Ever had the overwhelming desire to be considered a major dillhole? To tick people off with your very existence? If these are goals on your bucket list, you don’t have to kick puppies, hate babies or even be a bad driver. All you have to do is move to Baltimore and become a Steelers fan.
As for me, I love it. Especially when we’re going for Superbowl # … wait a minute … I never was that good at math. Oh yeah – 7. I like lucky numbers.
When you head out wearing something (or, as I often do, multiple somethings) bearing the Steelers logo here in Baltimore, you can expect one of five reactions.
1. The “I’m Gonna Cut You In Pieces, Put You My Fridge, and Eat You With A Slice of Bread and Some Mustard” Glare
This one is not my favorite. It happens more than you’d think , too. Baltimorians take their football seriously. The city also boasts more than its fair share of wired-up crackheads. Put the two together and maybe I’m kind of asking for it sometimes when I step out in a Harrison jersey.
2. The “What Happened To You?” Sympathy Conversation.
Love this one. Maybe you’re in the Farm Store fixing a cup of coffee on the way to work, and the guy or girl across the counter looks up from making their own cuppa java and gives you this pitying look, like your face is covered with scars from your survival of a battle with the PsychoBaltimorian in #1.
Eventually, they work up the nerve to lean over and say something like “what happened to you?” After all, only some emotional tragedy or brain trauma could cause your lack of purple garb.
I’ve considered making up stories along the lines of how Troy Polamalu flew out of the sky wearing a cape, with his hair flying in the wind, and saved me from being hit by a bus. After all, they already think I’m special. They’d just chalk it up to not taking my meds that morning.
3. The “Really?” Person
For some reason, I get this one a lot on the elevators at work. No one likes making eye contact in elevators anyway, especially in the old creaky ones in my building. But they can’t help but stare at my coat or scarf or hat. Their eyes are drawn to that black and gold the way you can’t help but look at someone who has a big green booger hanging out of their nose and doesn’t know it.
Sometimes I think they believe I’m that green booger person. That maybe, even though I’m 40, someone else still dresses me in the morning and I don’t actually know what I’m wearing.
4. The Closet Fans Coming Out
I tend to bring other local Steelers fans out of the closet without even trying. I’ll be at the drugstore with my boyfriend – a true Raven Maniac – on Purple Friday. He’ll be wearing purple everything but underwear, and I’ll have on my Steelers jacket. We’ll be in a sea of other purple jerseys, hats, and whatnots. He’s among his peeps.
Out of nowhere, some quiet person wearing no football pride whatsoever will come up and give me a “Go Steelers!” Sometimes they whisper. Sometimes their purple-clad spouses give them evil glares. But I love knowing we’re everywhere, even when you don’t see us.
5. The Conversation Starter
Going out alone all Steelerfield is one thing. Going out with Lee, who as I said bleeds purple, is another thing entirely. On game days, or really just any old day that I’m wearing my fun clothes rather than lame dress-code work garb, people just have to ask questions.
In the grocery store, we once got a “how do you guys make THAT work?” In a bowling alley, it was “is she REALLY your girlfriend and you let her out like that?” In a restaurant when we were sitting behind a passle of sweet little old ladies, I got a tap on the shoulder and one of them asked me “do you guys fight a lot?”
I guess we do look a little strange.
Even moreso on Halloween:
I don’t think I’d have it any other way. If I ever moved to Pittsburgh, I’d probably be bored being where everyone looked and acted like me. I kinda like going out not knowing if the people I meet will want to kill me, think I’m mentally challenged, or offer me and Lee couples therapy.
Then again, this is a Superbowl year. My outlook on my freakdom was a lot less perky the year the Ravens beat the Steelers 27-0 and I had Lee and the most of the rest of our town to contend with.
Guess they’ll just have to keep winning to keep me happy. Go Steelers!