I got a text message from my friend Becky yesterday evening about the Football World Cup. The Netherlands was playing and she informed me that she was watching the game with her boyfriend Elvin (the otherwise nice guy who my friends might also know as "The Cuban" (he's actually from Puorto Rico... or Mexico... or Hong Kong or something) or "The Guy Who Shot A Rubber Band At My Face In A Milan Airport" (bitter? I'm not bitter) ) and her grandparents.
I'm not sure about her grandpa, but her grandma is a huge Netherlands fan. I am not one hundred percent sure about how much (if any) Dutch blood she has in her, but despite being an American she is more nationalistic about the Netherlands than anybody I know here. She loves us. She loves our food (love makes blind), she loves our countryside, she loves our music and she loves our football. Becky informed me that she was wearing, and I quote, a "crazy windmill hat in Dutch colors" (not trying to be too specific here, but are there windmill hats in Dutch colors that aren't crazy?). I texted her back saying that if the hat won't make us win, than I don't know what would.
The reply came quickly and read "She laughed and asked why you took your eyes away from the TV!". Which is sort of the problem. The game was on, but at the same time I was watching Der Untergang on my notebook (great combi really). You see, I am not a big football fan. Usually I can get away with that quite easily, all I have to do is start myself up with hooligans, government money being pumped into big football clubs and before you know it the rant automatically moves to anti-gay slogans, too much media attention and "general pathetic behaviour".
But during the World Cup, this is a bit more difficult. Basically, it's considered treason and although there's no death penalty for it (yet), it will make your social life a lot more difficult. During parties, most lunches, or general conversations with family members (I tend to select friends on them not talking about football) football pops up everywhere.
I personally have found a way out of this problem, by using one simple catchphrase that will get you through discussing every football match you did not see:
(here it comes)
Say it like something horrible has been done to your cat by the person in question and the other people in the group will knod knowingly and say "God did you see that..... blablablayadayadayada", after that all you have to do is agree wholeheartedly with the man with the biggest beer belly (he knows best, he clearly spends the most time getting drunk while watching other men be active). Use the force wisely my children.
(Oh, and the end score was 2;1 yesterday, all goals were made in the first halve, the Netherlands weren't playing that great and spent most of the second halve defending which - if you ask me - is always a very unwise thing to do. )