Mother: So what do you want to watch tonight?
Me: I thought we could watch the Super Bowl.
Mother: I’m sorry, my hearing must be going. I thought you said you wanted to watch the Super Bowl.
Me: Very funny. C’mon, it’ll be fun with the commercials and the halftime show.
Mother: This reminds me of when you were a cheerleader and I asked if you understood football.
Me: What did I say?
Mother: You said, ‘It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, you still get to cheer.’
Minute 4 into the actual game of Super Bowl XLIX and I’m already scanning my mother’s den for a rogue Vogue or errant Elle that may have strayed from my travel bag. I have to be surreptitious in my quest for a distraction because mother has her eye on me. I’ve got my phone hidden behind a bank of leopardskin pillows and have a post-halftime exit strategy in place. I’ve already noted that there are more beards on the field than when Katie Holmes and Kelly Preston had sideline seats and speculated on permanent ocular damage to Bob Costas after his bout with Olympic pinkeye.
Mother: Just watch the game and stop fidgeting.
Me: Ooh, look at that commentator. She looks like she’s wearing a jacket made of dead babies.
Mother: It’s leather.
Me: I know that but does it have to be the color of infant flesh.
Mother: You know they call footballs’ ‘pigskin.’
Me: Gross. Football is even more violent than I thought.
A lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan, mother was raised on the game and still incredulous that her only child finds it a mystery why people would watch grown men throw an oddly shaped ball around for money. Her sister Helen married a Viking and my cousin Ted was quarterback for Stanford University back in the day. Her attempts to educate me are tireless.
Me: So I’m confused, are the ones with My Little Ponies on their hats the Seahorses?
Mother: Yes. And the ones with the birds on their hats are the American Eagle Outfitters. Now go to your room unless you are going to watch the game.
It’s time for the first run of commercials that most of us with internet connections have already seen. It’s the typical run of “my truck is bigger than your truck” ads when the McDonald’s commercial featuring testimonials of love as alternate methods of payment airs.
Mother: That’s just stupid.
Me: It reeks of McDesperation. Haha!
Me: My friend Tony Doles just said “a jump the shark toy in every Happy Meal.”
Mother: Stop looking at your phone and watch the game.
Me: How soon until intermission?
I’ve been informed that it’s halftime and a little entertainment is most welcome — at least until Katy Perry emerges in what can only be described as a Guy Fieri shirt made from the leftover parts of Greased Lightning. She’s atop what appears to be a mechanical Golem and her dancers are chess pieces. I’m attempting to untangle the intended metaphor when there’s a wardrobe-slash-song change and Perry steps out dressed like Wonderbread.
Me: Katy Perry’s entire wardrobe looks like it was designed by a robotics engineer with access to the sets from Xanadu.
Mother: She paid her dues.
Me: To whom? Willie Wonka?
Lenny Kravitz lends a spark of hope with a few shreds of the guitar as well as denim and then Missy Elliott gets her freak on and saves the day.
Me: Thank god for Missy. Now I can take the paper bag off of my head.
Mother: Is that supposed to be music?
Me: Think of her as the Billie Holiday of my day.
Mother: Who’s he?
Mother and I have finished up with dinner and settled into a benign banter when I hear the announcer speak the unspeakable.
Me: Did he just say they are going to run highlights of the first half? You mean we have to go through all of that again?
Mother: You weren’t paying attention anyway.
Me: Highlights should be reserved for hair, pediatricians’ offices and after the game is over.
Mother: It was pretty much over for me the minute you told me you were staying to watch it.
Me: It’s okay mom. I’m heading home. Just because I don’t love football doesn’t mean I don’t love you.