My husband and I were just minutes late for the beginning of my son’s Friday night soccer game only to discover the field saturated from the morning’s storms and the bleachers on the Home side completely filled. Discarding our Michigan State University chairs and blanket as neither was an ideal seat due to the circumstances; we found a seat on the Visitor’s side. I am typically well behaved. Whether that is my nature or my Lutheran upbringing, or both, I tend to keep quiet and bite my tongue even in uncomfortable situations. My husband, on the other hand, not so much. I blame his Catholic upbringing for that one. Joking. Kind of. But seriously, he is a Pisces who says what is on his mind, when it’s on his mind, and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. Too many times to count I have cowered and covered my face, wishing to be anywhere but there. If only Dorothy really had some home-girl shoes – I would be the first in line to buy them seeing as there have been many situations I have wished I could blend in to the wallpaper.
“This is the Visitor side,” I reminded Chuck as we grabbed a seat.
“So? It will be okay,” he reassured me, but whether psychic or not, at that moment I wasn’t convinced.
On my left sat a father who had two little kids who were recklessly bouncing up and down the bleachers. Twice they bumped into me. Hard. And I bit my tongue. Hard. To the right of me was Chuck and next to him and one row down was a 40ish year old woman with long dark hair, a cell phone to her ear most of the time and when she wasn’t gossiping to this person or that person and making plans to meet for drinks every day of the week, she was discussing (loudly) to a pretty girl who was a Junior in high school on how Harvard or John Hopkins were awful choices of schools because they weren’t in safe areas and Bowling Green and Central Michigan were much better for her.
I laughed under my breath and glanced over at Chuck who was staring the lady down.
“Yes, because Central Michigan has never seen any crime,” he replied to her conversation. But either she didn’t hear him, which baffles me, or she ignored him, which was more than likely what happened. I elbowed him and he yelped with a “What did you do that for?” to which I just shook my head and whispered for him to behave and watch the game.
The kids next to me continued to jump up and down off the metal bleachers and at one time took a heavy ball and began bouncing it next to me. Over and over, and over and over again, despite my glares at both them and the father. It wasn’t until the girl screamed in pain from the boy strangling her when the father turned around and told them that he would kill them both, looked back on the field and screamed about a call he didn’t like and yelled, “I hope your kids slip, fall and hurt themselves.”
The lady’s phone jingled once more and she again didn’t make her conversation quiet.
“We are playing the Lutherans,” she laughed into her phone. “Yep, Lutheran moms are sluts.”
I choked and started to cough. Did I really hear her right?
“You okay?” Chuck asked me.
I only nodded because I knew he would say something, or do something even worse.
The lady laughed again. “I hate Lutherans,” she said into the phone.
Just then the rain clouds released a down pour of the wet stuff and she ran to the car.
I sat in awe under our umbrella as the rain came down.
“There, now you can fall down,” the father yelled back to the field after our team scored the third goal.
“Let’s go to the car,” I told Chuck, blaming the rain and the winds.
As Chuck and I walked side by side under the umbrella towards the car, I wondered out loud what team it was. At first I thought it was a Baptist school, because you know those Baptists can be reckless like that. Joking again. But my son later told me that it was a Prep school from a nearby wealthy town.
No matter who it was, or what religion they practice, if there even was a religious affiliation, it made me incredibly sad. I believe that what we see we do and we become. If what I witnessed is any indication of the majority, then we are in trouble. And I wonder how many more people think Lutheran’s are sluts and what exactly about being a Lutheran makes it so.
When I got home from the game I spent some time saying prayers for those I encountered that day, and asked God to save the Lutheran sluts too.
Oh, and the hated Lutherans won the game too. Just more reason for them to hate.