The big game was a week ago. The Super Bowl, a sacred ritual in the United States of America. It’s a day when folks lose themselves in spectator-ship and bow to the word’s derivative, the spectacle. The glory, the colors, the sounds, and the ever more intimate television cameras catching the sweat, the tears, the groans and the hits.
It’s also a day for Super Bowl widows – women who go shopping, try on jewelry at the mall, check out the new comforters at Target – just enjoying the luxury of looking at your dreams on store shelves and leisurely considering what buying them would be like. What owning lots of pretty things would feel like.
Not too differently than those men at home around the TV, wondering what winning the Super Bowl would be like. Dreaming of being padded and wrapped and uniformed and prepared to hit and hit hard. And the great big ring to grab for. Wear on your finger proudly, the way young girls flash their engagement rings and can’t get enough of the sparkle. The way I did that too.
For me, being a Super Bowl widow meant something else. It happens on Super Bowl Sunday and the day after that and the day after that and the day after that. My husband is not at home watching the game. He gets to watch the real game being played out at the feet of Jesus. The ins and outs and defensive hits and offensive attacks and the cheers and the tears that happen on earth. Talk about spectacle. In the end, both teams win and Beyonce leads a choir and everyone dances with joy.
I wanted to go to a party and I figured that some of my friends were having them. But I didn’t have the nerve to ask them, “Can I come over?” Who wants a widow around? Especially on a joyous day like Super Bowl Sunday?
But I get to cheer, too. I get to dream dreams. I have to keep living and I like to watch the fight and the grandeur and the striving and the cheering. Watch it with others. But I didn’t have the nerve.
So I popped my popcorn and propped myself up on the couch and watched it alone. The Super Bowl widow caught up in the spectacle, and stuck being a spectator while others make memories with their friends.