother in my inbox. I read them to George as he made dinner. I said, “She says that she is walking out with her son and the kicker’s dad and her son’s father and his new wife. She is also walking out with the kicker, her husband, the kicker’s father, and the kicker’s mom.” George said, “I don’t think that many players are allowed on the field at the same time. You should check with the referee.”
I said, “Maybe I’ll just call the kicker’s mom and see what she wants to do. In my book, the mom gets to decide.” George was down with this as he used to work in sports and has told many stories about 300-pound football players weeping when their moms caught them doing something wrong. He says this is why they always shout, “Hi Mom!” when the cameras pan the benches.
So I called the kicker’s mom. She said, “I’ll walk the kicker out and the quarterback’s mom can walk her own son out.” It sounded like a good play to me so I wrote it down and sent the information to the Athletic Director—with a note that he could expect to have to review some of the plays on the field before the ceremony. George read my email and then got out our flask and filled it. He said, “We may need this tomorrow night.”
The next night I picked up my mom and drove her to the field. George picked up Wally, who was coming in from college for the event. Rebecca met us there. She asked, “Who’s walking out with the Snapper?” and I said George, me, and the Snapper’s dad. She said, “The Snapper has two dads, just like one of the characters on Glee!” I warned her not to get her hopes up but she and Wally got into a long conversation about potential storylines. Wally’s the one who got us into Glee to begin with.
The quarterback’s mom arrived and refused to talk to me. The kicker’s mom arrived and gave me a hug. The Athletic Director lined us up. I saw the quarterback’s mom run over and hand a sheet of paper to the Athletic Director and I said to George, “Something tells me she’s made a last minute change to the line-up.” Sure enough, the quarterback’s mom had written herself in on the kicker’s team. There was a bit of tension on mid-field as the photographer attempted to take a team photo. The irony was the quarterback’s mom was in such a hurry to get back and walk out the kicker in her position as step-mother that she missed having her picture taken with her own son. The kicker, however, had a lovely photo taken with his mom.
When the ceremony was over, I sat down in the bleachers and opened my flask. My mother said, “That was exciting! I wasn’t sure how it would end!” and then took a serious hit from my flask. I let her because she gave it to me. It’s pink leather and has my initials on it.
Rebecca said, “Life is just like one big plot line, isn’t it?” I said, “Yes, but no one is singing.” Rebecca asked Wally—who used to also play for this team—if he could have a talk with the coach. She said, “On Glee, after the team sang, they scored a game-winning touchdown. It might help here—and we could sure use some music.” Wally agreed and stood up, but George pushed him back into his seat and climbed out of the bleachers himself. When I asked where he was going he said, “To buy hot chocolate. The whiskey will only last if we dilute it with something, and if the football players start singing, I’m gonna need a lot more to drink!” My mother told him he should have packed his own flask.
Just then, the other team’s band took the field for the half-time ceremony. Two hundred strong, they marched out and formed a pattern, then broke apart as a drill team emerged, front and center and began waving their flags and banners as the band played an unrecognizable tune. It definitely wasn’t Glee, but Rebecca didn’t seem to notice. She just sighed happily and said, “I’d almost given up hope but now I’m in heaven—all this drama, and a drill team too!”