Two weeks ago I attended a Brighton Albion (did I reference that right?) football match against some team that I don’t quite remember, although I really liked their striped orange uniforms.
I was quickly informed that to stand in front of Brighton’s stadium, loudly declaring that their “uniforms were cuter,” was not appropriate behavior for a girlfriend of a former Brighton player.
Not. Appropriate. Behavior.
But anyways, it’s exciting to be invited to a “guys afternoon,” if you will, full of endearing racist, sexist, and generally highly inappropriate jokes. Yea, maybe it wasn’t fair that there was only one of me and five of them, but I think I went easy on them.
But anyways, I was a wee bit nervous about the whole 12,000 football fans versus the single marginally enthusiastic female soccer fan, but it was fun. It was a chance to see my boyfriend scream and bellow for five minutes straight before spending the rest of the match talking to his mates. It was fun to listen to a bunch of British guys shoot the breeze, and watch a sport that has only recently become popular in the states. It was a chance to hear a bunch of super complex and very difficult to memorize football chants. And a chance to promptly disappear after the game for two hours to play tag with a bunch of kids while the grownups drank beer and burped a lot.
I bash a lot on the things that are different (read: better) in the States from what I find here. For example, in what world is maple syrup shelved next to the ice cream toppings in the store? Why does my boyfriend say “give us a kiss” when there is only one of him? But it’s easy to think of the things that you miss when you don’t have them, and it can sometimes cloud your vision of the things that ARE there, things that are different and in some ways, how that can be even enjoyable.
I hate to admit it, but a British football game is loads of fun. I enjoyed the rough boys I met, the weird pastry thing I ate, and the brisk chill of a mid-September Sunday in South England. I miss my home, but damn, sometimes it’s good to be out of it.