Parades and OSU/Michigan

Something weird happened on Thanksgiving. We have our traditions—we clean like crazy and cook a lot on Wednesday then finish cooking and cleaning on Thursday, then have about 11-12 people over for dinner. All of that went swimmingly but I am not sure who actually did it. I don’t think it was me. I think a clone has taken over.

One of the traditions is to watch the Thanksgiving Macy’s Parade. Usually we watch it for about five minutes then groan a few times about the cheesy singing and lip synching (we grew up in the 70s where that was frowned upon) and wait hopefully for a balloon to fly into a lamp post or attack the crowd. The parade started out like always, with a Broadway number. Suddenly out of my snarky lips came “Wow it’s Lea Michele” and I ran into the family room to watch it. I liked it! I liked the Rockettes, the giant Spirit of America crowd dancing to “Run Rudolph, Run”, the women with their heads literally inside of presents, the Lego robots, and the band that played the 1812 Overture.

After each one was another balloon…some of the characters were unknown to me, but “Bluey!!” escaped my lips as my husband shook his head and mopped the floor. What happened? I couldn’t think of a single sarcastic thing to say. I watched the whole freakin parade. Pikachu!!! The singing Christmas tree!!! Delightful!!

So who was this person? In The Addams Family musical there is a song where Wednesday mulls over finding bunnies and birdies “impossibly cute.” That’s what happened! All of a sudden it was like I was replaced with this happy, enthusiastic sugary cookie. Sheesh.

I didn’t care. The replacement me continued on gamely, not concerned about the food being cold (well maybe a little), or forgetting something (I put sticky notes on the table to remind myself of each dish…). I was happy well into the next day.

Chester was being a pain in the butt though, he was in his crate and every time our dear brother stood up he would pitch a barking fit. Honestly, I told him he was going to camp next year. My husband took him for a long walk before dinner and we put his Kong in his crate, but he was determined to make brother’s life miserable. He was fine when brother was sitting but as soon as he got up Chester became Cujo. Good grief.

Now it’s Saturday. Time to put away happy me and get my game face on. You see, today is the Ohio State/Michigan game. We are pariahs in Cleveland. We are…(drum roll please)…Michigan fans. We grew up in Toledo and just like every other child of a certain age, we declared our allegiance. John and I joined the Michigan alliance. It’s a good thing, because we wouldn’t have been able to marry each other if we were of warring factions.

Toledo is split fairly evenly. Supposedly this was due to the ”Toledo War.” From Wikipedia: “The Toledo War (1835–36), also known as the Michigan–Ohio War or the Ohio–Michigan War, was an almost bloodless boundary dispute between the U.S. state of Ohio and the adjoining territory of Michigan over what is now known as the Toledo Strip. Control of the mouth of the Maumee River and the inland shipping opportunities it represented, and the good farmland to the west were seen by both parties as valuable economic assets.”

Basically, Ohio and Michigan both wanted Toledo. I can see why, it’s a great place to live, and I’m not being sarcastic. The Metroparks are fantastic, the restaurant scene is great, and people are moving downtown. We lived about a mile or less from Michigan, which was interesting when in the 1970s the Michigan drinking age was lowered to 18 for a few years while Ohio stayed at 21. No, I didn’t take advantage. Anyway, that is neither here nor there, but to say that the Michigan/Ohio State rivalry was intense in Toledo.

Our son married outside the faith. He married a girl from an Ohio State family. Here in Cleveland, most people are Ohio State fans. In fact, I only know two other Michigan fans which is a pretty sad state of affairs. Her family is delightful but everyone has a few faults. Still, when the grandkids were born, we all agreed not to try to influence them. It’s sometimes like the “no turkey” scene in a Christmas Story…no baby Michigan onesies, no Ohio State burp rags, no Michigan stocking caps, no Ohio State diapers. We decided they can make their choice when they are older at a lavish ceremony. That doesn’t stop us from betting on the game with the in-laws! We decided to bet that whoever loses has to display an ornament of the other’s team on their Christmas tree. Last year the Michigan ornament hung proudly from the in-law tree. What a beautiful tree it was! This year we look to repeat the glory. The war of the ornaments will commence at noon today. I hope to have some positive news for my annual Christmas letter since my Fantasy Football team has yet to win a game. The Killer Tomatoes are dismal.

On to Christmas! The weather is beautiful here today so we are going to take advantage and put up our outdoor Christmas lights. There is no roof climbing or anything, and it looks nice. I’ve been listening to Christmas music for about a month. Again, who is this person who took over my body? I usually forbid Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. There is a lot of really bad Christmas music out there but I’m happily letting Sirius get it out there hoping the good stuff is yet to come. I’m sure it is, there’s no such thing as bad Christmas music. I didn’t just type that, my clone did.

Enjoy this nice weekend!

Go Michigan!