Ten years ago, my husband, Paul, stood before a judge and dozens of witnesses and took the oath required to become a citizen of the United States. I didn’t notice, as I looked on with Josh and Kayla, that the “foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty“ he forswore must have a fine-print exemption for the English national soccer team.
Fast forward to yesterday and we find Paul at home, watching the England-Slovenia World Cup match with his buddy, Steve (who bleeds Chelsea blue). Meanwhile, I was in front of another t.v., keeping appropriate distance in the interest of marital harmony. While they stressed over England’s 1-0 win, I actively willed the U.S. to score so that England’s single goal wouldn’t prevent the U.S. from advancing. Household peace prevails! Our weekend will include Saturday’s U.S. game against Ghana, and Sunday’s England-Germany match-up. Thankfully, we should be safe from another situation where the England team will have the ability to spoil the U.S. team’s future, or vice versa.
Frankly, I’m not always such a sports nut, a title held in our family only by Josh, who brings knowledge and a solid statistical understanding to his love of sport. But events such as the World Cup can find their way onto my radar screen. Around here, with such a large immigrant community, it’s a fantastic conversation starter. Before the U.S.-Algeria match yesterday, I was chatting with someone originally from Nigeria, and we shared a little happiness for South Africa over its defeat of France, and a little frustration that all the African countries (aside from Algeria) felt they needed European coaches to compete.
More matches, and more conversations, coming up in the next few weeks. Get the vuvuzelas ready!