I’ve been thinking about the ways growing up poor has made me who I am, and about Appalachia as a region and its troubles. I grew up seeing poverty you couldn’t imagine would exist in the 1990s in the richest country in the history of the world. I thought at the time I was lucky, because I had so many friends that had it so much worse, and my elders had nearly starved, worked for cents on a day, got paid in company store credit, etc. It took me a long time to even recognize that I had grown up poor. I knew my grandparents had, but I didn’t grow up feeling like we were poor, not when so many people I saw were worse off.
Well, our babe has a lot of skeletons, but most of the team already knows them all. I do have a rather sad theory however, that Reid used to cut himself after he started being heavily bullied. His mother walked in on him one day, and after she begged him to get help, he just stopped cold because he was overcome by guilt. :(
Tonight I saw an 11/12 year old girl reading Alex Morgan’s book when I was out having dinner with a friend. Her Mom told her to put it away and participate in the family discussion (there were three older girls at the table with her - her sisters). I couldn’t help it, I leaned over and said, “She’s one of my favorite players too.”
The girl lit up, just positively beaming with excitement, and she said she couldn’t decide between Alex Morgan or Hope Solo being her favorite. I told her they were both amazing players and not to worry about picking a favorite. The Mom seemed happy and surprised that I was talking to her daughter about this. I asked the girl if she would be watching the upcoming matches in February. She said she didn’t know there were any, but that she had been watching the Victory Tour. She asked me if I saw those games and I said “Of course! But oh my gosh the last game made me so mad!” She nodded very seriously and said, “They were trying to do something nice.” I told her I agreed.
The Mom jumped in at that point and asked me when they would be playing again. (My friend was rolling her eyes and dying of boredom at this point, but I kicked her.) I explained to the Mom they would be preparing for the Olympics, Olympic qualifiers, etc and told her when the matches would start again (starting with Ireland, Jan. 23rd and then all through February.) Even how ESPN2 and FS1 are usually the ones that broadcast the matches. I had finished my dinner at this point and we’d paid the check, so I left after that. But as I walked away, I heard the family talking excitedly about watching the next game.
Spread the USWNT love! Spread the USWNT knowledge! If they won’t advertise the games well enough, word of mouth will have to do until then. People want to watch, they want to be fans, they just don’t know how or when. So jump in! That’s one more family that will be tuning into the match on January 23rd! And more in February!
I was grinning ear to ear for a while after that. My friend told me I was a dork. Fair enough. But I hope that girl got a little validation for her love of soccer tonight. :)