photo credit// ESPN
With college football one week away—and yes, we have been counting since last January—the college football fan's family must be nervous. My family is about as calm as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs and water spray bottles.
The family knows the drill. From Thursday until Sunday, their lives are pretty much an echo chamber. Ask me anything during that time. It will get ignored. I'm in an induced state of a four-month euphoria.
My needs become simple. My wants become more defined. My level of happiness is dependent on you, my family, following these rules.
Time for the yearly edition of The House Rules. Read them, kiddies. Memorize them. Adhere to them.
Do not forsake your mother. She is not sick.
She is a college football fan.
1. Thou shalt not judge a book by its cover
ESPN's College Football Gameday starts at 7:00 a.m. on the West Coast. Rolling out of bed and turning on the TV are about the only physical activities you will see from mommy on Saturdays. Bathing, washing face, brushing teeth, brushing hair, changing out of pajamas and applying make-up will not be performed by her on Saturdays until a national champion has been crowned.
In short, mommy will be a hot mess.
If you choose to have friends over and insist on them saying hello to mommy, they will be charged $20. She refuses to sit on a couch with bed head and running mascara while wearing Spongebob Squarepants pajama bottoms, a Powerpuff Girls tank top and light pink UGG boots without making some cold cash from your friends' morbid curiosity.
Don't judge mommy. But pay up, if you must.
2. Mommy is not ill
Glazed eyes, drool coming out of mouth, heavy breathing and rapid pulse do not mean mommy is in shock. She is in energy-saving mode. Think of mommy "going green" during college football season. Saturdays are a 16-hour fun fest that requires a lot of remote control usage, screaming, tweeting and probably, a mental health evaluation. Mommy needs to pace herself.
If you are concerned about mommy's health, stick a mirror under her nose. If it fogs up, the old broad is still kicking. If you must wipe drool from her face, please do so without blocking her view of the television set.
3. Thous shalt not walk in front of the widescreen TV from 7:00 a.m. through midnight
The crouch has been taught, practiced and preached since you children were toddlers. You know the drill. If you must walk in front of the TV, you must bend at the waist and clear mommy's view within one second.
Speed and a perfect 90-degree execution of the crouch will be rewarded with a smartphone upgrade. Walking erect will be met with haughty derision and a dinner menu change.
The Hunger Games menu: eggplant, beets, Brussels sprouts, Limburger cheese, sweetbreads and tripe served by the Pillsbury "toaster strudel" boy until Thanksgiving.
4. Thou shalt not dance within 20 yards of mommy
This dance ban includes dance moves such as the Dab, Ran off da plug, Hit the Quan, Shmoney, Nae Nae, Twerking and The Whip.
Trying to distract mommy or vie for her attention will only cause her to screech like a Millennial being told he has to wash his own car.
Any child who insists on doing a dance move while mommy is enjoying her football will be sent to an un-frigging safe space and be forced to watch William Hung's rendition of "She bangs" for two hours.
5. Thou shalt not seize control of the remote control
Mommy owns the remote control. The TV is her life on Saturdays. You have six other days to watch your crap. DVR Keeping Up with the Kardashians, if you must.
Any child or husband who walks into the family room and changes the channel or hides the remote without prior written consent will be under house arrest and subject to martial law. This includes suspended cell phone service and removal of ALL electronic devices from your possession.
Do not test mommy's resolve. Infidels will be forced to watch a replay of the 2008 Mississippi State v Auburn game (hint: Auburn won 3-2) in super slow motion.
6. Ask and you shall receive
Yes, mommy is ignoring you. Ask her a question during a football game and she will respond with a quick nod of the head and a dismissive hand, all while never hearing your question or looking at you. She is talented. This is your chance, kiddies. Go for it.
Want chocolate cake for breakfast? It's Bill Cosby-approved.
Want permission to see if you can kill a stink bug with hairspray and a lighter? Watch eggs explode in a microwave? Put bunion pads on your hamster's eyes? Dump all 60 pods of Tide in the laundry machine and see what happens?
Her answer is yes, yes, yes and... yes.
Want to give the cat a bath? Absolutely yes-we don't own a cat but please tape the whole ordeal for future entertainment.
Want to paint the Chocolate Labrador's nails pink? Yes... and good luck with that.
7. Thous shalt not ask, "Is it over?"
Watching Eastern Michigan play Mississippi Valley State on a Friday night is the ultimate date night for mommy. Just the remote control and mommy cuddling on the couch watching MACtion. If it is fall, it is never over.
College football is mommy's drug.
She realizes it is an addiction. She's okay with that.
8. Thou shalt use caution when declaring an emergency
Injuries occur without warning. However, what you think is an emergency during the Texas v Notre Dame game and what mommy considers an emergency may be different.
Loss of limb or massive hemorrhaging is an emergency but Dr. Mom will need visual proof before proceeding with first aid.
True emergencies: a non-functioning router or cable modem, no beer, no wine, lost remote control remote or loss of electrical power.
Headaches, cramps, sneezing, stubbed toes and hang nails are not emergencies. They are inconvenient. Take an Advil, Midol, Sudafed, Motrin or Tylenol.
Crash the car? No problem. Call the insurance company—they are like a good neighbor. Mommy cannot fix a wrecked car but she can find a phone for you during a commercial.
Earthquake during a football game? Please seek shelter at the nearest Red Cross center. Mommy is about 20 feet from the emergency kit which she has thoughtfully stocked with beer, wine, Twinkies and toilet paper.
She's good for at least a week.
9. Halloween Agenda at Casa d'Horne has changed
This year Halloween falls on a Monday. So here's the deal, neighborly kids. Unlike the previous two years where mommy just put a bucket of candy on the porch with a note attached saying, " College football game in progress. Grab your candy and get off my lawn," she will personally hand out candy.
This means no more grabbing handfuls of Kit Kats and running away laughing. Instead, you will receive one "fun size" Snickers bar while a Chocolate Lab (with chipped pink nails) barks incessantly at you from the front door.
Criteria must be met to receive free stuff. Costume is required. If you drove to the house, there will be no candy. Same goes for any person who has tats, facial hair, an Adams apple or looks like a high school graduate. You're too old to be trick-or-treating. Grow up and buy your own stuff. Bernie lost.
You guys blew it the last two Halloweens. Now who's laughing?
Any friend who invites mommy to his/her wedding between late August and early January is really not a friend. The invitor will get a harshly worded regret.
Fall Saturdays are off limits to weddings, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, anniversary celebrations, bridal showers, baby showers, funerals, memorials, celebrations of life, divorce parties, girls' night out, retirement parties, Bunko parties, tea parties (are you kidding me?), cosmetic or jewelry parties, engagement parties, early graduation parties, baptisms, first holy communions, brit milahs, teacher appreciation days, hospital visitations, girl scout cookie drives, Tupperware parties, scrapbooking get-togethers or marriage workshops.
In essence, she is a rotten "friend" from August through January. But if you need someone to bring food to your football party, call her.
Her guac is killer and will bring you to your knees.