Well. So this pretty much sums up my demeanor on Saturday afternoon as I watched the Aggies play LSU.
It was a low point.
The great irony is I felt good about the game before it started. I wasn’t worried about LSU. Which, in hindsight, feels pretty stupid because LES MILES. It makes total sense that if anyone has truly figured out how to stop Johnny Manziel, it’s him. He’s some sort of weird genius with a side of some Louisiana voodoo mixed in.
And it’s safe to say that I will never wear that ’94 Aggie football sweatshirt again. I put that thing on, enormous sleeves and all, and wore it through the first quarter until I decided it was clearly contributing to our horrible performance and changed into a sensible fleece for the second quarter. Sadly, this did little to help the Aggies. It was too late for us.
I think it’s also obvious that we need to never wear those gray uniforms again. Our colors are blush and bashful. Oh wait. That’s wrong. Our colors are maroon and white. Thus, we need to wear uniforms that are either maroon or white.
And so that’s that.
On the upside, Gulley and I were at Honey and Big’s house in Bryan watching the game. Uncle Johnny and Aunt Diane came over to watch it with us and we all agreed we felt optimistic about the Aggies chances. And once it became apparent that we’d been delusional, we were able to relax and eat all manner of chips and dips and tell stories and laugh. So even though the game was a low, the game-watching experience was a high.
And so I’ve come to a point in the college football season where my grief over what could have been eases into acceptance for the reality. It could be worse, I could be a Florida Gators fan. My word. They have fallen on some hard times in Gator nation.
Speaking of hard times, we left for Bryan on Friday evening. The plan was for Caroline and I to pick up Gulley and her boys in Gruene around 6:15 because they were visiting some cousins there. But what I didn’t count on was the pouring rain and the traffic and the fact that people in San Antonio don’t like to drive over three miles an hour when the roads are wet. So what is normally a thirty minute drive took an hour and a half. An hour and a half where Caroline began to complain she felt nauseated.
By the time we got to Gulley and the boys I was a little frazzled. And by a little I mean that I needed to be medicated. But we’d come too far to turn back. Plus I knew if we could just power through and get to Honey and Big’s house it would be totally worth it once we slept in late and woke up to Shipley’s donuts on Saturday.
Around San Marcos, Caroline decided the problem was she was hungry and wanted to drive through Arby’s to pick up a roast beef sandwich and some fries. So that’s what we did. And everything was fine until Will decided the smell of Arby’s was making him feel carsick and began to complain of nausea.
Then in true Will form, he began to throw up between San Marcos and Bastrop which is a stretch of road that could compete with the Sahara desert for desolate. Fortunately, Gulley has become a master of holding a plastic grocery sack while Will throws up and so we powered down Highway 21 to the delicate sound of Will retching into an HEB bag as the rain poured outside and I came one step closer to needing to check into a mental health facility.
For those of you keeping score at home, yes, this now makes forty-six road trips where Will has thrown up. And, honestly, as someone who struggles with the carsickness I feel his pain. And the remarkable part is we all assume our positions. Gulley turns around and holds the bag, Jackson says, “Caroline, scoot over closer to me”, Caroline says, “It’s okay, Will”, and I whisper the serenity prayer to myself while declaring, “We’re almost to a gas station. Just hold on. We’re almost there.”
By the time we arrived at Honey and Big’s we were a carload of people in the throes of post-traumatic stress syndrome. We hit the front door and Will announced, “I’ve never barfed that amount of barf in my whole life.” Which was something we all intuitively knew based on the amount of HEB bags used. But about thirty minutes later everyone was showered and in pjs and Gulley and I had consumed a couple of glasses of wine for purely medicinal purpose and life seemed worth living again.
And I was right. Saturday morning as we all sat around the kitchen table with donuts and kolaches, the terrible events of Friday were but a distant memory.
Then the game.
I believe I’ve covered that part.
But here’s the thing. There are people and places that take the sting out of even big disappointments and understand exactly what you mean when you declare a sweatshirt to be bad mojo. And those are the best places of all.
Those are the places worth driving through wind and rain and throw up to arrive at your destination.