One of the themes that didn’t quite make the cut for Eyeblack Odyssey (though it probably should have) was the idea of rivalry in a marriage. Specifically, can fans of opposing rival schools be married and make it work? For that matter, can fans of opposing rival teams of any kind (prep, college, or pro) coexist, period?
The answer, of course, must be yes.
I just haven’t seen it.
Now to be clear, I mean hated rivals. Not some random school in your conference. A school that symbolizes Emperor Palpatine in your view.
I sort of irrationally hated every KU fan I ever encountered as a K-State undergrad, partially out of deference to my alma mater, but also thanks to years of stupid abuse from Jayhawk fans who thought they had it all figured out.
Hey, Jayhawk fans, how’s that football thing working out for you?
Sorry about that (not really). But you can see that passions still run high, even today. So how could I ever entertain the thought of attaching myself at the hip with someone whose sole existence makes me want to punch them in the face? I couldn’t, short of brainwashing them into being a fan of my team instead. And if we’re going to put that out there as a possibility, that means said potential spouse is weak-willed and pathetic. So no, actually, I don’t think I could entertain the thought at any level.
But I know this about myself. I’m not going to enter into a doomed marriage, because I know I care too much.
Cait and I were talking about this in the car the other day, and I was reminded of an acquaintance of hers, a Florida State fan who had married a Florida Gator. It took approximately one football season for these two people to discover that they needed to divorce one another.
The common reaction to this story, other than disbelief, is frustration that people would let sports be so important to them that they’d let a marriage dissolve over them. I have a different take. I think, “Good for them for being sports fans! But geez, how self-unaware must they be that they couldn’t see this coming?”
I married a Seminole. When I was weighing the possibility of asking her out, I wondered to myself, “Can I live with an FSU fan?” The answer, fortunately for both of us, was a resounding yes. But the question had to be asked, because I can’t just turn my fandom off like water in a faucet. I care. For better or worse, I care. And that means I don’t need some jackwad rubbing every loss in like a complete jackwad. Being able to lick one’s wounds is important. Being able to turn the channel and calm oneself down with some relaxing Iron Chef is critical. So no, I don’t need a Jayhawk in my house, and I don’t need to be judged for that either.
Life is hard enough; I don’t need to make it any harder.
What says everyone else on this?