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Jewish Journal

Football, Prayers & Faking it for Love

by Ilana Angel

June 24, 2012 | 6:49 pm

If you are going to date an Englishman, you have to like football (soccer).  By like it of course I mean pretend you like it so as to impress him.  I have been pretending to care about this game for months and it has been exhausting.  It started out with my blatant faking of interest, but it has now transitioned into a true affection for the game.

I’m not sure when it changed or why, but I am now love the game and the players.  I support England as a country, as much for my beloved Dad as my Englishman.  I publicly support Chelsea for my Englishman, who is a diehard fan, and also because I am madly in love with Roberto Di Matteo, but I secretly cheer for Manchester United for my Dad.

I am a firm believer in prayer and I prayed for Chelsea to win since I met my Englishman, am happy to report they beat Liverpool in the FA Cup and Bayern Munich in the Champions League.  I believe my prayers had something to do with it. By winning the Champions League, Chelsea automatically qualified for the European Championships next season, which is exciting for Chelsea fans.

Important to note that I believe the reason Chelsea did so well is because of my boyfriend, Roberto Di Matteo.  I fell in love with Roberto and while I was on the fence about Roman Abramovich because he took so long to give my darling Roberto a job, I have forgiven him for being so slow, and now just want him to send me season tickets for my Englishman as payment for my prayers.

Today, in a game played in the Ukraine, the England national team lost to Italy in the quarterfinals of Euro 2012 and was eliminated.  It was an exciting but crushing game as they played 90 minutes of regular play, 30 minutes of overtime, and ultimately lost 4-2 in penalty kicks.  It was a sad ending and I could feel the heart of my Englishman crack a little as the dream ended.

I was certain my prayers would pull England through and it would be a sign that I needed to allow myself to go all in with the Englishman.  I have been holding back a little because relationships scare me and my heart is fragile, but over the past few months I have compared him and me to football and the success of Chelsea, then England, would be our guide.

It’s ridiculous of course, but when you have been disappointed so much, you create silliness like this so that you don’t give up completely.  As much as I have been beaten up by love, England’s national football team has brutally punched my Englishman.  They have gotten close to championships many times but never sealed the deal, much like my past romances.

Sidebar:  We watched the game today at my Englishman’s local pub and let me just say:  yummy, yummy, ding dong.  Men outnumbered woman 6 to 1 so if you are a chick who can fake a love of this game, then you need to march yourself down to a pub on football day and enjoy.  Seriously, fix your hair and slap on some lipstick because you will be in heaven.

When England was about to start taking their penalty kicks I leaned into my Englishman and told him I hoped we would win and that my prayers would come true.  He took my face in his hands, told me all of his prayers had already come true, then gave me a kiss.  Just as I felt his heart crack at the loss, I could feel my heart mend at the sound of his words.

I have spent a lot of time remembering every painful hit my heart has taken, but I find myself thinking more about all the times the Englishman has made my heart flutter.  In the heartbreaking loss for England, I saw love.  Not only saw it, but felt it, embraced it, was not afraid of it, and am ready to let myself go and enjoy it.  God Bless England!

Of course my prayers were never about asking God for something, but more about asking him to guide me.  I wanted England to win because in my crazy female mind I convinced myself it would light my path.  In the end God gave me what I needed, which was clarity.  England may have lost, but my prayers were answered because God read through the lines.

I am not too thrilled with Italy for eliminating the boys of England, but I hope to kiss my Englishman on the streets of Rome one day.  I also hope to sit in his favorite London pub and have John Terry, Ashley Cole, and Frank Lampard join us for a drink.  That would be a perfect evening, especially if Wayne Rooney happened to also find his way to our table.

England is heartbroken today that their team was eliminated, but it was in their loss that I was able to see love.  I faked an interest in football, only to discover a true enjoyment of the game and those who both play it and love it. I am now officially a Chelsea girl, a lover of football, a groupie of Roberto Di Matteo, and a girl who found love while keeping the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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