Game Changer

Last week was bumpy.

Bumpy enough that I could feel stress radiating out the top of my head, and I think I chipped a tooth, grinding my teeth at night.  By Friday, I’d had it.  I came home from work and busted out the sage bundle I’d saved from Veronica’s bachelorette party in an emergency kit, in case anyone needed to be purified for any reason that night.  My friends are all team players that way.  If something goes wrong, we will give you a hug and a band-aid and a bottle of water and smudge-stick your aura until you feel better.   Don’t believe burning sage and chanting around someone has purifying properties?  Doesn’t matter.  They’ll be laughing so hard you’ll all feel better anyway.

So.  I came home, had a small meltdown, sage bundled my house, peeled off all my work clothes, and declared the work week to be over, and went in search of a game changer.

When I emerged from the shower, I pulled out all the stops:  my new sapphire blue shoes, which I may have mentioned before, plus some sparkly eyeshadow, a new gauzy sapphire blue top, and this fabulous sapphire clutch with a rhinestone clasp which I have surely earned after this last couple of weeks:

I felt substantially better, smudge-bundled and cleaned up and decked out in my favorite color, which happens to be absolutely en vogue this spring.  That and fringe.  Seriously.  Look it up.  I couldn’t be happier.  I was just going up to Tyler’s for some ACC tournament time.  But new shoes will do that to you.

It wasn’t until I was well into the evening that I realized my tragic faux-pas:  I was watching the ACC tournament in a Raleigh crowd, decked head-to-toe in Duke Blue.  What if someone had seen me and gotten the wrong impression?  What if I came across as That Girl, in an NCSU town?  A move like that could get a girl tarred and feathered, in Raleigh.  Or at least taunted.  Well, whispered about maybe.

Team colors aside, I think the new outfit helped this State fan, in the long run.  Or maybe it was the sage bundle.  Or perhaps the recent string of gorgeous 70 degree balmy mornings, when I walk to work and stumble across blooming jasmine vines,

and pansies in the park,

and climb up on rooftops to see Moore Square bursting into green below?

In celebration of all this bursting, and blooming, and growing, and greening, I’m taking a vacation. Just a teeny-tiny one. It’s Tournament Time, A March To Madness, a time to gather with people you love and heckle teams you don’t. There will be long lovely spring mornings, followed by beers in bars with lots of televisions, and frantic updating of brackets, and collapsing into bed at night, spent from the sheer exertion of rooting hard for a team because you like the sound of their name and once heard of the school before.

Know what my favorite thing about the tournament is?  It’s when a team nobody expected to win realizes that they might, and then they probably will, and then that they’re about to pull it off.  When that happens, you’ll see all the players on the bench lock arms in solidarity and giddy anticipation, and sway back and forth together as they witness a Game Changer.  Then, by sheer force of will,  together they turn a Game Changer into a Win.

I’m rooting for that.

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