by Aurora Bordeaux
I’ve never been much of a Super Bowl fan. It’s not that I hate America, it’s just that I’m not a good sports spectator. I like doing more than watching. Even back when I danced six days a week as a teen, I didn’t enjoy watching really long performances. Perhaps it’s just an issue with sitting still.
I also hate that I can’t think about the Super Bowl without automatically flashing back to sixth grade when I went to a church Super Bowl party with my parents. I was a sixth grader who still put funny outfits on her teddy bear (in secret, but hey, I was still a child), not the too-skinny Twitter-obsessed tween prototype who already learning to master the sultry art of eyeliner and shorts cut like underwear. I was innocent, intelligent, and preppy before Gossip Girl made it cool. So basically, kids ate me alive every day.
So my parents toted me to this youth group Super Bowl party where this one kid who spent most of his waking hours thinking of ways to make my life hell—let’s call him Jake Jerkface—circled me all night long like a salivating braces-wearing predator as I stuck somewhat close to my dad like a baby wildebeest. I was shy and I didn’t know anyone at the party except my dad and Jake Jerkface, so can you really blame me for wanting to hang out with my dad instead?
Even though other parents were at the party, too, Jake spent weeks making fun of me for hanging out with my dad. He engaged in every form of torture that didn’t involve physical touch, stretching the limits of the sixth grade male brain to make me miserable without ever getting caught.
Fast forward to our ten year high school reunion last summer, where I wore the most fabulous dress ever designed by woman (Kate Spade, I love you!) and showed up on the arm of space-scientist-handsome Hubs. Jake Jerkface was a taller, uglier version of his former self. We never spoke a word to each other, but I knew he remembered me. On the way out of the party, I feigned a drunk stumble and used my beloved krav maga skills to whop him so hard with my shoulder that I almost knocked him down. I never turned around to look back, but I heard the “oomf” of air exiting his lungs. Since I’m not talking to a group of kindergarteners, I can say without a shred of shame or regret that it was a damn satisfying moment.
It’s funny how people make such a huge impact on you that can follow you into the future like gum on your shoe. This is the year I’ve pledged to redefine holiday traditions now that we’re officially childfree, replace terrible old memories with fantastic new ones, move forward with my life and dump unnecessary guilt, and most of all have even more fun. The Super Bowl wouldn’t be a dull drag this year, it would be the first change to do a holiday redo. No more wounded rabbit memories; I would instead remember how good it felt to deal out a solid shoulder tap in my shining Kate Spade and figure out something that would let me hang out with the hubs without having to meditate to football just to stay occupied.
This year, the Hubs cooked up some finger lickin’ amazing hot wings from scratch. Since I was still working on getting over my cold, I contributed some frozen yeast rolls with teeny weenies inside. And since I knew I wouldn’t be able to sit through another Super Bowl without being bored, I decided to create the ultimate new Super Bowl tradition… (Drum roll) … (Break for halftime) … (Power outage that I missed while in the shower) …
Making handmade Valentine’s for friends!
I’m not an ace with paper, but I have a few crafting supplies that I can MacGyver together into a semi-decent card that says, “I don’t have a ton of patience with glue but I am thinking kind thoughts about you.” I made Valentine’s for my grandmother Mimo, my dad, my funny little niece, these two childfree neighbors who we have accidentally become wonderful friends with recently (more on them later), our ace dogsitter, and my wonderful friend who is having twins. They weren’t perfect, but they were cute and genuine.
I loved the idea of sitting at the kitchen table in my glasses and lobster pajamas while the Super Bowl raged through the opening into the next room, checking the score periodically over the Hubs’s delightfully overgrown puff of hair. No more Jake Jerkface—instead of feeling haunted yet again by a former predator, I was starting the new year by sending messages of light, love, and red paper hearts to people who have made my life better.
I’m glad I still have more time to figure out new Christmas traditions, but at least I know that when it comes to the Super Bowl, I now have a thing.
Oh! And I made one for you, too. I bashfully present to you, my wonderful friends who have made my life better, a Baby Off Board Valentine. More on our childfree Valentine plans to follow!