Sunday, October 18, 2009

I See... True Love and True Blue

I have two deep, enduring loves in my life; my wife and BYU, in that order. Imagine my predicament, then, when both of these worlds collided last night.

I am a fan of BYU. This is not a secret to anyone who even casually knows me or who has taken the risk to read this blog on a bored Sunday afternoon. Sitting in my federal cubicle at work one especially slow morning, I took a quick inventory of myself. I was wearing deep blue light jacket with the BYU insignia on the chest, and underneath was a bright white shirt dramatically sliced in half by another dark blue BYU tie. I was holding my BYU pen, ready to write down something infinitely important on a pad of lined paper framed in a faux leather BYU portfolio. Suddenly I was afflicted with a snack attack, so I quickly lunged across my desk and grabbed some dark chocolate-coated orange sticks, bought from the BYU Bookstore candy counter, out of a heavy glass cookie car decorated with BYU stickers of various styles. I had to wash it down with something, so I reached into my BYU attache bag and grabbed my BYU water bottle.

This actually happened. This is when I realized I may have a problem.

Football just happens to be one of the most prominent, but not only, recipient of my BYU allegiance. In the past decade, my dedication to spirited promotion of viewing BYU football can only be described as legion. The priesthood brethren knew that on almost any Friday or Saturday night during the football season, they can bring their kids and something fun to eat to our basement and watch the game on an extremely cheap large projector screen behemoth I personally constructed especially for this purpose. In a manner bordering on abuse of priesthood authority, I used to make announcements in opening exercises each week that BYU was playing so-and-so each week in my basement, and everyone was invited. My wife claims that there are 50,000 BYU t-shirts in my clothes drawer. I occasionally ponder on whether it would be appropriate to ask “Do you believe that BYU is the Lord's University?” in stewardship and temple recommend interviews... maybe not.

You sacrifice for the ones you love however, so when my eternal companion strategically scheduled a Primary daddy-daughter 70's night disco dinner for her five cute and giggly activities day girls and their fathers during last night's BYU-SDSU football game, I put aside true blue to support my true love. I felt noble and liberated, one BYU fan standing alone in the church kitchen getting the homemade macaroni and cheese ready while in the gym my wife choreographed some clever get-to-know-you games for her girls and their first dates. I knew in the back of my puny mind that Max Hall was most certainly leading the blue and white to ultimate victory in a particualrly entertaining way, but for some inexplicable reason, making sure my wife had the complete support she needed to make indelible memories in the lives of five promising Primary girls was more important and more satisfying. The only link to the outside world was my son at BYU-Idaho, who was watching the game and promised to text me updates every-so-often.

It was during one of those every-so-often moments. I was cleaning up the kitchen mess made in compiling my wife's signature chocolate truffle dessert; comforting strains of my youth, the rhythmic beats of KC and the Sunshine Band, were serenading me in the background via the cultural hall sound system. Five daughters and their dads, adorned with hippie beads, Afro wigs, and psychedelic shirts, were dancing the night away. All was right with the world. My phone “binged:” my son was texting me news of another BYU score.

At that moment my wife peeked her head around the kitchen door. “Honey,” she pleaded in her most tender voice, “ could you get us another pitcher of water?” She glanced down and saw me checking my son's latest text message. “Is something wrong?” she asked.

“Oh, it's nothing,” I replied nonchalantly. “I was just checking the score of the BYU game. I'm having Brian text me when the score changes.”

It took a moment to register with her the collision of values resulting from this evening's dinner activity. Her husband was missing a BYU game!!

She paused for a very long time; obviously she had completely forgot about the game, and I had decided earlier to do the manly thing and to deal with it myself. Then, in an impromptu, unrehearsed expression of true blue love, she handed me her blackberry. “I'm so sorry!” She exclaimed. “Here, take my phone, and see if you can access the game through the Internet.” After I brought in two more pitchers of water, I accessed on the blackberry, and spent the rest of the evening periodically checking the score between kitchen cleaning duties.

I think BYU won.

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