I am not a football fan, even of the local darlings, the Seahawks. But I was, interestingly, looking forward Sunday to an afternoon on the sofa with popcorn and beer and a project, watching the game (in my own distracted way). I felt like I owed it to the fans. I have been impressed by the way the whole state has united around their home boys. I wish it were over world peace or hunger or homelessness or caring for the elderly. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we gave those and other issues the same attention and money, and the united front?
Problem: I didn’t have any beer. And I needed to go to Staples for something needed for my chosen project.
Mama was in a funk Sunday ever since she got up (late) for breakfast. I wasn’t sure what was wrong, but she was not herself. I asked her if she wanted to go to the mall to walk, hoping that some exercise and an outing would cheer her. I wish she would have said, “Yes! Thank you!” But, predictably, she sighed, “I guess I better.” It’s one for the deck of cards I got for Christmas: “What I said. What I meant.” Simple responses that would make it so much easier to be doing this work, but which is not who my mother has ever been, and much less so now.
The mall was dark, the main doors were locked. There are only two stores in the Lewis County “mall”: Sears and the scary “sporting goods” store, the one with dead animal heads on the walls and a pink t-shirt in the window sporting a knock-off Starbucks logo that says “I love guns and coffee.” It was closed for the game. Other than that it’s all county services offices now, also closed on Sunday. Hence the lockdown. We entered the Sears doors, and went through the store to the mall, past the clerks wearing Seahawks shirts, calling “Go Hawks!” to us. Mama said it was too dark for her to walk with the lights off. I suggested she only had to follow the shopping cart she pushes for balance and so she can walk faster, and I would guide it. She did four laps. She wasn’t up for breaking her record seven laps.
We followed the big walk with Staples, and then the grocery store. It is the store I avoid whenever possible. The one that has hardly changed since I was a child other than the addition of lottery machines, scanners at checkout, and a Hispanic foods aisle. I rarely see anyone there under the age of 70. But on Superbowl Sunday, WOWZERS! When I returned to the car, I told Mama I had never seen so many people in there. And they were all under 50! And they were all wearing Seahawks garb, except me. Was I being shunned, or was I imagining it? Apparently one other person in the wrong clothes felt ostracized, too; but she was remedying the situation by purchasing a sweatshirt by the checkout line.
“Who are the Seahawks playing against?” Mama asked.
“I have no idea,” I said.
She laughed heartily, something she rarely does.
“Does the winner go to the Rose Bowl?” she asked.
“I think so,” I said.
It was a good moment.