Learning about Soccer

Getting married is an event fraught with life-lessons.  Some lessons are expected [like how to file joint taxes] and some are unexpected [like how to make calzones – who knew it was so complicated!].

I married a guy who loves soccer. He really loves soccer. Don’t worry – I know he loves me more, though, because on October 6, 2012 he married me instead of watching the Chelsea game.

At our wedding my brother [another soccer-lover] gave me a book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Soccer” along with a book about the history of Chelsea FC [that’s my husband’s favorite team]. I haven’t read either book yet [sorry Mark], but I have watched about 1,000 soccer games. That’s how many Chelsea plays in a season, right?

I always thought the game was relatively simple. Get the ball in the goal more times than the other team. Alas. I was wrong: I know about the off-side rule now. Apparently it’s a moving line, but not on the side-line, as it’s name always seemed to imply. I also know that Barcelona players dive a lot and we don’t like them because they mob the ref and whine. Turns out that being a soccer fan is a complex thing.

I know that soccer games happen [on American tv] at 7am, 11am, and 2:45pm. Except when they don’t. Like on Sundays. And on Special Days. And any day that I think I can predict when a game is scheduled.

I know that there are lots of cups and championships that teams compete in. I know about “aggregate scores” and “away goals” and that Luis Suarez bit Branislav Ivanovic and got a 10 match ban. I even sometimes know when fouls happen.

I have learned lots of things. I hope that my husband is impressed. One day I even knew who the commentators were without seeing their names come up on the screen!

When you watch a particular team a lot and learn the players’ names and characteristics it’s easy to become attached to them and to follow not only the games but the twitter account, and the fan page, and to wear their shirt on “Spirit Day” at school. I should get a shirt in my size for next season.

There is one very important rule that I accidentally broke on Sunday. My brother’s team has been doing quite badly lately and, after their 0-6 defeat this weekend I asked my husband, “So, if your team is doing badly for a long time, do you ever start to look around for a new team to support?” My brother and husband both responded with icy glares and horrified gasps. Apparently you stick with your team through thick and thin. I hope I’ve chosen wisely.


Step Ye Gaily – Wedding Memorabilia

On my wedding day I was hyper. I didn’t have cold feet. I wasn’t up all night stressing out about the forecast rain [I was up all night – but I was being excited, not stressed], I didn’t forget the ring, I didn’t tear my veil. I mostly just grinned. In fact, I was so busy grinning that I forgot that I was supposed to eat a donut. In fact, I didn’t eat anything at all [well, one tortilla chip and a piece of dark chocolate].


I felt nervous when it came to the walking down the aisle bit, just in case I tripped, or an elderly guest fainted, or it started to rain [all of which happened later, but not yet]. Dad and I made a deal that we wouldn’t make eye contact with any of the guests on the way down the aisle. That way we wouldn’t cry, or laugh, or forget to walk in time to the music. We did ok – minimal eye-lock. My bouquet felt really heavy.


My first sight of Tim was of him peeking his head around the photographer to see me coming. Then I stopped being nervous. After that the service is sort of a blur.

I remember saying the vows and realizing how heavy my dress was. I remember worrying in case I cried at any point because I’d forgotten my lace-embroidered handkerchief. I don’t remember the kiss. I know it happened, but I don’t remember it. It’s ok though; I’ve got the picture now.

I know that we did photos outside with our families. My brothers and dad sang an awesome song for us [check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nxedZDgPnc]. There were speeches and a solo. There were cupcakes. Then Tim and I went in a limo to the dinner reception. There was champagne [note: do not drink 2 glasses of champagne in a moving vehicle on an empty stomach]. There was wind at the reception. We did dramatically wind-swept photos outside. It was gorgeous. We ate amazing food and drank delicious drinks and talked and laughed with our family and friends.

It was perfect. It was a blur.

On a regular basis Tim and I say something like, “wow, we got married” and try to remind ourselves that it actually is true. It was a blur, but it was a really bright, glowy, happy blur – full of love and joy.