Tuesday, December 3, 2013

An Unexpected Lesson at Neyland Stadium

One of the things I didn't mention in my recap of the UT game yesterday is that Life served up a humbling lesson. Believe me when I say that a football game is the last place I expected to have a moment of self-reflection.

See that lady waving around her pom pom in the photo? (You can't miss her. She's the only person standing and cheering like it's midnight on New Year's Eve. But I'm getting ahead of myself.) This story is about her.

Energy is contagious at events like a football game. Everyone is decked out in team colors, music is blaring throughout the stadium, and fans just want to have fun. I was no exception. I don't know all the rules of football, and I knew nothing about the UT Vols players, but I was happy to be there! But at what point is someone having too much fun? When he or she is in a drunken stupor, obviously. Who determines when one is having too much fun?

When the game started, it was cute to see this petite woman who clearly had a deep love for her team. She cheered. She sighed. She yelled. She waved her pom poms. She stood up. She danced.

The problem? She rarely sat down. I'm not kidding. Did you notice that she is the only person cheering in that photo? You guys, the woman was always cheering, even when it didn't seem relevant. As my cousin Sara said (about a girl we ran into at two bars) at my bachelorette party, "Every song is her jam." The same could be said about this woman. I started to feel annoyed, scoffing to my husband that this lady was dancing around to Young Joc's "It's Goin' Down" and The Lonely Island's "I'm on a Boat."

Does she even know what this song is about?
She cannot clap on beat to save her life.
Does she realize that she's cheering during commercial breaks?
When is she going to sit down?
Oh, my gosh. I'm embarrassed for her.

And then it hit me. I realized that I was bagging on a lady who was simply having a good time. Sure, she was overzealous, but she wasn't belligerent. I was being a snob. A wave of "whoa" swept over me. It took a few minutes to set in. Then, I looked at my husband and said, "Well... to be fair, the world would be a better place if people had as much fun as she's having," and he agreed.

This lady reminded me that I don't have to be the best or the prettiest or the smartest or the tallest or the richest. Life is meant to be fun, so have fun! (Pom poms optional.)

One caveat: It would be polite to sit when the rest of the stadium is sitting so that you're not blocking the view of the person behind you. :)


Jess said...

Love this. I have encounters like this all the time. I catch myself being a snob and quickly do my best to snap out of it and learn from what's going on...guess I take after my big Sis ;)


RadiantKristen said...

Such a great lesson. I would have probably responded the same way you did, honestly. I tend to get easily annoyed by people, which isn't very fair. We all have to march to our own beat, and it seems like that lady had a fun beat.

Marie @ Life is a Highway said...

I wouldn't have the nerve to say something to the person who is blocking my view. I'll usually lean into my seatmates to get a better view, or move to another seat, or just say "Oh, well! and keep eating my popcorn, hot dog, or whatever. I want to enjoy myself, and not create conflict.