“Why are there so many soccer games?” I moaned to my fiancé. I moan this about every two weeks, because every two weeks his answer is, “It’s almost over.” But let me tell you this: If you have two bonus children and a fiancé who all play soccer, soccer is never over. Ever. My fiancé is gone at least three nights a week for his daughter’s soccer game nights. And on the nights they don’t play an actual game, they still have soccer practice. After he announced he, too, was joining a soccer team (ages 35 and up), I told him, “Okay, I’ll see you never!”
I’m pissed at soccer. Here in Canada, where our national sport is supposed to be hockey, I’ve read statistics that the number of parents signing their children up for soccer is overtaking the number of kids now playing hockey. So what’s it like to be a soccer widow? Frankly, it sucks.
It can also be hilarious. Last season, my fiancé’s daughter’s team lost all 24 games. So my fiancé took over the role of coach. In my house, I hear the word “soccer” every single fucking day at least eight times. In fact, I hear the word “soccer” more than I hear the words “I love you.” Do I sound bitter? Well, I am. That’s because last year I actually attended my fiancé’s soccer daughter’s soccer game because I wanted to know what it was all about. Plus, I wanted to show my support. What I didn’t know is that I’d get into a fight.
Because my fiancé told me I could sit with the players, that’s where I sat. Most of the kids were actually taller than me, so I thought I fit in pretty well. That is until the team’s female manager told me I couldn’t sit there because, well, she didn’t say why. She just said that I couldn’t. “You can go sit with the other parents across the field,” she said in a not-so-friendly tone. My fiancé was on the field warming up the kids so I had no back-up. Glares and words were exchanged. But I have backbone. So I finally just sat there, pretending I didn’t hear her telling me, repeatedly, that I couldn’t sit there.
Across the field, where the other parents were watching, it was pouring rain and they were all squished together under an umbrella. I didn’t have an umbrella, plus I knew no one. So I decided my residency for this game is under the teams' umbrella on a plastic chair. This woman, however, would not get off my ass. In fact, next thing I knew the referee of the game came up to me – yes, I’m sure the team manager had told on me – and said I could only be under the team tent if I had a game card.
What I wanted to say was, “Are you drunk?” Not to make a joke, but from the smell of his breath and his ridiculous referee outfit over his beer gut I kind of put two and two together and all I could think was that he was drunk! And that’s exactly how I wanted to be, too. It’s no fun sitting out in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain. (Did I also mention I had to drive more than an hour to get to this soccer game? Apparently, as I’ve learned, the teams travel to small towns everywhere to play each other.)
Finally, I said to the referee, “Listen, I am SLEEPING with the coach. Does that not get me any special privileges?” I know, for example, if you’re a basketball wife you get good seats. The drunken referee really didn’t care that I was sitting there, though he still added, “But just this once.” I was going to say, “Not to worry! I don’t plan on coming back!” Meanwhile the team’s manager just glared at me the entire game as if I had just been caught trespassing on her property and toilet papered her house. We were never to be friends.
My fiancé fell in love with me even more, though, after the Eurocup aired on television a couple months ago. We would watch soccer every night together in bed, and he thought he had turned me into a soccer fan. The truth about that is that I found the announcer's voice to be really soothing and it lured me into a nice sleep. Also, watching professional soccer players is a bit like wanting to sleep with your landscaper (it’s a fantasy that will never happen), except it seems that all professional soccer players are hot as hell. So it was kind of nice to watch.
Then I went to see my fiancé play in his over-35 age group (again, to show my support), I tell you, coming off from watching the Eurocup players with their hot bodies, well, it was a bit of a disappointment to watch my fiancé’s team play. When they say 35 and over, mostly it’s over. Much over. And there may have only been one ripped body, so it was not like watching the Eurocup. I tried striking up conversation with some of the other wives and, well, they just weren’t having it. Unlike at my daughter’s ballet or singing lessons where all us mothers chat and gossip – even if we’ve just met for the first time – these soccer moms weren’t including me one bit.
Also, I’m the type of person who, let’s say, is walking down a beach and a Frisbee will come out of nowhere and hit me on the head. I was pretty much scared the entire time a ball came flying toward me and I’d duck and cover my face. I am just not meant to be on the sidelines.
Recently, my fiancé mentioned a day in August where his daughter will be playing three games in one day. “You should come,” he said. To which I said, “I’ll think about it,” and immediately made mental plans to wash my hair all day. My fiancé once said to me that it takes grit and strength to be a soccer mom.” Well, honey, it’s just not for me. I can admit defeat and I am not winning anything as a soccer mom.