Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Worlds Colliding

One of my favorite scenes from "Seinfeld" is the one where George explains to Jerry the theory behind "worlds colliding". There's "Relationship George", and there's "Independent George". Independent George is threatened because of his fiance's new friendship with Elaine. The fiance (Susan) now is part of the group of George, Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer, a world that George had previously occupied without her, but now must share. His behavior is altered as a result. I now find myself in a similar situation.

Football season has begun and, between last year and now, Pumpkin has become a big Packer fan. She is wearing the apparel and watching the games. While I certainly appreciate her new found fanaticism for my favorite team, this could lead to trouble. There's "Everyday Mitch", who is pretty easygoing about everything, though slightly anal and neurotic at times. Few things bother Everyday Mitch. On the other hand, there is also "Sports Fan Mitch". This is a Mitch that Pumpkin rarely encounters, and can never completely understand. Sports Fan Mitch rants and raves. Throws things. Breaks things. Uses foul language. Simply put, Sports Fan Mitch is the complete opposite of Everyday Mitch, and this is a world my wife is choosing to enter.

We watched the Packers-Lions game at the Riviera last Sunday, and it was a typical roller coaster ride of emotions. The Packers got off to a great start and everything was well. Smiling, laughing, kissing. So much fun. Detroit played their way back into the game, even taking a one point lead in the 4th quarter. This lead to tense moments, and the muttering of profanities that are normally said at much higher volumes. I could tell Pumpkin was uncomfortable, but it was more about my change in behavior than the changing momentum of the game. I had to adjust my normal behavior or she would become upset. Sports Fan Mitch had to morph into Everyday Mitch, at the very point in the game where the Packers' fortunes seemed darkest.

Then the Lions became the Lions again and the Pack rolled on to victory. Still, after the game, I felt the need to apologize for my behavior when things were tight. Essentially, I was apologizing for simply being myself. One of my selves, anyway. She said she totally understood, but I don't think that's possible. When you've lived and died with a team for 30 years, it's impossible for someone just stepping on the bus to understand. You're not ready to race with Dale Jr. just because you've mastered the finer points of the ten speed bike.

"A George divided against itself, cannot stand". We'll see what happens to the House of Mitch. The Cowboys come calling this weekend.

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