I don’t think it would have been accurate to think of the woman as elderly. I’m sure that would have offended her. Perhaps she could have been labeled as older. Mature might have worked as well. For certain, I knew she was a sensibly dressed grandma.
I stood at the very end of the field, down near the goal, watching the boy’s new soccer team warm up for the first game of the spring soccer season. The grandma lady walked toward me and planted herself near me. Her salt and pepper hair was short and curly. Her black jacket was simple and waterproof. Her hair was covered with a clear plastic rain scarf that tied at her neck. Her square black handbag hung from the elbow of her bent arm. Her black rimmed eyeglasses were oversized and sprinkled with rain mist. The pants she wore were polyester knit, I’m convinced. The boots she wore were rubber. They came up to her knees and were covered in ladybugs and shovels and daisy flowers. I watched her raise the arm that didn’t support the handbag. She waved to one of the boys on the field. She yelled out, “Make grandma proud sweetie. You try your very best! You hear grandma, now, sweetie, you hear me? And don’t forget to KICK THEIR BUTTS!” And then that sensibly dressed grandma took a wadded up tissue from her hand and wiped her misty glasses.
As soon as the grandma had spoken, the boy’s new coach turned abruptly toward the sideline where we were standing. He stiffened up, raised his eyebrows and turned a tiny bit pale. His eyes focused on the grandma. As she shoved her wadded tissue back into her hand, she acknowledged the coach, “Hey, coach! Good to see you! You don’t have to worry. I’m going to be better this year! See? I’m way down here at the end of the field away from all the people. No one should get hurt!”
Despite my efforts to do it quietly, the grandma heard me chuckling at the confusing absurdity of the situation. She turned around and faced me.
“Oh honey, I’m blocking your view. Let me move further down the field.”
“Oh please don’t bother.” I told her. “I’m a wanderer during the game. I can’t sit or stand still. I get too nervous for the boy.”
The grandma laughed and said, “Well ok, honey. As long as you keep moving we’ll probably be ok. But I don’t recommend you stand next to me for too long though. “
“Really? Why is that?”
The grandma glanced toward the coach and then turned her head back toward me. “You’re new to this team aren’t you?”
“Well...I’m a bit of a kicker.”
After a short, fairly uncomfortable pause, I managed to mutter, “………uh…what?”
The sensibly dressed grandma then explained, “Yes, honey. I admit it. I’m a kicker. I kick people.” She then pointed up the sidelines. “See that lady in the purple jacket? She was sitting next to me in the final game of last season...well, I kicked her 5 times in the first half alone.” The grandma lowered her head in what I thought was a bit of shame…until I saw the small grin of amusement that she was attempting to hide.
“You actually KICK people? Why……?”
“I’m not sure why. I guess I can’t help wanting to get into the excitement of the games myself. By kicking from the sideline, I feel like I’m helping those boys out. Sometimes people get in my way.”
I had no clue how to respond to that.
“Oh, honey. The game is starting. You’d better start your wandering now...before I get myself going here......”
Said the sensibly dressed grandma.
Check This Out!
The Slightly Exaggerated family recently watched a few Alfred Hitchcock movies. Despite being older movies, both Rear Window and Dial M for Murder kept the teenager and the boy captivated. The teenager handled the suspense by yelling advice to the characters in peril. The boy gave the movies the best review he has ever given, “Uh….yeah. They were pretty good, I guess.” The husband even looked up from his car magazine to watch. And I thought they were so fantastic that I now have all of the Hitchcock movies in my Netflix queue.