I don’t have a Colts jersey to wear, Luck or otherwise. While I know that I won’t buy a Manning Broncos jersey, I’m waffling over buying a shirt. And like a pass from a certain laser rocket arm, it hit me: I’m in football rebound mode. Andrew Luck is the guy I just had my first date with after breaking up with my football boyfriend of 14 years.
Our first date? It was pretty good. We were both nervous, me pretending not care so much about the first preseason game. Him, running onto the field like he already owned the place, high-fiving with shaky hands. We made it through without any glaring deal breakers. I didn’t cry once, he scored some touchdowns. We ended that first date with the equivalent of a first kiss: a win. Not our best effort, needs much improvement, but it gave us butterflies all the same.
As if the universe was aligning for me to really think about Andrew and I having a football future together, an article about what guarantees a second date appeared before me the other day. (Dear husband: I really can’t remember where I stumbled upon this silly article. I swear upon our children that I wasn’t actually tooling around on match.com, even if I am on the rebound.) I couldn’t resist reading it and seeing how it all might apply to my new relationship. How does one make sure there’s a second date?
1. A Shared Passion Is Extremely Powerful: We both think The Boss is number one. We both like having beers with our friends. Andrew likes football, I like football … score! I think we both agree that’s more than enough to get a second date.
2. Really Listen: I might not have said it out loud, but I think you heard me (and so many other Indy fans). We don’t need flash. We don’t need promises of a Super Bowl win this first year. I might even break out my Jim Mora playoffs?! voice. No, we don’t need a lot of talk. We need you to show up every day and work hard. We need you to listen to your coaches and your veteran teammates. We need you to speak softly and carry us down the field. We need you to be a good citizen of this great city. We might need you to shave … the jury’s still out on that one.
3. Get comfortable: Remember the part about not needing any flash? Yes, please be yourself. I can tell we’re going to be just fine with this one. You didn’t show up to the first game with a Ryan Lochte-inspired diamond-encrusted horseshoe grill on your teeth. That’s a good start. Keep your flip phone and your 3-year-old Honda Accord. The first time I met you I was in my sweaty Colts t-shirt and my kid had chocolate milk all over his face. You approved (at least of the chocolate milk mustache). Let’s keep it that way. (But – and I do apologize – can we revisit maybe shaving the beard? We wouldn’t want to get too comfortable.)
4. Manners matter: It’s the small things, the pleases and the thank yous, that make people want to see each other again. If it’s not too soon to ask, I’d really like to meet your mother. Because, as a mother of a son myself, I’d like to raise a boy with your manners. You signed autographs for nearly every fan, including my 5-year-old son, at the end of training camp last Friday, and you did it with a smile. It might seem like a small thing, these little gestures, but they’re big to me. I hate to bring up old flames, but these kinds of manners? It’s what we’re used to.
I guess this is all just to say that Andrew Luck and I, we’re taking it slow. My heart is still broken. I see Peyton in that blue and orange and it hurts like he’s wearing someone else’s class ring just a few days after he took me to prom. But I’m done crying to my Tori Amos CD in my bedroom and ready to venture out again. So Andrew, if you’re ready to
shave get out for a beer and a burger in Indy, I’m up for a second date.*
*Of course, not at all in a skeevy way. I’m a married mother of 2, for heaven’s sake! And I’m probably old enough to be your mother, had I been that kind of girl in high school, which I totally wasn’t. That was college. Not really! Okay, maybe one or twice. But you are new in town, and surely you need friends that don’t need jock straps, which I totally don’t. My husband’s jock strap doesn’t count. Not because it’s too small to count, of course (it isn’t!), but because I don’t actually wear it. Just thought I might need to clarify. Gah. This isn’t going as planned. All I’m trying to say is, I like you. And because I like you and my kid adores you enough to not wear his Ben Roethlisberger jersey to Colts camp, I’d be happy to take you out in my 6-year-old Honda Pilot any time. Just don’t get fresh, or there will be no third date for you.