World Cup – you can love it, you can hate it, but you can’t get away of it.
Our colleague’s wife thought it’s all over, the Champions League is finished, and Summer begins, until she was told there’s a month long World Cup ahead. Quoting her: “For F*ck sake”.
TV, radio, newspapers, adds on Facebook – everywhere you look, you’re that the games are coming.
Sing is a huge football fan. And when I say HUGE I mean he stays faithful to Chelsea even after two terrible seasons and he even got a little Chelsea set for a baby we don’t have so it can match his jersey. Europa League, Champions League, La Liga – you name it, we watch it. By “we” I mean – he watches, and I pedal on a stationary bike because we only have one TV connected to satellite.
There was no way I could get away from The World Cup.
Even at work we had to decorate our cubical with the chosen teams. Ironically, Sing got Poland. That’s when someone asked us how does it look at our home, since we are from two different countries.
I never thought I will marry an Asian. OK, I had crushes on animated and non-animated characters of Asian descent, but that was it. Just like my Polish great-grandparents, my grandparents, my own parents – I probably would have married a Polish man and together, as a one big family we would cheer for Polish team in the World Cup.
Until the day Sing and I met on the train.
“The day milk got mixed with soy sauce” – Sing, the poet.
I knew it will have influence on our daily life – starting from such trivial things like cooking and eating habits, finishing at “Where to settle down” problems. Could football be one of the problems?
I was never a huge football fan, I would cheer for Polish teams or sportsmen during important events, but I wouldn’t be a die-hard fan so I thought I won’t be bothered if my husband wasn’t a big fan either. But I didn’t know my husband wouldn’t cheer for my own country!
If you’re both Polish, or German, or Japanese, or come together from any other country, you’re most likely cheering from the same teams. And then, here I was – with my Hong Kong husband cheering for Belgium.
He never dared to cheer for the team against Poland, but he wouldn’t cheer for them the way I would expect him to. To be honest, that would sometimes frustrate me. You and me should play in one team (considering Polish team seem not to whatsoever).
If Hong Kong ever qualified (yes, Hong Kong has its own Hong Kong national football team and is a member of FIFA), I would make sure we are ready – snacks, decorations, vocal cords to sing the chants. And since current Hong Kong flag uses the same colors as Poland, I could brag about all the savings I made.
After some time I got used to the fact he is just a silent viewer of the game, instead of emotionally participating with me.
I would see him cheering for Iceland or other teams and get so excited about it, but I wouldn’t see him walking around and saying “I can’t wait for tonight’s game” when Poland was playing.
You would think such a small thing wouldn’t be bothering, but sometimes it was.
However, I can never deny that he watched them all. He got upset, when I was disappointed with the game, and he was there to clap when we (occasionally) won. For good and for bad, he was there for me and my team.
He could play with his phone or do something else, yet he spent two hours every time to watch it with me.
Of course I would love him to cheer for the same country as I do, but I try to think of it as we are fans of different clubs. Enjoying the game, but with the respect to each other.
Because football should be about respect, fun, joy and good sportsmanship. It should bring people together – when they win and when they lose.
This kind of attitude brought not only us closer, but it also gave Sing few points in my dad’s eyes. From playing FIFA on PlayStation together, through visiting stadiums together, watching games together made their relationship stronger.
Football brought them together like in these cheesy beer commercials where two guys spill their beer over a scored goal.
It doesn’t matter they may cheer for different teams, or they can hardly communicate, but when it comes to football they seem to always find a way to speak or show what they want to say. You would be surprised how many times when I translate to Sing what my dad said he responses with “I just said the same thing!”.
It is all about the emotions, seeing fantastic games being played, bringing people together, having a great time.
As an international marriage (or not) you can have different preferences, like different teams, but at the end a good game should bring you closer, despite the result.
Of course I would love to see Sing with a Polish flag painted on his face, singing ‘Polska, bialo-czerwoni’ (or at least ‘Polska’ followed by three claps, if 3 words are two difficult to follow), but I’m still grateful for what I have.
I only wish Belgium would play bit worse so I won’t need to watch so many games… 🙂
Who do you cheer for in this World Cup? Is it your national team?
What is your take on football, World Cup fever and how it can influence a marriage? Would love to hear your take on it!